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FSA bans IFA

The Financial Services Authority has banned Martyn Powsney, the former director of Powsney & Co Ltd, an IFA firm based near Manchester, from holding positions of significant influence in any FSA authorised firm

Pownsey, who failed to put in place systems and controls to ensure that customers received suitable advice and failed to take sufficient remedial action, was found to be not fit and proper to run an authorised firm.

Following an initial visit in 2007, the FSA required Powsney to take action to rectify serious failings at Powsney & Co Ltd but, despite employing a compliance consultant to assist with the remedial work, he failed to take prompt, adequate action.

A subsequent assessment by the FSA in 2008, as part of its assessment programme for small firms, identified similar concerns to the 2007 visit.

The FSA has concluded that Powsney failed to:

•       establish appropriate systems and controls at the firm;

•       demonstrate that the firm was providing suitable financial advice; and

•       fully appreciate or  adequately undertake remedial action required by the FSA.

Tom Spender, FSA head of department, enforcement and financial crime, says:“Powsney lacked competence and capability. Even when FSA staff visited the firm in 2007 and 2008 and set remedial action, Powsney failed to implement the required changes.

“It is vital that those running firms have the necessary competence and capability to put systems and controls in place to ensure that suitable advice is given and customers are treated fairly. Individuals who do not have these qualities are a risk to consumers and face being banned.”

The 2008 visit to the firm was part of the assessment programme for small firms. Firms who fail to have in place appropriate systems and controls to demonstrate that they are treating their customers fairly will continue to be identified through the FSA’s Small Firms assessment programme and action, including enforcement where appropriate, will be taken.

Powsney & Co Ltd, is currently in liquidation and is no longer authorised to conduct regulated business.

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