Darren Colvin Cummings of Newtownards, Northern Ireland was banned Tuesday and fined £29,300 (€33,300, $39,200) for faking his statement of professional standing (SPS) documents from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
Cummings was approved as a director at DCC Financial; where, as a sole adviser since February 2014, he was licensed to carry out insurance and home finance business in the UK.
In February 2015, he asked the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to vary his permissions to provide investment advice (CF11).
After the FCA decided to check on Cummings’ qualifications in May 2015, and during a correspondence in June, he supplied fake qualifications and made false and misleading statements on his CV.
Later during “compelled interviews” with the authority, Cummings tried to mislead and blame another member of staff at DCC but eventually admitted that he had not been issued with a SPS by the CII and that documents were fabricated.
Cummings also admitted handing the forgeries to another member of staff at DCC Financial in support of the CF11 application.
The FCA said in its final notice the “misconduct amounts to a failure to act with integrity [and] Mr Cummings poses a risk to consumers and to the integrity of the financial system, and that the nature and seriousness of the breach outlined above warrants the withdrawal of Mr Cummings’ approval”.
In mitigation, Cummings said he had been drinking and his “judgement was destroyed” following a mental breakdown.
However, the FCA said Cummings had not given a compelling explanation as to how his mental health affected the honesty of his actions.
Cummings is the second adviser to make headlines recently after being caught faking their qualifications.
In May, a former trainee adviser at SJP was fined and banned after it was discovered he had faked a document in a bid to advise retail clients.