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FCA prohibits IFA & mortgage adviser for fitness & propriety failings

October 4, 2021

What is happening?

In September 2021, the FCA prohibited financial adviser Anthony George from performing any regulated activity in the financial services industry on the grounds that he is not a fit and proper person, as his conduct is considered to demonstrate a lack of honesty and integrity. Anthony George had been the director, owner and sole approved person of 4Life Financial Planning Limited, a financial adviser and mortgage intermediary based in London.

What do you need to do?

The FCA found that between 14 January 2015 and 15 May 2019, Anthony George deliberately submitted false information to HMRC by understating the income in his self-assessment tax returns over a five-year period. He further demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity when he concealed this action from the FCA, providing it with information that he knew to be false during a compelled interview.

Anthony George did not inform the accountancy firms which prepared and submitted his tax returns that he had additional income other than that received from 4Life, namely his takings from two cash-in-hand businesses – a hair salon and a DJ business – as well as rental income which he received from letting out a room in his house. He also appointed a separate accountancy firm to prepare an alternative version of his tax returns, which included all of his sources of income for the tax years 2013/2014 to 2015/2016.

He submitted the lower income tax returns to HMRC (paying lower income tax accordingly) and used the higher income tax returns as the basis of a personal mortgage application. His total income as stated in his mortgage application was some £367,757 greater than the income he had declared to HMRC over the same three-year period. He also used the income figures from the lower income tax returns to claim working tax credits.

How can we help you?

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you with your fitness and properness assessments or other SM&CR arrangements, or with any other regulatory compliance issues, our expert team is here to help. Contact us today on 0207 436 0630 – or email info@thistleinitiatives.co.uk.