Penny share seller fined a record pounds 350,000

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City regulators yesterday dealt out a record fine for a company engaged in selling penny shares. It is the fourth substantial fine for financial advisers selling stocks with low share prices.

In one of its last acts as a working regulator, Fimbra, which regulated independent financial advisers until July 1994, levied a fine of pounds 350,000 against London Corporate Securities of 82 Great Eastern Street, London.

The firm, which has never been registered to do business under the current regulator, the Personal Investment Authority, was also ordered to pay costs of pounds 69,175.

Fimbra said the firm had sold penny shares without a reason to think its clients would benefit from buying the shares. It failed to find out basic information about its clients, failed to explain the risks of buying penny shares and failed to supervise its staff.

Since April, two other firms dealing in penny shares - Park Equity Services of Tunbridge Wells and City Equities of London - have each been fined pounds 250,000.

London-based Danesfield securities was fined pounds 75,000 last month by Fimbra, which was formally de-recognised last week.