FCA week in review October 2 – 6, 2023

A raft of enforcement fines and bans, including more relating to the BSPS, plus a policy statement on debt referral and a speech on AI regulation.


A fine of £6,470,600 has been imposed on ADM Investor Services International Limited (ADMISI) for inadequate AML systems and controls.

Concerns were first raised with the firm by the FCA in 2014 and it expected the firm, which has a high proportion of high-risk and politically-exposed clients, to make improvements. But during a visit in 2016, the FCA found “significant failings” remained.

ADMISI agreed to FCA requirements not to take on business from high-risk clients until suitable policies were introduced. Those requirements were lifted in January 2018.

The firm’s agreement to accept the FCA’s findings meant it qualified for a 30% discount on the settlement.

Simon Hughes of S&M Hughes Limited is the latest adviser to be banned from giving advice on pension transfers and optouts as a result of giving unsuitable advice to members of the British Steel Pensions Scheme (BSPS).

Some 232 of a total of 287 customers were advised to transfer out of their defined benefit schemes, and 188 of them were BSPS members. FCA guidance is based on starting from the assumption such transfers are not in the best interests of customers.

The FCA said that: “Mr Hughes did not have a reasonable understanding of the alternative options available to BSPS customers and gave undue weight to the customers’ stated desire to transfer their pension.”

Hughes’s customers have so far received £8.4m ($7.8m) in compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Restrictions on London Court Limited’s conduct of regulated activities have been imposed by the FCA over failings identified in the fim’s My Investment Hub platform. The regulator is concerened over the level of due diligence exercised.

Wellington Court Financial can no longer conduct regulated activity in the UK. The FCA says the firm missed its landing slot under the Temporray permissions Regime, and that it failed to apply for permissions in a timely manner.


A policy statement on the debt packager referral fee ban was published, reminding all debt packager firms that they must now be ready to comply with the ban. Details of the ban were published under PS23/5 on June 2, 2023.

Speeches and media

AI in financial services was the subject of a speech by Jessica Rusu, the FCA’s Chief Data, Information and Intelligence Officer, at the City and Financial Global AI Regulation Summit 2023.

She said the sector was at a “pivotal juncture” for approaching AI and a range of related issues, and that, “Digital infrastructure, resilience, consumer safety and data are vital to getting AI integration right”.

And she expressed the belief that benefits from the use of AI would only materialise through regulation.