A tribunal has upheld the Office of Fair Trading’s decision to revoke the licence of JST Financial Solutions because the company allowed a convicted fraudster to become involved in its business.
Following his conviction in 2004 and before he worked for JST, Russell Phillips had served time in prison for the offence of conspiracy to defraud and giving false information to the OFT.
The First-tier tribunal found that Phillips’ association with JST was of a nature and extent that was relevant to the business’ fitness to hold a consumer credit licence and that his previous conviction was therefore of direct relevance to the tribunal’s decision.
The tribunal also found that JST’s controllers appeared to have either concealed Phillips’ role in the running of the business or to have been indifferent to it.
JST’s association with such an individual, the tribunal concluded, showed a reckless disregard for the protection of consumers and therefore JST was not fit to hold a consumer credit licence.
David Fisher,director of consumer credit at the OFT, says: “The OFT welcomes the tribunal’s judgment to dismiss JST’s appeal and uphold our decision to revoke its licence.
“The tribunal found that the connection to this individual is a matter that is highly relevant to JST’s fitness to hold a licence. The OFT will not tolerate activities which have the effect of concealing the involvement of an unfit individual in a consumer credit business.”