A Northern Ireland insurance broker has become the first firm to suffer under the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) new money laundering powers.

Northern Ireland Insurance Brokers Ltd (NIIBL) is being investigated by the FSA and the Economic Crime Bureau of the Northern Ireland police service.

The FSA has stopped NIIBL from carrying out any form of regulated activity.

The FSA said the firm had "actively assisted" clients in using false addresses in their investment dealings.

It also alleged that the firm had handled client money and assets worth more than £1.2m without proper authorisation.

The FSA's money laundering rules came into effect on 1 December 2001.

The police said NIIBL's directors were expected to face criminal charges over £8m allegedly laundered through the company.