Imro carpets firms over share dealing

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The Independent Online
THE Investment Management Regulatory Organisation has disciplined two small investment firms for offences that included improper handling of share deals, writes Paul Durman.

R C Brown Investment Management of Bristol was fined pounds 10,000 and ordered to pay pounds 16,000 costs after it failed to record how it intended to allocate shares bought in a placing between itself and its customers. Other offences included failing to implement adequate procedures to ensure it complied with investor protection rules and mixing client money with that belonging to the firm's officers.

Certa Portfolio Management of London was reprimanded and ordered to pay pounds 6,603 costs. Certa admitted unfairly giving priority to certain directors and their families, rather than to customers, when allocating shares bought last March.

Imro's disciplinary committee also found that Certa had failed to meet its regulatory responsibilities.

In a separate action, Imro imposed a pounds 16,000 fine on the trustees of the executive pension scheme of H Dawson Sons and Co (Wool) of Bradford. The trustees permitted the pension scheme to make 17 unsuitable and unsecured loans to H Dawson. The loans ranged from pounds 2,765 to pounds 2.8m.

The trustees also failed to implement adequate compliance arrangements and gave Imro inaccurate information. The trustees will have to pay the fine and costs of pounds 22,329.

Imro has also terminated the membership of Wright Seligman and of Bristol Pensions Trustees and its subsidiary, Union Pensions & Estate Trustees. Bristol Pensions was formerly R J Shrubb, part of the collapsed financial services group, British & Commonwealth.