Well, yes, but is this entirely relevant?

That crooks don;t sell financial advice seems fair enough. But what type of crook?

In what is believed to be the first time it has exercised its powers in cases of this kind, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) barred Frank Cochran, Russell David Jameson and Mark Horsey after they failed its “fit and proper” test for regulated professionals.

The three were convicted in 2018 of unrelated sex offences committed while they were working in the financial sector.

Cochran, who once gave financial advice to actors, musicians and athletes, was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of offences including sexual assault, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour.

The disgraced financier, who used to hire corporate seats at the British Grand Prix and the Badminton Horse Trials once partnered his firm, Celebrity Financial Planning, with Wolverhampton Wanderers football club.

Mark Steward, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement, said: “The FCA expects high standards of character, probity and fitness and properness from those who operate in the financial services industry and will take action to ensure these standards are maintained.”

Jameson, a financial adviser, was banned after being convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for criminal offences relating to the making, possession and distribution of indecent images of children, which the FCA said included “films and images of the utmost severity”.

Horsey, who ran his own firm, was convicted of voyeurism for surreptitiously observing his tenant having a shower and making video recordings.

What is the relevance of kiddie fiddling to being able to recommend shares?

16 thoughts on “Well, yes, but is this entirely relevant?”

  1. Looking at the FCA website their board and various committees appear to be well stocked with females, significantly less so with coloured faces and nary a transgender to be seen.

    I predict significantly bigger problems for the FCA in these areas than in having to deal with 3 unwelcome pervs.

  2. “What is the relevance of kiddie fiddling to being able to recommend shares?”

    Well, none.

    While the FCA is supposed to deal with fraudsters and charlatans, its most important job is creating the illusion of dealing with fraudsters and charlatans. Many people won’t stop and ask that question, they’ll just see the FCA dealing with a wrong ‘un. They’ll think the FCA is finding lots of wrong ‘uns. In reality, they’re always going to hit these because they’re an easy win.

  3. “The FCA expects high standards of character, probity and fitness and properness from those who operate in the financial services industry and will take action to ensure these standards are maintained.”

    Thou Shalt Not Break The 11th Commandment.

  4. Given that the FCA has repeatedly shown itself incapable of doing its job, they need to victimise a few people to show that they are actually doing something

  5. @dearieme

    “Properness” has been around since at least the 17th century. This actually might be a good case when a distinction is worth drawing – we can all agree these men didn’t do well on “propriety” but does that affect their “properness” to work as regulated professionals? Which shouldn’t be operated as a punishment system but might be rather more about the safety of clients and (perhaps this was operational here) the reputation of the profession.

    If you think it’s a good idea to effectively ban offenders from every profession, you’re not doing great work for rehabilitation. And many non-professional jobs have more direct contact with the general public (though usually not in the same kind of position of trust) so it isn’t obvious to me the public benefit from displacing offenders in this way. But history of coercion isn’t a good trait in a financial adviser, so I can see that one. Voyeur who spied on his own tenant sounds like the kind of chap quite capable of abusing the trust of his own clients.

    Since it’s not a job requiring contact with kids, and there’s no evidence in that extract of him manipulating or abusing anyone, the guy who watched nasties on his PC has arguably been dealt with harshly – does the FCA ever allow people to return to work in this kind of case but only under certain conditions? Provided he wasn’t allowed to deal with under-18s (no child stars etc) nor permitted to visit clients in their homes, would that satisfy client safety concerns? Or does the fact you need such conditions imposed at all simply prove you’re not “fit and proper”?

  6. Given that the FCA has repeatedly shown itself incapable of doing its job, they need to victimise a few people to show that they are actually doing something

    see also: the ICAEW

  7. Nice to see the FCA keeping up their standards. However, the police forces don’t do that. When a constable is convicted of minor sex crimes similar to the ones in the story, they don’t get sacked or barred from the police force. Unless they’ve had an affair they don’t usually get sacked. For some reason having an affair or sexual touching a colleague is worse than sexually assaulting a member of the public.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    It is so that all those who have not been caught can go on screwing everyone in sight.

    After all, they can say “trust me babe, I must be a good person – see? I still have my accreditation. I’ll bathe you daughter for you”

  9. @SBML

    You got any evidence for that? These probably aren’t best described as “minor” sex crimes – two got imprisoned for years and the voyeur got a nine month suspended sentence. Difficult to imagine any police officer being allowed to stay on their force in such circumstances!

    I tried looking for any examples which support your statement but the best I can find is several cases where officers were suspended (or for cases without a prison sentence, sometimes just put on restricted duties) until a misconduct hearing took place. Lots of victims were upset that the hearings often took months due to a backlog of cases even when the result was never in doubt, but that’s not the same thing as them being allowed to stay on the force permanently. If you can find a single example of a UK police officer imprisoned for sex offences but whose misconduct hearing allowed them to return to the force I would be surprised. In contrast there’s a full-on Guardian sob story (you can count the boxes being ticked as you read the article!) over a high-ranking officer kicked out due to a video her sister (who wanted those responsible for the nasty to be caught and punished) sent her on WhatsApp. That case resulted in community service only but still got her sacked https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/13/police-chief-robyn-williams-sacked-over-child-sexual-abuse-video-despite-support

    Re affairs with other police. What seems to get officers into trouble is if they get caught messing around while on-duty, or if they lie to senior officers when questioned about it: see eg https://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/news/crime/top-beds-police-officers-fall-grace-after-lying-about-affair-junior-colleague-2991823 where there might have been a serious professionalism issue in it being between a high-ranking man and one of his subordinates, but as no coercion was alleged, he would have got away with just a talking-to except he then lied unnecessarily to cover his tracks. There are some lines of work where just having an affair with someone you have the position of power over can get you sacked so the police seem comparatively lenient on that front. That “not technically a murderer” police officer from Dorset who recently got convicted of manslaughter was a known womaniser with a string of affairs inside his department that everyone apparently knew about. Again would be surprised if you can find cases where an affair with another officer was sufficient for a sacking. Affairs with vulnerable members of the public (victims you meet through work etc) seem to be a common cause of misconduct sackings but that’s sokewhat different.

  10. “controlling and coercive behaviour” seems undesirable in a man to whom one might entrust considerable sums of money.

    The kiddie-fiddler ought on balance be allowed to continue to practice, as long as he isn’t advising children.

  11. @AndrewM

    I think kiddyfiddlywatcher is probably worth distinguishing from kiddyfiddler per se. If someone actually got physical with a kid, I’m not sure “but I only am attracted to children, you can trust me when I’m let loose with adults” is terribly reassuring for letting them do client consultations. Agree re coercion.

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