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FSA bans and fines mortgage broker

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

Gareth Flanagan, of GMF Marketing Services, based in Londonderry, Northern Ireland has been fined £95,200 and banned from today.

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

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

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

The FSA states 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 mortgage applications were completed and the mortgage funds obtained amounted to £1,325,722. The other four applications 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 regarding his income.

In particular, in five of the applications Flanagan declared a personal income which was substantially higher than the income he had declared to HMRC.

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

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  • Tony 15th May 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Lets be frank the brokers a complete idiot, he has no one to blame but himself. This has nothing to do with Self cert, it’s fruad pure and simple.

  • john smith@hotmail.com 28th March 2012 at 11:28 am

    anonymous 10.21

    I was talking about self cert in general, not talking about the broker in this article who blatently gave differing information on multiple applications. it should be prison for him. we dont even know if these applications were self cert. Regarding self cert specifically the famous example people use are taxi drivers. are you saying that every lender and target driven BDMS thought that the amount declared on the self cert mortgage application was exactly the same as the amount given to HMRC by the self employed taxi driver. of course not! now looking back on it what was the definition of self cert, people who had no proof of income but believed the amount declared was reasonable and that they couuld afford the mortgage.

  • seagull 28th March 2012 at 11:20 am

    I agree, it isn’t as if he was doing self cert mortgages for someone else who told him their income and he just had to accept it, he was clearly lying as they were in his own name.

    Sometimes retrospective action does seem unfair, any broker accused of applications in the past through self cert or fast track that are in accurate can be excused as they were being put under so much pressure by the lenders to do business that way but not mortgages in your own name, no defence for incorrect information on your own application (once maybe but not 5 times) and not knowing where you live is a bit of an issue.

  • Really?? 28th March 2012 at 10:21 am

    Anonymous 2.14pm
    “a bit harsh to judge someone by todays standards”

    Really?? This man committed straight fraud – anyone who did the same as Flanagan deserves what’s coming to them. Yes the FSA was slack, but it was still against the law to commit fraud five years ago. When will brokers stop hiding behind rules and regulations as an excuse for their own criminality and culpability???

  • Lee Parker 27th March 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Why is he not in prison?

  • john smith 27th March 2012 at 2:14 pm

    We’re all doomed – thats a good point. i remember at my previous firm back in 06/07 you only needed to show 3 months bank statements to substantiate the self cert income stated on the application. everyone was self employed and many of the brokers were able to do this. self cert rules were lax and lenders were promoting it in a huge way so a bit harsh to judge someone by todays standards but those arguments I dont think will wash if there was an investigation.

  • We're all doomed!!! 27th March 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Tip of the Iceberg!!

    How many more advisers effectively did the same thing with Self-Cert?

  • Shaks 27th March 2012 at 11:43 am

    Poor old Mr Flanagan, he clearly has memory recall problems. Why else would he be so confused regards his income and employment details?
    Surely he has the defense of Mental incapacity. If he could remember who he was, I’m sure he wouldn’t have got so many applications all mixed up.

  • john smith 27th March 2012 at 11:38 am

    its absolutetly incredible how a broker thinks he will get away with submitting false applications in his own name. nevermind banned as broker, what about reporting the matter to the police