Stephen Allen banned for 'failing duties as a director'

The FSA has banned Stephen Allen, a director of insurance broker Fabien Risk Services, for failing in his duties as a director of a regulated firm.

Allen’s ban means he is prohibited from holding any management role in the UK financial services industry and any role that requires FSA approval.

The action follows an investigation by the FSA that also resulted in the banning in 2007 of Allen’s co-director Shane Garvey and Fabien office manager Lee Goddard.

In late 2005 when Fabien was placed in creditors’ voluntary liquidation, the firm had suffered £700,000 in losses, of which £470,000 was owed to insurers, brokers and underwriters.

An FSA investigation revealed that Garvey authorised the withdrawal of client funds and Goddard complied with instructions to use the money to keep Fabien trading without Allen’s knowledge. The FSA therefore found that Garvey and Goddard lacked integrity.

Allen accepted that his lack of knowledge of Fabien’s bank accounts was a neglect of his duties and that he had failed in his duty as a director. As a result, it was concluded that, although Allen did not lack honesty or integrity, he lacked the competence to run a regulated firm.

Margaret Cole, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA, said: “As a director there is an expectation that you are competent enough to look after client money; Allen did not fulfil this role as he failed to exercise closer scrutiny over Fabien’s accounting processes.

“We have clear rules about how a regulated firm should be run; Allen, Goddard, and Garvey failed to adhere to these rules and therefore showed themselves to be neither fit nor proper. Because of this, and the inherent risk they pose to consumers, we have taken tough action against all three: Garvey has been banned from working in the regulated financial services industry, Goddard from holding significant influence roles and Allen from any management role in the UK financial services industry and any role requiring FSA approval.”

Both Allen and Garvey held the Controlled Function 1 (director) position at Fabien; Goddard was not an approved person and his chief role was as accounts manager.

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