The FSA has slapped a £455,000 fine on Limited (LCUK) for failing to treat its customers fairly when selling payment protection insurance (PPI).

The regulator found that LCUK did not have in place appropriate systems and controls to minimise the risk of unsuitable sales.

Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement, said: "We have highlighted PPI as an FSA priority due to the potential level of risk to consumers.

" failed to make sure adequate processes were in place to ensure the suitability of its PPI recommend-ations and treat its customers fairly."

LCUK's failings exposed the inappropriate sale of 14,400 PPI policies to customers, according to the industry watchdog.

Chris Warren-Smith, a partner at law firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, said: "With this fine, the FSA has taken firm action in areas in which it has flagged concerns - TCF and PPI.

"This looks like a large fine when viewed in context. Nobody doubts there will be more enforcement activity to come on both fronts."

By agreeing to settle at an early stage of the FSA investigation, LCUK qualified for a 30% discount under the FSA's Executive Settlement Scheme .