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Release Date: 24th October 2013

To access the original FCA document, click here.


Porta Verde Financial Services Limited (Porta Verde) has been fined £25,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for serious regulatory breaches in the sales practices of its appointed representatives (ARs). Between October 2010 and June 2012, two ARs of Porta Verde mis-sold insurance products, primarily targeting elderly and vulnerable customers using high-pressure sales tactics and misleading information. These products included insurance for satellite TV equipment and plumbing and drainage repairs.

The FCA highlighted incidents where sales agents from the ARs employed deceptive practices to secure sales. In one case, a sales agent misled a customer’s carer to gain authorization to process payments. In another instance, a customer was confused into thinking he was speaking to his satellite TV provider about subscription fees, only to be manipulated into purchasing unrelated cover.

The misconduct of Porta Verde’s ARs violated several of the FCA’s Principles for Businesses, notably:

The FCA’s investigation uncovered particularly egregious examples of misconduct, including processing unauthorised payments and ignoring customers’ stated financial constraints and explicit instructions. Such actions not only exploited the trust of vulnerable customers but also contravened fundamental regulatory standards aimed at protecting consumers.

Despite the FCA initially setting a much higher potential fine of £353,800, Porta Verde was ultimately fined £25,000, reflecting the firm’s total remaining financial resources after evidence of financial hardship was considered. This amount was also influenced by Porta Verde’s decision to settle at an early stage of the investigation, which qualified them for a 30% reduction in the fine. Porta Verde is now entering voluntary liquidation.

This case serves as a critical reminder to other firms of the importance of supervising their appointed representatives adequately. It highlights the need for firms to ensure that their ARs operate in compliance with regulatory standards, particularly in terms of fair treatment of customers and transparent communication. The FCA has made it clear that it will take stringent action against firms that fail to uphold these principles, prioritising consumer protection and the integrity of the financial services industry.

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