On January 28, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) banned the former chief executive of stockbroking firm Pacific Continental Securities UK Limited (PCS), Steven Griggs, and its former finance director, Charles Weston. They were also fined £80,000 ($114,500) and £95,000 ($136,000), respectively, for serious failures in the company that led to customers buying high-risk shares without suitable advice. The former CEO was banned from carrying out any significant influence functions at an FSA-authorized firm, and the former finance director was banned from carrying out any regulated activities.

PCS is now in liquidation. The FSA stated that if that had not been the case it would have been fined £2 million ($2.86 million). The FSA censured PCS for misleading customers and allowing its advisers to use inappropriate sales practices when giving advice on high-risk shares.

The FSA found that between April 1, 2005, and June 20, 2007, Griggs and Weston had acted without integrity and had failed to ensure that their customers were treated fairly or that the company was properly run. Particularly, PCS was using high-pressure sales tactics and was recommending shares to benefit PCS, not their customers. In addition, the FSA found that PCS research was not honest and realistic and that there were inadequate compliance monitoring and training arrangements at the company.  

www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/final/steven_griggs.pdf  

www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/final/charles_weston.pdf  

www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/final/pacific_continental.pdf