Investment bank Seymour Pierce has been fined £154,000 by the Financial
Services Authority after failing to spot accounting theft by a former employee.
Blame was placed on weak compliance controls that allowed a broker to steal
£150,000 from internal and client accounts without arousing suspicion.
The crimes took place over a three year period and involved 36 separate
The matter only came to light after the employee had left and his replacement
picked up on serious accounting discrepancies.
“This is a serious failure on Seymour Pierce’s part,” said Margaret Cole, the
FSA’s director of enforcement and financial crime. “The frauds were not
sophisticated and could have been detected at a much earlier stage if the proper
procedures had been in place.”
Seymour Pierce agreed to settle with the FSA early, meaning it qualified for
a 30% discount. Without this the fine would have been £220,000.
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