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Former chief exec of stockbroker fined and banned by FCA

Wednesday 8th April 2015

Written by Conor Shilling

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned a former chief executive of a stockbroker from holding a position in the financial services industry and fined him £450,000.
 
Sam Kenny, the former chief executive of Gracechurch Investments - a stockbroking firm that is now dissolved – led the firm when it routinely mis-sold small-capitalised stocks through pressure, misrepresentation and unsuitable advice and used pressure selling techniques himself, the FCA says.
 
Mr Kenny also made the decision to withhold a non-compliant sales call recording that the FCA had requested, as well as deliberately causing Gracechurch’s lawyers to provide false dates of meetings and misleading the FCA about the handling of a conflict of interest the firm had with one of its clients. 
 
Mr Kenny referred to the Upper Tribunal the then Financial Services Authority’s (FSA/the Authority) 2012 decision to take enforcement action. The Upper Tribunal has recently struck out Mr Kenny’s reference, after Mr Kenny failed to comply with a direction of the Upper Tribunal that he provide a witness statement, enabling the FCA to issue its final notice, which reflects the FSA’s 2012 decision.
 
Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “As CEO of Gracechurch, Mr Kenny was involved in serious, repeated and at times deliberate misconduct. On a number of occasions this amounted to dishonesty. Mr Kenny’s behaviour impacted the customers of Gracechurch, who were pressured into buying risky stocks.
 
She said the treatment of Kenny sends a strong message to those who run financial services firms that they will be made to answer for misconduct and that the FCA will take attempts to cover up misconduct with misleading information particularly seriously. 
 
Between April 2008 and November 2009, Gracechurch advised approximately 340 clients to buy about £4 million of shares in small-capitalised companies, which were not listed on the main market. 
 





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Editorial Contact Details - Conor Shilling
conor.shilling@angelsmedia.co.uk
0845 672 6000
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