On December 15, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed a financial industry ban on Jonathan Paul Burrows in light of Mr. Burrows’ repeated failures to purchase a valid ticket for his daily commute to London. In the course of questioning by the police, Mr. Burrows admitted that, on multiple occasions, he knowingly boarded a morning train at his local train station without purchasing a valid ticket; because of the station’s rural location, there were no ticket barriers or ticket inspectors. Accordingly, Mr. Burrows was able to “tap out” of London’s Cannon Street Station at only a fraction of the overall cost. It is estimated that Mr. Burrows failed to pay approximately £42,500 ($66,500) in fares.

Mr. Burrows had been engaged in customer-facing activities for an FCA-authorized investment firm, making him an “approved person” under the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). All approved persons must meet certain standards of fitness and propriety established by the FCA in order to retain their approved status. The criteria for assessing an approved person’s fitness and propriety include that person’s honesty and integrity. The FCA found that, by repeatedly and knowingly failing to purchase a valid ticket for his journey, Mr. Burrows “demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity” and that “his conduct has fallen short of the standard expected for someone in his position.” It is not believed that Mr. Burrows’ employer was aware of his behavior.  

The FCA therefore exercised its right under Section 56 of FSMA to issue an order prohibiting Mr. Burrows from performing any functions in relation to any regulated activities under FSMA, effectively barring him from any future role in the financial industry. The order took effect December 8. A copy of the order can be found here. A news report discussing the facts of the case can be found here.