Property company pleads guilty in FSA case

Property company pleads guilty in FSA case


Last week we reported that the FSA was challenging the property firm, Semperian PPP Investment Partners, over claims the company breached rules on reporting corporate takeovers.

Now the regulator has revealed that Semperian pleaded guilty to an offence under section 191(3) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, by acquiring an authorised firm before it had received the necessary approval of the FSA.  

Semperian notified the FSA in mid December 2008 that it proposed to acquire the authorised firm but failed to wait for FSA approval before completing the deal 3 weeks later.

At the

City of Westminster Magistrates Court

, the Deputy District Judge imposed a penalty of £1,000 and said that Semperian had taken a calculated risk that the FSA would not prosecute.

In determining the level of the penalty he took into account that the maximum fine that could be imposed, given the date of the offence, was £5,000. He also took into account the fact that Semperian had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and that there had been no adverse impact upon consumers.

Margaret Cole, director of the enforcement and financial crime division, said: “This is an example of a controller putting its commercial interests before its regulatory responsibilities and the FSA is taking a much tougher line with those that seek to avoid or ride roughshod over the change in control regime.

“This is a serious offence and the change in law means that future violations could result in an unlimited fine. Today’s result is a clear warning to other potential controllers that the FSA will prosecute change in control offences in appropriate cases.”

This is the second prosecution the FSA has brought for change in control offences. The first was Vijay Sharma who pleaded guilty in 9 September 2009 for failing to notify the FSA of his acquisition.


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