FCA publishes decision notice on SMF application

FCA has published a decision notice to Saranac Partners Limited. FCA has decided to refuse the application made by the firm for Thomas Kalaris to become its chief executive and hold the SMF1 and SMF3 functions. It considers it has reasonable grounds for considering that in interviews with it in relation to two different investigations Mr Kalaris was not open and cooperative and gave untrue and misleading evidence. As a result, it is not satisfied he is a fit and proper person to perform the functions. Mr Kalaris had worked for 18 years within various Barclays entities, including being the chief executive of its Wealth and Investment Management division for 7 years. He held the CF29 controlled function at Barclays Bank from 1 November 2007 to 1 May 2013.

Mr Kalaris had been closely involved in the negotiation of an advisory agreement with Qatar Holding LLC. Barclays had failed to mention fees payable under that, and another agreement, when publishing information about its capital raising in 2008. As a result of the investigations which followed into the capital raising, Mr Kalaris was interviewed by FCA, and FCA says he stated he did not believe he knew how the agreement had originated, when FCA had evidence that he was well aware of the genesis of the agreement and whether there was a connection between the agreement and the participation of the Qataris in the capital raising. Later, FCA also interviewed Mr Kalaris in relation to an investigation into the then COO of the wealth and investment management division, which focused on a report that had addressed the culture of the Barclays Wealth America branch. Mr Kalaris denied in the interview knowing of the existence of the report, when FCA had evidence suggesting that he did. So, on the basis of these two interviews, FCA concludes he had failed to be open and cooperative and had knowingly given untrue and misleading evidence. On that basis, he had not satisfied FCA that he would be fit and proper or that he fully understood FCA’s expectations of approved persons.

In response to the firm’s representations, FCA clarified that it had not determined that Mr Kalaris was not fit and proper, but that it was not satisfied that he is, and countered the firm’s arguments in relation to statements made in the relevant interviews.

The firm has referred the notice to the Tribunal.

Emma Radmore