FCA has fined Barclays £783,800 for oversight failings in its relationship with Premier FX, a payments firm which is in liquidation. Barclays was Premier’s sole UK banker. FCA found that Barclays failed to make enquiries to ensure Premier’s actual business activity aligned with its expectations and failed to identify that Premier’s internal controls were inadequate.
FCA had publicly censured Premier (a substantial fine would have been the sanction if the firm had not already been in liquidation) in February 2021 for failing to safeguard customer money and seriously misleading customers about the services it was authorised to provide.
FCA found that Barclays had not acted with due skill, care and diligence in its dealings with Premier. It also commented that it was a significant step to the credit of Barclays that it has agreed to meet the deficiency in Premier’s funds – only 9p was distributed for every £1 lost, and Barclays is making a voluntary payment of over £10m which will mean that the 167 customers of Premier whose claims were accepted in the liquidation will get all their money back. Without that. the FCA fine would have been much higher.