Director banned by FSA for part in £2m insurance scam

7 January 2011

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has banned and fined a company director for his role in a £2 million insurance fraud.

Barry Williams received a fine of £25,000 and a life time ban preventing him from working in the financial services sector for deliberately ignoring signs of fraud when he worked as a ‘sleeping director’ at Surety Guarantee Consultants (SGC), the regulator explained.

The firm signed surety bonds on behalf of its clients which were over agreed limits and subsequently exposed these businesses to greater liabilities than originally agreed.

Mr Williams was also believed to have lied to the insurance firms to conceal details of the scam, the FSA said.

Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "In believing that he could be a 'sleeping director' without incurring any responsibility, Williams did not take his accountability as an approved person seriously.

“He recklessly abused the trust and confidence placed in him by leading London market insurers and by doing so enabled secret profits to be made from the fraud by his colleagues.”

The Upper Tribunal at the Tax and Chancery Chamber agreed to reduce the original penalty by half due to the consultant’s “personal circumstances”.

By Jim Ottewill

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