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Keydata boss given 1 February deadline to pay £76m fine

Keydata boss given 1 February deadline to pay £76m fine

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given Keydata founder Stewart Ford until 1 February to pay a £76 million fine.

The regulator was given the green light to impose the fine after a decision in November increased the fine from £75 million to £76 million. 

The sum is 20 times the previous record fine issued by the FCA. The Tribunal said in November: 'To permit Mr Ford to retain those financial benefits would in effect be to reward him for both continuing to disregard his regulatory responsibilities over an extended period and engaging in active concealment to perpetuate his money-making activities.'

A notice published by the FCA today also prohibits Ford from 'performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by an authorised person, exempt person or exempt professional firm'. 

Keydata sales director Mark Owen also received a prohibition and has until 1 February to pay a £3.2 million fine.

Ford has 15 days until 1 February to pay his £76 million fine following the release of the final notice today.

Responding to the Upper Tribunal decision, Ford had earlier said he had been the victim of a 'grave injustice'.

He added: 'For those who truly know me, you will be aware that this decision of the Upper Tribunal runs counter to every fibre of my being. My honour, my good name, my competence and my integrity have been impugned.'

Keydata was shut down and declared insolvent by the FCA's predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), leaving around 30,000 investors out of pocket. 

The business sold life settlement investments, also known as death bonds, and was deemed to have misrepresented its products as eligible for ISAs.

It also sold policies through IFAs that were underpinned by investments in bonds such as SLS Capital and Lifemark, which led to 5,000 investors losing their money when £103 million disappeared from SLS capital, run by fugitive businessman David Elias.

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