FCA bans two Vanguard Wealth Management directors

From: RegTech Analyst

The Financial Conduct Authority has banned two Vanguard Wealth Management directors from performing regulated activity because of their roles in the submission of false and misleading information about customers’ high net worth status.

The regulator named Peter Howson and John Butterfield. They had both served as directors of the now-liquidated company Vanguard. They had submitted the information to self-invested personal pension (SIPP) provider James Hay, which had no knowledge of their actions.

The FCA alleged that Howson had dishonestly deceived James Hay about the high net worth status of six customers by submitting fabricated information, including fabricating figures for fictitious properties.

Moreover, it accused him of dishonestly submitting 27 high net worth declarations in 2014. These submission are said to have seen him make false claims to have seen evidence of the customers’ net worth.

Howson is also said to have lied relating to his own financial circumstances to the SIPP provider when submitting his own applications.

Butterfield was reported to have submitted 48 high net worth declarations between 2013 and 2014 in which he falsely claimed he had seen evidence of the customers’ net worth.

The result of these actions was that the umber of Vanguard customers who purchased Elysian Fuels PLC shares through their James Hay SIPPs rose, generating substantial fees and commissions for the two directors, according to the FCA.

“Both advisers knew, or should have known, that what they were doing lacked integrity and betrayed the high standards expected by the FCA,” said Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA. “They have no place in the financial services industry.”

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