The Financial Conduct Authority said that it has fined a UK IFA £109,400 and banned her for repeatedly lying about her qualifications.
The FCA said the fine, issued to Elizabeth Anne Parry, had been reduced after Parry offered ‘verifiable evidence of serious financial hardship’. Had it not been for her financial circumstances, the FCA would have imposed a financial penalty of £157,395 plus interest (or £135,100 adjusted for a 30% (stage 1) discount) on Miss Parry.
In a statement on its website, the FCA said that between January 2013 and September 2015 Parry made six misleading statements to the FCA with the intention of misleading the regulator over the suitability of her qualifications to provide investment advice.
In October 2013, Parry submitted a fabricated document to the FCA, which she claimed was a statement of professional standing (SPS) issued by the Chartered Insurance Institute.
In May 2014 the FCA contacted Parry to verify she had obtained the appropriate qualifications. Parry then submitted a second fabricated SPS. Parry was authorised as a sole trader in May 2006 to conduct investment and mortgage business and, from January 2015, for consumer credit activities.
Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA said: ‘We raised the minimum qualification standards in order to protect consumers from financial harm, and Miss Parry’s behaviour demonstrates a clear disregard of those standards and her duty, to be honest with the FCA. We will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.’
Following UK financial regulator’s Retail Distribution Review, retail investment advisers have been required to hold a SPS and achieve the relevant professional qualifications.