Tribunal upholds FCA’s £450k sanction against Catalyst boss

iStock 000062514276 SmallThe Upper Tribunal has upheld a decision by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to fine Catalyst Investment Group’s chief executive, Timothy Roberts, £450,000 (€636,000) and ban him from the financial services industry.

The decision dates back to August 2013, when the FCA fined Roberts and imposed a full prohibition on him over misleading investors when promoting bonds issued by Luxembourg-based life settlement vehicle ARM Asset Backed Securities.

The FCA found that UK investors had invested £54 million in ARM bonds, despite not receiving regulatory approval by the Luxembourg financial regulator, the CSSF. The regulatory body had asked ARM to stop issuing bonds as it did not have the proper licence, but Catalyst continued to do so.

The FCA also wanted to ban and fine Catalyst director Andrew Wilkins £100,000, for his involvement in compliance and financial promotions issues at the firm. The Tribunal reduced the fine imposed against Wilkins to £50,000, but it sent the decision to ban him from senior roles within financial institutions back to the FCA.

However, the Tribunal found that contrary to the FCA’s decision, Roberts and Wilkins did take reasonable steps to keep Catalyst’s compliance officer, Alison Moran, informed of ARM’s licence position prior to December 24, 2009.

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