The FSA has fined and banned a Bolton-based mortgage and insurance broker after discovering he had no relevant financial qualifications or experience.
Riaz Ahmad has been fined £5,000 and forbidden from working in regulated financial services for acting without competence and capability at Finance.com.
In an interview with the regulator Ahmad admitted he had no relevant qualifications or financial advisory experience, despite holding managerial roles as training and competency supervisor and complaints officer at Finance.com.
Ahmad's failings, including a lapses in compliance and risk management, were initially picked up by the FSA during a treating customers fairly (TCF) assessment when the regulator found he was unable to demonstrate the level of competence needed to be an approved person.
Without qualifications or experience the FSA concluded Ahmed could not understand the responsibilities associated with running a regulated mortgage business, putting customers at risk of receiving unsuitable mortgage advice.
It also found mortgage applications had been submitted to lenders containing inaccurate and misleading information.
Margaret Cole, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA says: "Ahmad failed to meet the minimum standards we require of an approved person; because of this we have concluded that he is not fit and proper to run a regulated firm.
"This action confirms our ongoing commitment to ensuring that customers are treated fairly. When firms fall short of these requirements, we will not hesitate to take action and the worst offenders will be punished severely."
Had it not been for Ahmad's financial hardship, the FSA would have sought a fine of £17,000.
As Ahmad is the sole director and only approved person at Finance.com, his ban means the firm is unable to continue trading.
Finance.com and Ahmad became authorised and regulated by the FSA in August 2005.
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