Insurance professionals receive FSA ban over £2m scam

9 July 2010

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has banned three insurance professionals from working within the financial industries for their part in a £2 million scam.

According to the regulator, Timothy Higgins, Clifford Felstead and Ralph Brunswick have received the ban for their involvement in a scheme which defrauded Markel International Insurance Company, Amalfi Underwriting and QBE Insurance.

Through Surety Guarantee Consultants (SGC), a firm founded by Mr Higgins, the businesses received surety bonds which were higher than previously agreed limits.

SGC was able to withhold £2 million which should have been paid to the insurance firms and subsequently used forged documents to cover up its actions from auditors.

Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "The London market relies on the trust and integrity of those who work in it. All three of these men fell woefully short of the standards expected of them.

“They abused the trust and confidence placed in them by leading London market insurers in order to make a profit for themselves.”

The regulator added that Mr Higgins, the former director and founder of SGC, would also have received a fine of £600,000 for his behaviour if he had not been made bankrupt.

By Jim Ottewill

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