Tribunal upholds FCA ban and significant fine on insurance broker

The Upper Tribunal (Tribunal) has upheld the decision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ban Andrew Jeffery, director of Jeffery Flanders (Consulting) Limited, and fine him £150,000 – one of the largest fines imposed on a broker for insurance fraud.

The judgment was issued by the Tribunal on Thursday 27th June 2012 after a 16 day hearing in December 2012 and January 2013. It remains open to Jeffery to appeal this judgment.

The Tribunal found that Jeffery had retained clients’ premiums without passing the premiums on to the underwriter. This meant that some clients did not get the household and motor cover they had paid for and others were exposed to that risk.  The Tribunal commented that Jeffery “had a reckless disregard for the interests of his clients, which came a very poor second to his own”. Jeffery also arranged for letters, purporting to come from his clients, to be sent to insurance companies in order to deceive them. His actions meant underwriters dealing with Jeffery Flanders were contractually obliged to meet claims, even though they had never received the premium from Jeffery.

The Tribunal said, “In our view Mr Jeffery displayed a wholly unacceptable lack of integrity in his dealings with the clients whose cases we have considered, and with other professionals in the insurance market.  Far from demonstrating a high standard of conduct, his conduct was of the basest standard.”

The Tribunal judgment also described how Jeffery sought to evade the FCA’s requirements for information, saying of Jeffery’s responses, “It would be difficult, we think, to find more stark an example of disingenuousness and obstruction.”

Jeffery Flanders has not been authorised by the FCA since having its permission cancelled on 20 January 2010.

Notes to Editors

  1. Jeffery had been permitted by the Tribunal to refer the FCA’s Decision Notice out of time; earlier publicity took place in August 2010 after the issue of the original Final Notice (which was subsequently taken down from the FCA’s website).
  2. The Tribunal’s judgment can be found online.
  3. On the 1 April 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  4. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  5. Find out more information about the FCA, as well as how it is different to the PRA.