FCA has decided to refuse authorisation to Linda Carole Stuart t/a Rosemount Financial Enterprises and the firm challenged this decision. The matter was then considered by the Regulatory Decision Committee (RDC) and a Decision Notice was given to the firm confirming the refusal. A Final Notice (FN) has now been issued and published on FCA website: http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/final-notices/2015/linda-carole-stuart
The FN sets out the FCA reasons for refusal and will be of interest to any debt management firm who has applied for authorisation.
As part of our assessment of the firm, the FCA used file sampling to assess the outcomes for firm’s customers. The FCA found numerous failings by the firm, including significant problems with the advice being given to customers and numerous breaches of FCA rules.
The FN says the firm did not meet our Threshold Condition ‘appropriate resources’ and was not ‘ready, willing and organised’ to carry out regulated activities. Specifically it says the firm:
- was not compiling with CONC in relation to advice it gave, including not giving customers sufficiently clear information about the costs and consequences of entering into a particular debt solution to enable them to make an informed decision
- did not have record keeping that met SYSC requirements
- did not have adequate internal quality assurance, or systems and controls needed to meet FCA rules.
In addition the RDC said
- despite making some changes, the firm had been reactive and was not able to show that it could take the necessary steps to ensure ongoing compliance with FCA rules
- it did not accept the firm’s pledges to fix any concerns ‘post authorisation’
- its concerns were increased because CONC rules were based on OFT regime, had existed for a number of years and were not new
- Ms Stuart was not personally competent or did not have sufficient human resources to meet FCA rules.