Watchdogs Warn Of Bogus Financial Advisers


Financial watchdogs post warnings about scams and fraudsters every week – so here is the latest list for consumers and investors to guard against.

The details come from the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s regulator of financial advisers and financial firms, from the largest banks and investment funds to mortgage brokers and IFAs who work from home.

UCIS bans and fines two for two investment advisers 

John Leslie and Jeffrey Bennett, both from London, managed financial advisory firms Leslie & Nuding (now known as Leslie & Swallow) and Burlington Associates Limited (Burlington).  During 2005, Leslie & Nuding and Burlington promoted three unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS) to consumers in the UK.  Over 800 people invested around £30 million in the three UCIS, which subsequently failed.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined Leslie and Bennett £28,000 each and banned them from being involved in the management of a financial advice firm.

Bank fined £525,000 for money laundering failures

GT Bank, a subsidiary of Nigerian Guaranty Trust Bank, opened a London office in May 2008.

The bank’s anti money laundering (AML) controls were scrutinised in 2010, raising and after further inquiries, the FCA found that GT Bank had no effective AML policies and procedures.

Stock market abuse fines

David Davis, senior partner and compliance officer of Paul E Schweder Miller, was fined £70,258, and Vandana Parikh, a broker at the same firm, must pay £45,673, for illegally manipulating the closing price of securities traded on the London Stock Exchange by Rameshkumar Goenka, a Dubai based private investor, in October 2010.

Goekna was fined £6 million in November 2011 for market abuse.  It was the largest fine imposed by the UK financial regulator on an individual.

Unregulated firms posing as bogus financial advisers

Dealing with an unregulated firm

If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.

Checking if a firm is regulated

Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.

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