It was a curious tale of insurance, gemstones and the FSA. David King, the insurance entrepreneur who was banned from the City for life this week, based his insurance businesses on a claimed $63m stash of rubies, sapphires and corporate bonds in a New Orleans vault.

He also relied on land in Costa Rica to support CIC Costa Rica and CIC Greece, which the FSA found this week were writing business in the UK without authorisation.

Unfortunately for King, the FSA was unable to trace the valuer, whom King claimed had professionally valued the gems.

Even more strangely, the regulator found that King had never even seen the gems.

You couldn’t make it up.