FSA wins first clash with 'Dotty' Thomas

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The Independent Online

The Financial Services Authority has won the first stage of its tribunal battle against David "Dotty" Thomas, who has been appealing against a decision to block his application for re-authorisation by the regulator.

The Financial Services Authority has won the first stage of its tribunal battle against David "Dotty" Thomas, one of the architects of the split-capital investment trust industry, who has been appealing against a decision to block his application for re-authorisation by the regulator.

Mr Thomas, whose appeal was heard at the Financial Services & Markets Tribunal in July, was widely expected to win the first appeal.

The regulator denied Mr Thomas his authorisation because he was being investigated as part of its wider split-cap trust inquiry. However, it said at his appeal that it did not have any firm evidence against him.

Mr Thomas's lawyers argued it was unfair that those who were already authorised and yet had come under investigation were unable to work in the City. His lawyers argued that in the case of Mr Thomas, he was deemed to be guilty until proven innocent, and penalised at the start of the process rather than the end.

The FSA said that its authorisation processes were designed to protect consumers.

An FSA spokesperson said yesterday: "Important points of law have now been dealt with and we look forward to the tribunal hearing the substance of Mr Thomas's referral."

A new hearing will now be held before the end of the year to determine whether Mr Thomas should be re-granted his authorisation.

This will look specifically at the evidence which the FSA has amassed against Mr Thomas during its split-capital investment trust investigations, and is likely to be the first of several appeals by individuals against bans for their involvement with splits.

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