FSA Fined A2O Directors Over Compliance Failings

The Financial Services Authority has fined a pair of ex-directors of Alpha 2 Omega (A2O) for widespread compliance failures that saw them fail in their duty of care to their customers. Compliance Director Andrew Ruff was fined £28,000 while Managing Director Richard Lindley received a £14,000 fine. Both have also received bans for the compliance failures, which the FSA said led to the risk of consumers receiving unsuitable investment advice. The FSA had initially identified problems with the company after reviewing client files back in 2009. a subsequent review found widespread compliance failures at the company, particularly in relation to high-risk investments like Ucis. The FSA barred A2O advisers from recommending five funds as a result: the Arch Cru funds, the Guildhall Absolute Return Fund, Curzon Capital Protected Profit Lock In Deposit Account, Vinum Bordeaux First Growth Plus Wine fund and the Barclays Jade Elixir deposit account. However the FSA later found that the company failed to adhere to these guidelines and stopped making the necessary improvements to its compliance systems, leading to the fines.
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