Watchdog bans three brokers: Employing firms 'have learnt from the experience and tightened their controls'

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The Independent Online
The Securities and Futures Authority, the City watchdog, has expelled three brokers in separate disciplinary actions and banned them from working in the financial services industry.

The three are Stephen Laurence Withers, Brian Anthony Hobbs and Avinash Manilal Suchak.

A spokesman for the SFA said: 'In each case the firms involved have learnt from the experience and tightened their controls, the people have been kicked out of the industry and the clients have been compensated.'

Mr Withers was a half- commission man with Pilling & Co, a London private client stockbroking firm. The SFA said that in October 1991 Mr Withers' firm prohibited him from dealing on his personal account as it was concerned that 'given his lifestyle, his commission income was not sufficient to fund the losses on his account'.

He also used clients' accounts to undertake 'speculative and unsuitable transactions' and Pilling finally sacked him.

Mr Hobbs, who worked for a small London private client stockbroking firm, was also a half-commission man. On leaving his firm Mr Hobbs disclosed that he was unable to settle the amount owing on his personal account and that four other accounts run by his close friends and relatives would also be unable to do so.

Unknown to the firm Mr Hobbs had been using these four accounts for his personal dealing and the total owed to the firm when he left totalled pounds 50,000.

Mr Suchak secretly ran up losses totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars on client accounts before he was sacked by a big US securities firm.

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