On September 1, 2016, the FCA issued a final notice banning Ms. Elizabeth Anne Parry from the UK financial services industry. The actions of Ms. Parry which gave rise to this decision concern alleged breaches of FCA Handbook provisions implemented on December 31, 2012 following the Retail Distribution Review. The RDR was a wide-ranging review of the retail investment market and the resulting proposals were intended to ensure that financial advice is given only by appropriately qualified advisers. The Training and Competence section of the FCA Handbook was subsequently amended to raise the required benchmark qualification level for all retail investment advisers and introduced an overarching standard for continuing professional development. All individual investment advisers were required to reach the QFC Level 4 or equivalent and hold a Statement of Professional Standing. The FCA concluded that on separate occasions between January 29, 2013 and September 3, 2015, Ms. Parry made misleading statements and provided falsified documentation with the intention of misleading the FCA to believe that she had attained the appropriate qualifications from her professional body to provide investment advice to retailers.
The FCA concluded that Ms. Parry’s actions amounted to a failure to act with integrity and were therefore in contravention of Statement of Principle 1 of the FCA’s Statements of Principle. Furthermore, the FCA concluded that Ms. Parry posed a risk to consumers and the integrity of the financial system. In addition to banning Ms. Parry from the financial services industry, the FCA imposed a fine of £109,400. In imposing the financial penalty, the FCA had regard to the need for credible deterrence, the nature, seriousness and impact of the breach and the aggravating factors relating to the breach.
The final notice is available at: https://www.fca.org.uk/sites/default/files/elizabeth-anne-parry.pdf.