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FSA bans dealers from insurance

Three car dealers barred by the Financial Services Authority from selling motor-related insurance products will find it difficult to be reinstated to the list.

They are Ascot Cars (Hants) Ltd, Hampshire; Baycover Performance Cars and Motorcycles Ltd, Lowestoft, Suffolk; and Daniel Weir, trading as Kennedy Cars, Baillieston, Glasgow.

They were among the first group of nine businesses to be barred because they had failed to supply information on a compulsory retail mediation activities return (RMAR). The group included firms selling mortgages and insurance policies.

The returns are required under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which is designed to fight crime and improve protection for consumers buying financial services.

“We give businesses every chance to complete these returns, and allow a number of weeks after the deadline,” says Robin Gordon-Walker, spokesman for the FSA. “Firms are barred only if they fail to respond to several requests from us. To regain approval, they would need to demonstrate to the FSA after a year or two that management or other changes had altered the business enough.”

Gordon-Walker says the FSA will check up on barred firms. If they continue to sell products, they risk being reported by rivals in their area or by consumers. The FSA also obtains information from other agencies.

“We’ve been impressed by the way the vast majority of motor dealers have met the requirements of the Act,” he says. “Those who don’t or can’t, and who continue to trade when barred, will be reported to the police if we become aware of their activities. They face unlimited fines and a possible prison sentence.”

Jonathan Phelan, head of FSA enforcement, adds: “Regulatory reporting is essential to ensure fair and efficient markets.”

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