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Tribunal rejects adviser's plea to overturn ban

Tribunal rejects adviser's plea to overturn ban

The Upper Tribunal has rejected a financial adviser’s appeal to revoke a Financial Services Authority (FSA) ban over his failure to treat customers fairly.

In 2006 the Financial Services Authority (FSA) published a final notice prohibiting Jonathan Townrow from performing any function related to regulated activities due to a history of serious regulatory failings that led to several of his clients suffering substantial losses.

Townrow was a sole principal of JM Townrow & Associates.

He also received payments from his professional negligence insurers and failed to pay redress to those clients, said the Tribunal.

In June 2011, Townrow applied to the FSA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee for revocation or variation of the prohibition order. The FSA responded that saying it would deny this as there was no evidence he was now ‘fit and proper’.

Townrow appealed the decision on the grounds he was not seeking approval to perform controlled functions, but deal in ‘functions in relation to a regulated activity carried on by an authorised person’

Judge Colin Bishopp said: ‘He [Townrow] has made no attempt to demonstrate that he is fit and proper; he merely argues that what he proposes to do will not present any danger to the public. The argument that the prohibition order should be revoked for that reason is hopeless.

‘It would be nonsensical, and plainly contrary to the purpose of Financial Services and Markets Act, to allow a person who has been prohibited for what were (in my view inevitably) condemned by the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal as very serious failings, to procure revocation of the resulting prohibition order merely because he claims that the activities in which he proposes to engage in future will present no danger to the public.'

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