FSA bans seriously ill director

FSA bans seriously ill director


The FSA has prohibited a seriously ill director of an insurance broker for failing to control the business of the firm adequately.  

The order bans Graham Darby, Director of insurance broker Ambrose Darby, from performing significant influence functions at any authorised financial firm.

Mr Darby, who was diagnosed in July 2008 with a severe medical condition, was accused by the regulator of not conducting client money reconciliations as required. He apparently failed to have a full understanding of the firm’s responsibilities regarding the handling of client money.

The FSA also petitioned for the winding up of Ambrose Darby on the basis that Darby, as a result of his illness, was not able to resolve the client money issues at the firm and wind up the company himself in an orderly fashion and there was no other officer of the firm who was able to do this. 

The winding up order was granted on 10 March 2009, making it is the first time the FSA has exercised its insolvency powers under Section 367 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in relation to a regulated small retail firm.

The FSA found that at one time, the firm owed insurance providers £83,814.71 and was owed £61,961 from customers, some of which had been outstanding for more than 90 days.

The FSA also confirmed that due to Mr Darby’s medical condition and the absence of structured systems and controls the firm lacked adequate resources from both a financial and personnel point of view. Following the diagnosis of his illness he did not seek assistance to deal with his business affairs.


Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement, said: “The FSA is sympathetic with regard to Darby’s medical condition, but the consequence nonetheless was that it was unclear both to customers and providers who was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the firm while he was absent. This was unacceptable.”


Ambrose Darby is currently in liquidation and is no longer authorised to conduct regulated business.

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