The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has banned the three directors of Simply Trading Group (STG), Stephen Coles, Luke Ryan and Michael Yamoah, from senior management positions for falling short of FSA standards.
The firm was a small private client advisory stockbroker in London and Hampshire which specialised in telephone sales of securities traded on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, as well as higher risk securities traded on the AIM and PLUS markets through two appointed representatives.
The FSA's investigation found that Coles, Ryan and Yamoah:
- relied too heavily on external compliance consultants for advice on how to run their business;
- failed to make sure that STG met regulatory requirements, including capital resource requirements and implementing adequate systems and controls; and
- failed to monitor adequately their two appointed representatives, creating a serious risk that customers may have received unsuitable investment advice. This included a failure to ensure call monitoring equipment was in place at one of the appointed representatives.
Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, says: "Senior management of firms are responsible for the standards and conduct of the businesses they run.
"We believe that Coles, Ryan and Yamoah would pose a serious risk to consumers and to confidence in the financial system if they were to act as senior managers in an authorised firm. For this reason, they have been prohibited from carrying out any senior management roles in the future."
The FSA would have imposed a fine of £17,000 on each of the directors had they not provided verifiable evidence of serious financial hardship.
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