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Release Date: 31st March 2014

To access the original FCA document, click here.


David Lloyd Wren, formerly a director and CEO at Astbury Wren & Company Limited (now in liquidation), has been fined £70,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and banned from performing any regulated functions. This action was taken due to Mr. Wren’s failure to act with integrity during his tenure, which the FCA determined posed a serious risk to consumers and undermined confidence in the financial system.

The penalty originally set at £100,000 was reduced by 30% because Mr. Wren agreed to settle early in the investigation. The key issues identified involved Mr. Wren deliberately causing Astbury Wren to misuse insurance premiums paid by clients. Specifically, £630,909 more than what was entitled as commission was transferred to the firm’s office account to cover business expenses and reduce the company’s overdraft, actions Mr. Wren had approved. This misuse of funds was intended to keep the business afloat but was conducted in a manner that breached the required standards of conduct.

Astbury Wren ceased trading on February 20, 2012, after entering administration, and later moved to creditors’ voluntary liquidation in February 2013. At the time of administration, the firm owed £1,408,890 in net outstanding insurance premiums, which greatly impacted insurers and posed risks of cancellation for some policyholders.

This case underscores the importance for directors and executives in the financial services sector to adhere strictly to regulatory standards, particularly concerning the management of client funds. The FCA’s decisive action here serves as a stern warning that breaches of integrity and improper financial conduct will lead to significant sanctions, including substantial financial penalties and prohibitions from holding significant influence functions within the industry. Other firms are reminded of the necessity of implementing robust controls and oversight mechanisms to prevent similar failings.

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