View more on these topics

FSA bans firm for dishonesty

The Financial Services Authority is continuing its clampdown on corrupt mortgage companies, banning another firm for dishonest behaviour last week.

The FSA banned London-based Anthony Abiona, trading as Renbe Associates, for failing to act with honesty and integrity by misleading the regulator and submitting false and misleading information to lenders.

Among other failings, the broker submitted three mortgage applica-tions on behalf of others which contained false or misleading information relating to their employ-ment details.

Abiona also failed to protect customer information, ensure file reviews were adequately carried out and recorded, and ensure information on mortgage application forms was not misleading.

The regulator also issued a consumer warning concerning The Financial Associate Limited of Sidcup, Kent.

The FSA says it has reason to believe that John Charalambous, a director at the firm, has applied for a fraudulent mortgage on behalf of a client on at least one occasion.

The mortgage advance applied for was in excess of the client’s requirements and the mortgage advance was not paid to the client.

At the same time as applying for mortgages for clients, he might also have applied for life assurance policies without his clients’ knowl-edge or consent.

In recent weeks the FSA has banned several brokers found to have committed fraud.

One high profile case involved a broker called Leo Kasi-Appiah who was accused of submitting fraudulent mortgage applications in his and his wife’s name, along with the name of a fictitious individual called Kwadjo Amoteng.

Jonathan Phelan, head of retail enforcement at the FSA, says: “This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and we will take decisive action against anyone who is not fit and proper or poses a serious risk to lenders, consumers or confidence in the financial system as a whole.”

Recommended

Promises won’t fill the lending gap

Good news is hard to come by at the moment but at least Prime Minister Gordon Brown is giving out some positive signals as banks are being encouraged to lend more.