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Release Date: 5th November 2014

To access the original FCA document, click here.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined three former senior executives of Swinton Group Limited a total of £928,000 for their roles in the mis-selling of insurance add-ons. This follows Swinton’s history of regulatory issues, including a £7.4 million fine in 2013 for aggressive sales tactics and a £770,000 fine in 2009 related to the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). The executives implicated are Peter Halpin, the former chief executive, Anthony Clare, the former finance director, and Nicholas Bowyer, the former marketing director. All three have also received bans from holding senior roles in the financial services industry.

Peter Halpin was fined £412,700 and banned from acting as a CEO in any FCA authorised firm due to his lack of competence in managing compliance issues related to the sales of monthly add-on products and ensuring fair treatment of customers. Anthony Clare received a fine of £208,600 and a ban from holding significant influence functions, attributed to his failures in overseeing compliance and risk management related to product development that adversely affected customers. Nicholas Bowyer was fined £306,700 and similarly banned for his role in developing and marketing the mis-sold add-on products, which prioritised Swinton’s profit over customer fairness.

These actions highlight a sales-focused culture at Swinton, driven by incentives that significantly increased the risk of mis-selling. The FCA identified that this culture was encouraged by the potential for substantial bonuses under a directors’ share scheme, which promised around £90 million if operating profits hit £110 million in 2011. The drive for profits heavily influenced the behaviour of the executives, undermining the fair treatment of customers.

Key Takeaways for Other Firms:

These points are crucial for maintaining the integrity of customer interactions and safeguarding the reputation of financial services firms within the regulatory framework established by the FCA.

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