FSA has imposed a financial penalty of £117,330 on Martin Edward Rigney and prohibited him from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity. As partner and sole adviser of an independent financial advisory firm, he failed to act with integrity, breaching Statement of Principle 1 when:
- he arranged a transaction in an Unregulated Collective Investment Scheme (UCIS) on behalf of a customer despite a requirement imposed on the firm not to arrange new UCIS business; and
- he arranged investments in UCIS without obtaining his customers’ signatures and without their knowledge and consent, thereby conducting discretionary portfolio management outside the scope of the firm’s permission.
He also breached Statement of Principle 2, the obligation of a firm to conduct its business with due skill, care and diligence, because:
- he could not prove that an exemption from the prohibition to promote UCIS applied in respect of his customers;
- he had not obtained and recorded enough information about his customers to determine the suitability of his advice nor assessed his customers’ attitude to risk, and neither had he researched alternative products or issued suitability letters when advising a switch to UCIS; and
- he encouraged customers to invest large proportions of their investment portfolios in UCIS, worsening the unsuitability of the advice.
(Source: Final Notice – Martin Edward Rigney)