Stockbroker directors are fined pounds 25,000 by the SFA

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The Independent Online
TWO directors of Kedleston Stockbrokers of Derby have been fined a total of pounds 25,000 and expelled from the Securities and Futures Authority's registers, writes Peter Rodgers.

They were accused of allowing employees to minimise personal dealing losses by transferring those losses to clients.

The SFA said directors and employees maintained personal dealing accounts used mainly for trading within a Stock Exchange account of 14 days. Employees were allowed to deal without committing their own funds.

On a number of occasions the price of shares dealt in fell and they were sold to advisory and discretionary clients of the firm 'at prices that were in some cases more favourable to the employees than a sale through the market'. The clients were not told where the shares had come from.

The firm, which ceased trading last year, has also been fined pounds 25,000 and expelled from the SFA.

The directors are Simon Ashworth, the managing director, who has been declared 'not fit and proper' to remain on the register. This means he can no longer work in the securities industry. Mr Ashworth was fined pounds 25,000 and pounds 12,500 costs.

Roger Iliffe, an executive director, has also been declared not fit and proper to remain on the SFA's register of executive directors, though he can work in other capacities. Mr Iliffe was fined pounds 5,000 and pounds 2,000 costs.

The tribunal said the failure of Mr Ashworth and the firm to insist that staff settle their dealing accounts promptly and in full was open to grave criticism.