1959: No Name on the Bullet – Arnold
The FSA recently fined and banned a commercial insurance broker who used clients’ insurance premiums to fund his business. The Lancashire based adviser, Stephen Goodwin, was fined £168,000 and had to replace the funds that he has misappropriated. This is the largest ever individual fine that the FSA has handed out. The total fine amounting to £471,846. Between 2008 and 2012 the firm used over £300,000 of money that should have been paid to insurers for their own purposes. One client attempted to claim against the insurance that they believed was in place, only to discover that it was not. It appears that this was a clear case of fraud. To my mind the FSA were right to ban and fine him.
The name of the culprit did remind me of another Goodwin, Sir Fred. Who made a mockery of the UK banking system by buying ABN AMRO without proper due diligence (as far as can be gathered) at a point when the financial crisis made it apparent to almost anyone that such a purchase would be unwise. This cost shareholders and the British public billions, and of course the legacy still rumbles on. The regulator even admitted that they could have done better. The fine for this Mr Goodwin….. well a pay off that most people would class as a lottery win. Whilst Fred may not have misappropriated funds in the same way, frankly the issue is really one of corporate governance and response to financial pressures. I find it very hard to disagree with many of those within the financial adviser community that believe that they receive far harsher treatment than those that really create a very big mess.
The story about Stephen Goodwin is another opportunity for me to remind you that we do not handle client money. All payments to us are for our fees. If and when we advise investments of any description the payment is made to that organisation. This is something that I believe is very important for the security of both our clients and our business.
We are a boutique firm of financial planners. We create financial plans designed to achieve a desired lifestyle. We will craft and implement your plan that will provide you with the greatest chance of accomplishing your unique goals based upon the values that you hold. Financial products are little more than the tools to achieve your required results
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