The Financial Conduct Authority has fined asset manager SEI Investments over £900,000 for failures relating to its handling of client money over a five-year period.
The group was fined a total of £900,200 after the regulator found it had failed to carry out a number of duties with client money.
This included failing to train employees with operational oversight and responsibility for client money, as well as failing to perform its internal reconciliations of client money on several occasions.
The FAC said if SEI had become insolvent, these failings could have led to complications and a delay in distribution and placed client money at risk.
The average daily balance of the client money accounts during the relevant period was approximately £84.3m.
Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "SEI has committed a serious breach by failing to comply with our client money rules for over five years.
"We have repeatedly emphasised the importance of ensuring that client money is adequately protected and we have taken a number of enforcement actions against firms of all sizes for breaches of our rules in recent years.
"Firms that hold client assets should ensure they continue to strengthen their management , oversight and controls in this area. We will continue to take action to ensure that procedures at firms meet our client asset requirements and action will be taken against firms that fall short."
Whilst the FCA considers the failings to be serious, there was no actual loss of client money in this instance. However, the rules are designed to be preventative. Had SEI suffered an insolvency event during this period, customers could have suffered loss due to SEI's non-compliance with the Client Money Rules.
SEI agreed to settle at an early stage and in doing so it qualified for a 30% discount. Without the settlement discount, the fine would have been £1,286,000.
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