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Disciplinary update: April 2022

Author: ICAEW

Published: 11 Apr 2022

Since the last disciplinary update two appeal orders have been published as well as five consent orders issued by the Investigation Committee and two fixed penalties.

An Appeal panel dismissed two separate appeals by a former member against two separate tribunal decisions and sanctions. Each tribunal ordered that he be severely reprimanded.

The first tribunal also fined him £10,000 for a failure to co-operate with the Practice Assurance Committee, failing to ensure AML supervision, failing to ensure that appropriate customer due diligence was carried out on all clients and failing to demonstrate that his firm had undertaken periodic compliance reviews of its anti-money laundering practices and policies

The second tribunal also fined him £7,500 for failing to comply with Section 92A of the Insolvency Act 1986 and/or Rule 4.49C of the Insolvency Rules 1986 in his capacity as liquidator of a company. This was because he did not send annual progress reports for three consecutive years to the Registrars of Companies within two months of the anniversary of his appointment

The former member did not attend either appeal hearing and was not represented. The appeal panel also ordered that he pay the costs of both appeals.

The Investigation Committee made the following orders by consent:

A member was severely reprimanded and fined £20,400 for:

  1. Failing to comply with the assurances he had given following his firm’s quality assurance monitoring visit contrary to the fundamental principle of integrity. Those assurances were in respect of the requirement to make appropriate changes to its anti money laundering procedures to ensure compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, in particular:
  • carrying out due diligence on all clients
  • the requirement to obtain a client money bank account trust letter
  • requirement to carry out and document an annual review of compliance with the Clients’ Money Regulations.
  1. The underlying breaches of Money Laundering Regulations and Client Money Regulations 11 and 27.

An insolvency practitioner was severely reprimanded and fined £10,000 because

  • as the proposed Trustee of five proposed Trust Deed cases, failed to comply with Statement of Insolvency Practice 3.3 by failing to properly conduct the initial advice call resulting in the debtor being unable to make an informed decision regarding the appropriateness of a Trust Deed.
  • in his capacity as the appointed Trustee of 127 insolvent estates, he failed to comply with Statement of Insolvency Practice 9, by charging unreasonable costs to the insolvent estates in respect of services provided by claims management companies.
  • in his capacity as the appointed Trustee of a number of insolvent estates, failed to comply with Statement of Insolvency Practice 9 by recovering overhead IT migration fee costs from insolvent estates.

A firm was reprimanded and fined £2,500 for signing an unmodified audit report on a company’s financial statements when the financial statements failed to include the required disclosures of related party transactions in accordance with Section 33 of Financial Reporting Standard 102 ‘Related Party Disclosures.’

Another member was reprimanded and fined £1,000 because as liquidator of a company he failed to adjudicate on a claim in accordance with his statutory obligations pursuant to Rule 14.32 of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016

A member was reprimanded and fined £525 for failing to ensure, over a period of 4 years, that his firm was registered with an anti-money laundering supervisor.

Each of the above consent orders came with a requirement to pay costs.

Two fixed penalties were also made and published. One to a member who had driven a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol in excess of the prescribed limit and the other for having breached principal Bye-law 51 by engaging in public practice without a practising certificate for a year.