View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a633604
Unholy union: FSA bans reverend and censures credit union
The FSA has censured The Pentecostal Credit Union for channelling £1.2 million of its members' loans into a church organisation.
The (FSA) has publicly censured The Pentecostal Credit Union (TPCU) and banned a reverend for issuing £1.2 million of loans under its members’ names but channelling the money to a church organisation.
The regulator said this channelling was in ‘direct contravention’ of credit union rules, which state only individual members could borrow and not organisations.
As a result, the director Reverend Carmel Jones has been banned from the industry.
Balham-based TPCU has 1,600 members and previously made regular loans to the Church Organisation for property purchases and repairs, prior to coming under FSA regulation in 2002.
However, the FSA warned TPCU to stop this practice with immediate effect after an assessment in 2003, because the loans may not have been legally enforceable.
In 2006, Jones wrote to the FSA and proposed to reinstate the loan system, but with either insurance indemnity for its members, or the creation of a corporate entity, of which members would be shareholders.
Despite the FSA warning Jones that both of these ideas were ‘unlawful’, TPCU made 20 loans to the Church Organisation between May 2007 and July 2011.
The FSA said TPCU’s failings ‘exposed its members to an excessive risk of financial loss,’ and that Jones approved 14 of the loans in question, and signed the cheques for the loan money in 12 of these cases.
The relationship between TPCU and the Church Organisation then broke down at the end of 2009 and the loan repayments stopped, leaving an estimated £670,000 outstanding.
Tracey McDermott, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: ‘This is a disgraceful case of a credit union putting the interests of another organisation before those of its members. The FSA will not tolerate this conduct in the industry.
‘Credit unions are vital institutions for the communities they serve, and the members of The Pentecostal Credit Union deserved better.’
News sponsored by:
Making the most out of Europe's potential means seeing things differently. Learn more about how BlackRock's focused approach to investing in Europe helps investors unlock the continent's vast potential.
In this guide to investment trusts, produced in association with Aberdeen Asset Management, we spoke to many of the leading experts in the field to find out more.
More about this:
More from us
- FSA writes to fund groups over conflicts of interest
- FSA blocks mortgage adviser over unregulated advice
- Ex-Towergate IFA banned by FSA after being jailed for fraud
Tools from Citywire Money
From the Forums+ Start a new discussion
Weekly email from The Lolly
Get simple, easy ways to make more from your money. Just enter your email address below
An error occured while subscribing your email. Please try again later.
Thank you for registering for your weekly newsletter from The Lolly.
Keep an eye out for us in your inbox, and please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list so we don't get junked.