FCA publishes decision notices on client money

FCA has published decision notices in respect of One Call Insurance Services Limited and its majority shareholder John Radford.  FCA plans to fine the firm £684,000 and restrict it from charging renewal fees to customers for 121 days (which would cost it around £4.6 million). FCA took action for perceived breaches of client money requirements for a period of nearly 10 years.  FCA said the failings arose partly because the firm did not appreciate that certain TOBA did not provide effective risk transfer and, later, when it failed to treat monies advanced by a premium finance provider as client money. As a result it inadvertently spent client money. Although it has now repaid the entire sum, the sums were used to finance the firm and pay directors and, indirectly, to capitalise a connected company, One Insurance Limited. Although FCA alleges no wrongdoing against One Insurance Limited, this firm has made a reference to the Tribunal in respect of certain statements in the notices.

Mr Radford was responsible for client money and was also the firm’s Chief Executive and a director. FCA found he breached Statement of Principle 6 generally, including failing to investigate potential breaches when warned by the firm’s auditor. It also found he breached Principle 7 by not putting in place sufficient systems and controls to ensure the business he was responsible for complied with relevant regulatory standards. FCA has decided to fine him £468,600 and ban him from having any responsibility for client or insurer money in relation to any regulated activity.