Financial adviser banned and fined by FCA for ‘lacking honesty and integrity’

A financial adviser has been banned and fined £68,300 by the FCA for “lacking honesty and integrity”.

The regulator has banned Simon Varley from working in financial services for knowingly performing a controlled function without approval.

Varley provided investment advice to retail customers when he knew he was not qualified or approved to do so, the FCA said.

The regulator also found that Varley failed to act with integrity as a director (CF1) and Compliance Oversight (CF10) controlled function holder, and is therefore “not a fit and proper person”.

Varley worked at Dickinsons Financial Management Limited, a small financial advisory firm where he held a customer adviser function (CF30) until January 2013.

He was found to have “repeatedly misled his fellow directors”, the FCA stated, by providing false information in board meetings about sitting and passing the relevant exams required for him to continue advising, as well as falsely claiming that he had applied to the FCA for approval as a CF30 but that the FCA had not updated the Financial Services Register. However, no application was ever made.

FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, Mark Steward, said: “Mr Varley deliberately lied about his position and his misconduct continued for a number of years, potentially creating a risk of loss to customers.

“He continued to abuse his position of trust as a director, proving that he lacks both honesty and integrity and poses a serious risk to consumers and to confidence in the financial system. Today’s ban should act as a deterrent to other senior individuals who abuse a position of trust.”

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