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Release Date: 30th January 2014

To access the original FCA document, click here.


Ewan King, a former retail investment adviser, has been fined £19,900 and banned from any regulated activity by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This punitive action came after it was revealed that King had fabricated Statements of Professional Standing, documents necessary to certify that an adviser meets the qualifications mandated by the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). The RDR was implemented to elevate professional standards within the investment advice sector. King’s deceit marks him as the first adviser to be banned by the FCA for such an offence.

The FCA has judged King unfit for practice, citing a lack of honesty and integrity, and deeming him a risk to consumers and the broader financial system. According to Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime, while many advisers have adhered to the heightened standards, King fell dramatically short by failing to achieve the required qualifications and subsequently acting dishonestly by continuing to advise clients.

King was an appointed representative under a principal firm, which believed he was duly qualified based on a Statement of Professional Standing issued by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). However, upon scrutiny, it was discovered that King had not only failed the necessary exams but had also not applied for or received a Statement from the CII, contrary to what he claimed. This misconduct led to the termination of his contract once he admitted to his deception.

The FCA has not found any wrongdoing on the part of King’s former principal firm. In settling early in the FCA’s investigation, King received a 30% reduction on his fine, which otherwise would have been set at £25,734.

The case serves as a stark reminder to other firms and advisers of the critical importance of honesty and adherence to regulatory qualifications. It underscores the FCA’s commitment to upholding high standards within the financial services industry, ensuring that advisers are properly qualified to maintain consumer trust and system integrity. For firms, this incident highlights the need to rigorously verify the credentials of their representatives to prevent similar breaches and protect their operations from associated risks.

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