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Upper Tribunal backs FSA mortgage broker ban

FSA Letters 480

The Upper Tribunal has backed the FSA’s decision to ban a former mortgage broker from holding a senior industry position over inadequate controls to prevent mortgage fraud.

The FSA says it found a significant proportion of client files at Dorset-based mortgage broker General Finance Centre contained “blatant inconsistencies and discrepancies” in relation to income, occupation and other relevant information to clients’ mortgage applications.

GFC managing director Michael Thommes failed to pick up on these inconsistencies, and failed to oversee the conduct of the firm.

The FSA says Thommes also failed to monitor staff or ensure the firm’s charging structure was clearly explained to clients.

FSA head of retail enforcement Bill Sillett says: “While we did not find that Thommes personally committed mortgage fraud, his failure to put in place adequate controls meant his firm was used by others for this purpose.

“Thommes’ conduct was significantly below what we would expect from someone in his position, particularly since the failings were brought to his attention by the FSA and he did not take adequate steps to address them.”

GFC was placed in liquidation in November 2008 and was dissolved in February 2011.

The FSA banned GFC operations director Martin Lafrance in March.


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  • Post a comment
  • AJK 29th January 2013 at 7:42 am

    Blatant inconsistencies and discrepancies. So why didn’t the Farcical services authority ban HSBC over money laundering ! Sir Hector Sans – what a joke!

  • Bad advice hater 21st December 2012 at 12:06 pm

    too little too late, general finance centre shut down and now trade as Corporate Advances who run exactly the same practice.

  • Fat Mortgage Bloke 21st December 2012 at 8:55 am

    Any chance of the FSA banning anyone for “Irresponsible Lending”…thought not

  • James 20th December 2012 at 12:53 pm

    If the FSA brought this to his attention and he did nothing what did he expect would happen?

  • Mike 20th December 2012 at 12:39 pm

    “blatant inconsistencies and discrepancies”, “failed to pick up on these inconsistencies, and failed to oversee the conduct of the firm”.
    Hmmm! Deems to cover the FSA hierarchy when they totally missed the banking scandal. All the top echelon of the FSA should by interpretation also be banned from working in financial services. Hector Sants rewarded for incompetency by a massive 3Million contract with Barclays. No conflict of interest there then? Didn’t he recommend the Halifax etc. takeover?

  • Seb Clegg 20th December 2012 at 12:34 pm

    another one bites the dust. just no excuse for his conduct from the sounds of it.