Tuesday, 15 May 2018 11:26

SJP adviser fined £34k for false claims about qualifications

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A former St James’s Place trainee adviser has been fined and banned after he made false claims about CII qualifications and falsified documents.

Alexander Stuart was fined £34,000 after telling bosses at the firm that he was fully qualified to provide advice.

For two years, between 2014 and 2016 Mr Stuart wove a web of deceit, in which he told his employers and the CII that he had passed the R03, R04, R05 and R06 examinations.

In its Final Notice, the FCA says he failed the R05 examination, and had never sat the R03, R04 and the R06 tests.

On 3 December 2014 Mr Stuart claimed he had passed the R04 examination during a progress meeting.

Then, on 1 April 2015, he again misled his supervisor saying he had passed the R02 examination.

On 11 November 2015, Mr Stuart, during a telephone conversation with the CII, deliberately attempted to mislead them by stating that he had passed the R06 examination and that he had received a Learning Statement from the CII which did not contain all the examinations that he had passed.

In fact he had not even sat the test.

The FCA's report into the matter continued and said: “On 8 December 2015, Mr Stuart falsified a Learning Statement which purported to be a genuine statement that had been issued to him by the CII setting out the examinations he had passed.

“The falsified Learning Statement included information which showed that Mr Stuart had passed the R03, R04, R05 and R06 examinations, when in fact Mr Stuart had not passed any of those examinations, and that he had completed the CII’s Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.

“Also on 8 December 2015, Mr Stuart provided the false Learning Statement to SJP, and in doing so, Mr Stuart deliberately attempted to mislead SJP into believing that he had attained the Level 4 Qualification (i.e. the CII’s Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning) such that he was eligible for an SPS.”

In banning him, the FCA slammed Mr Stuart as “not a fit and proper person as he lacks honesty and integrity, and poses a serious risk to consumers and to confidence in the financial system.”

The regulator has “prohibited from performing any function in relation to any regulated activities carried on by an authorised or exempt person, or exempt professional firm.”

A spokesman for SJP told Financial Planning Today: “St James’s Place is committed to maintaining excellent professional standards and ensuring clients have access to the highest levels of knowledge and expertise.

“We take this responsibility very seriously and have stringent compliance procedures in place to address isolated incidents such as this.

“Action was taken to suspend Mr Stuart as soon as it became known that false statements and documents had been provided in relation to his qualifications.

“No financial detriment has been incurred by clients and he is no longer at the Partner Practice concerned.”

Mr Stuart has until 28 September to pay the fine.


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Last modified on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 16:32
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