A lack of integrity sees broker fined and banned

The Financial Services Authority has banned and fined a mortgage broker for failing to act with integrity.

Gareth Flanagan of Londonderry-based GMF Marketing Services has been fined £95,200 and banned from regulated activity.

He received a 30% reduction in his fine, which would have been £136,000, for settling early.

The FSA concluded that Flanagan had failed to act with integrity in carrying out his controlled functions by knowingly submitting mortgage applications through GMF in his own name containing false information.

The effect was to mislead lenders regarding his income, residence, employment status and proposed use of funds.

The FSA states that Flanagan also failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the business of GMF, for which he was responsible in his controlled functions, complied with the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system.

Flanagan submitted nine mortgage applications to lenders in his own name for five properties between December 2005 and November 2007.

Five of the applications completed and the funds obtained amounted to £1,325,722. The other four did not proceed to completion.

The FSA identified that eight of the applications submitted by Flanagan in his own name contained false or misleading information about his income.

In particular, in five of the applications, Flanagan declared a personal income which was substantially higher than the income that he had declared to HM Revenue & Customs.

Three of Flanagan’s applications contained false information in respect of his place of residence, three contained false information regarding his employment status and one contained false information about the purpose of the mortgage.