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FSA bans and fines London mortgage broker

The Financial Services Authority has fined mortgage broker Gary Lester £103,000 for knowingly submitting 42 mortgage applications to lenders containing false and misleading income information for his customers, and committing mortgage fraud to obtain a mortgage for himself.

The FSA has also banned Lester from working within the regulated financial services industry for failing to act as a fit and proper person and for lacking honesty and integrity

Trading as Lifestyle Mortgages Limited (Lifestyle), in Edgware, North West London, Lester significantly inflated his income from Lifestyle to obtain a mortgage for himself in November 2006.

During the investigation, the FSA found 42 out of 48 applications reviewed were based on fraudulent information and of those, 14 were found to have no supporting tax records at all.

Two other Lifestyle mortgage advisers, Julie Hutcheson and Martin Winer, have also been banned from working in financial services for not appropriately scrutinising and challenging the information provided by customers on their mortgage application forms.

Margaret Cole, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA, says: “The financial penalty reflects how Lester failed to meet the high standards expected by the FSA and this prohibition will make the mortgage market a safer place.  

“Lester and his colleagues deserve to be banned and Lester in particular has been dealt with severely to deter others from conducting themselves in a similarly unacceptable way.

“The FSA will continue to prevent individuals acting without honesty and integrity from working in authorised firms in order to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers.”

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  • FRED MASON 13th April 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Fines are totally disproportionate vis a vis Abbey endowment mis selling and A&L, GE PPP fines…fines in region of £1-5m to global banks , equate to a drop in the ocean relative to individuals, irrespective / even to the degree of culpability.

    Why is there not complete parity with punishment ?

    Why beat the small individual with a great big stick and yet just point fingers at the global corporate giants with an extremely gentle tap ?

    It should surely be an advalorem fine directly proportionate to ill gotten profits / gains and company profits / net assets ?

    Just proves further ineptitude by FSA, and their lack of conviction and ability to take vital swift necessary action when needed, particularly concerning lenders.

    Believe they even breached internal pension reserve requirements themselves !

    In addition to true implementation of TCF , let’s have a real TIF – Treating Intermediaries Fairly , or TEF – Treating Everyone Fairly…

    How about :-
    “The FSA will prevent intermediaries AND lenders acting without honesty and integrity in order to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers”

    It really does beg the question why on earth the ineffectual Ms Cole takes so much of all of our hard earned taxes to pay for her salary ?

  • DAVID JAMES 13th April 2010 at 10:42 am

    DID YOU KNOW THAT 21% OF MORTGAGE STRATEGY READERS WORK FOR THE FSA?

  • Anon 12th April 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Dear, oh dear, oh dear…..FSA…..the horse bolted years ago when you were sitting back doing nothing and now you have licence to print money dishing out fines to all and sundry….laughable!

  • wayne 12th April 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Pity they didn’t scrutinise the banks leading up to the credit crunch…….

  • Dan McGeehan 12th April 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I think it is great that bad advisers continue to be weeded out. However I would like to know what the FSA has done or is doing to scrutinise the business that was placed direct with the lenders. Are we to believe there was no fraud committed there and that no one is accountable for it.