FCA places restrictions on 2 advisory firms

FCA has imposed restrictions on Nexus Independent Financial Advisers Limited and Nexus Investment Managers  Limited that prevent the firms from carrying out any regulated activities and restrict access to their assets.  FCA has taken this action as a result of concerns about use of certain funds that appear to have been withdrawn by the sole director of both firms. FCA is concerned the individual may have taken over £2m in unauthorised or inappropriate withdrawals from multiple clients over a period of at least 15 months, and that in the days before issue of the notice, £50,000 had been transferred from the firms to the individual’s personal bank account. FCA is also aware the individual is not in fact performing any ongoing functions, meaning that there is no individual capable of making significant decisions and no oversight of staff.

This means that the firms cannot on-board any new customers and cannot carry on activities for existing customers without FCA’s consent. FCA gave the firms 72 hours to write to all clients and all platforms on which clients have funds placed, and then provide FCA with a list of everyone who they notified and confirmation that all relevant parties have been notified.

Additionally all information, including client lists, communications with clients and financial records must be secured and retained in a place to be notified to FCA within 24 hours of receipt of the notice, and in such a form that they could be provided promptly to FCA. The firms also must not take any action that in any way would diminish their assets without FCA’s express consent (with agreed exceptions). This includes not paying salaries unless pre-approved by FCA.

The restrictions were imposed on 25 January, and the firms were placed into administration the following day.

Emma Radmore