IFA firm Houghton & Associates has been fined £30,000 by the Personal Investment Authority plus £...
IFA firm Houghton & Associates has been fined £30,000 by the Personal Investment Authority plus £5,400 in costs after the regulator found it had failed to act with due skill, care and diligence when promoting an investment scheme to its clients.
It also failed to carry out adequate checks on the scheme, its operation and the parties involved.
The PIA judged H&A to have failed to apply for its approval in arranging deal in securities "which are not readily realisable" and failing to issue to compliant investment advertisement to its clients.
The adverts, says the PIA, did not include risk warnings as required under PIA rules.
PIA spokesman Peter Bibby said: "Firms should ensure that they vet thoroughly any investment arrangement, which they are considering for clients, or recommending to clients.
Particular care should be taken with unfamiliar or unusual schemes. Where firms are approving the material that goes out to their clients they must remember that they are responsible for satisfying themselves that there are good grounds for believing that the material is fair, clear and not misleading.
The PIA will take a dim view where firms have recommended arrangements to clients without carrying out adequate due dilligence."
H&A spokesman Alex Houghton said: "Yes I broke the rules on advertising a particular situation. No clients will have lost cash at all in the situation in question but this was totally ignored because it was not thought to be of importance by the PIA."
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