Sex Offenders Fail ‘Fit and Proper’ Test to Work in U.K. Finance

The U.K. markets regulator banned three men from the financial industry after they were convicted of crimes -- the first time the agency has prohibited an individual from working in finance for a sexual offense.

The Financial Conduct Authority said the three men, who were all convicted in 2018 and added to the sex offenders list, couldn’t be considered “fit and proper” to work in any regulated firm.

“The FCA expects high standards of character, probity and fitness and properness from those who operate in the financial services industry and will take action to ensure these standards are maintained,” said Mark Steward, executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight.

The move highlights the power of the regulator to ban individuals on the basis of “non-financial” conduct. The FCA has focused on workplace culture in recent years as a “root cause” of financial wrongdoing and told lawmakers it considers that tolerance of sexual harassment can drive a poor culture.

The men banned Thursday had all been convicted of a range of sex crimes.

Russell Jameson, a financial adviser, pleaded guilty to making and distributing indecent images of children and was jailed for five years. Mark Horsey, the sole shareholder of an investment firm, was convicted by a jury of voyeurism after recording someone having a shower without their consent and was given a suspended sentence. Frank Cochran, a director of a firm that advised on pensions and mortgages, was convicted of a sexual assault and is serving a seven-year sentence.

The FCA said all three had the right to appeal the decision at a tribunal but chose not to do so.

In 2014, the regulator banned a former managing director at BlackRock after he cheated on his railway ticket fare to pay less for his commute.

That same year, a former BGC Partners Inc. executive managing director was banned for acting without integrity because of his involvement in hiring away brokers from competitor Tullett Prebon Plc.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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