For the reasons given in this Final Notice, the Authority has decided to make an
order, pursuant to section 56 of the Act, prohibiting Mr Oakley from performing
any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by an authorised
person, exempt person or exempt professional firm.
Mr Oakley has not referred the matter to the Tribunal within 28 days of the date
of which the Decision Notice was issued to him.
Accordingly, the Authority hereby makes a prohibition order in respect of Mr
Oakley. The prohibition order is effective from the date of this Final Notice.
SUMMARY OF REASONS
As set out in more detail in the facts and matters described below, Mr Oakley
pleaded guilty on 12 October 2017 to two counts of making misleading, false or
deceptive statements contrary to s.397(2) of the Financial Services and Markets
Act 2000 and was sentenced to imprisonment for 30 months on 15 November
On the basis of the facts and matters set out below, it appears to the Authority
that Mr Oakley is not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to
any regulated activity carried out by an authorised person, exempt person or
exempt professional firm. Mr Oakley’s conviction demonstrates that he is not fit
and proper to perform regulated activities as his conduct demonstrated a serious
degree of recklessness and therefore a lack of integrity. In reaching this decision,
the Authority has had regard to all relevant circumstances, including the relevance
and materiality of the offences, and the severity of the risk posed by Mr Oakley to
consumers and to confidence in the market generally. The Authority considers that
it is appropriate to impose the prohibition order stated in paragraph 1.1 to achieve
its consumer protection and integrity objectives (sections 1C and 1D of the Act,
The definitions below are used in this Final Notice and in the Annex:
“the Act” means the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;
“the Authority” means the body corporate previously known as the Financial
Services Authority and renamed on 1 April 2013 as the Financial Conduct Authority;
“the Decision Notice” means the Decision Notice given to Mr Oakley in respect of
this matter dated 6 August 2020;
“EG” means the Authority’s Enforcement Guide;
“FIT” means the Fit and Proper Test for Employees and Senior Personnel
sourcebook, part of the Handbook;
“the Handbook” means the Authority’s Handbook of rules and guidance; “Mr
Oakley” means Simon Charles Oakley;
“RDC” means the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the Authority (see further
under Procedural Matters below); and
“the Tribunal” means the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber).
RELEVANT STATUTORY PROVISIONS
The statutory and regulatory provisions relevant to this Notice are set out in the
FACTS AND MATTERS
The conduct which resulted in Mr Oakley’s conviction and imprisonment took place
whilst he was an approved person. Mr Oakley was a financial adviser. Between 27
August 2009 and 31 May 2018, Mr Oakley was approved by the Authority to
perform the following controlled functions: CF1 (Director), CF10 (Compliance
Oversight), CF11 (Money Laundering Reporting), CF30 (Customer) and he was
Responsible for Insurance Mediation. Mr Oakley is currently not approved to
perform any functions in relation to any regulated activity by the Authority.
Between 1 September 2010 and 1 October 2012, Mr Oakley was involved in
promoting two fraudulent investment schemes where the total amount invested
and lost was over £2,300,000 and 21 investors were involved. These schemes were
not regulated investments. He pleaded guilty to two counts of making misleading,
false or deceptive statements contrary to section 397(2) of the Act, on the basis
that he did so recklessly. The prosecution accepted his pleas on this basis. He was
sentenced to imprisonment for 30 months. In sentencing Mr Oakley, His Honour
Judge Kearl QC stated that:
Mr Oakley’s degree of recklessness involved in the first fraudulent scheme
was high and the statements that he made were irresponsible and without
Mr Oakley’s conduct in relation to the second fraudulent scheme was at an
even higher level than the first fraudulent scheme. He misled people into
investing in the knowledge that the first fraudulent scheme had failed and, in
hiding that knowledge from the investors, this was “almost as close to fraud
as is possible”;
Mr Oakley personally sold the schemes and ignored all of the red flags,
repeatedly assuring investors that the schemes were working when he knew
that they were not; and
the financial consequences to others had been devastating and his conduct
had undermined confidence in the markets.
Lack of fitness and propriety
In light of the facts and matters described above, it appears to the Authority that
Mr Oakley is not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any
regulated activity carried on by an authorised person, exempt person or exempt
professional firm. His conviction demonstrates a clear and serious lack of integrity
such that he is not fit and proper to perform regulated activities.
The Authority has had regard to all relevant circumstances, including the relevance
and materiality of the offences, the severity of the risk posed by Mr Oakley to
consumers and financial institutions, and to confidence in the market generally.
The Authority considers that it is appropriate to impose the prohibition order set
out in paragraph 1.1 to advance its consumer protection and integrity objectives
(sections 1C and 1D of the Act, respectively).
In making this order, the Authority has had regard to the guidance in Chapter 9 of
EG (the relevant provisions of which are set out in Annex).
This Final Notice is given to Mr Oakley under, and in accordance with, section 390
of the Act.
The following paragraphs are important.
The decision which gave rise to the obligation to give this Final Notice was made
by the RDC.
Section 391(4), 391(6) and 391(7) of the Act apply to the publication of
information about the matter to which this notice relates.
Under those provisions, the Authority must publish such information about the
matter to which this Final Notice relates as the Authority considers appropriate.
The information maybe published in such manner as the Authority considers
appropriate. However, the Authority may not publish information in respect of this
matter if, in the opinion of the Authority, such publication would be unfair to Mr
Oakley, or prejudicial to the interest of consumers or detrimental to the stability
of the UK financial system.
The Authority intends to publish this Final Notice and such information about the
matter to which the Final Notice relates as it considers appropriate.
For more information concerning this matter generally, contact Allen Kontos at the
Authority (direct line: 0207 066 1634).
Enforcement and Market Oversight
RELEVANT STATUTORY PROVISIONS
The Authority’s operational objectives include: securing an appropriate degree of
protection for consumers (section 1C of the Act) and protecting and enhancing the
integrity of the UK financial system (section 1D of the Act).
Section 56(1) of the Act provides:
“The [Authority] may make a prohibition order if it appears to it that an individual
is not a fit and proper person to perform functions in relation to a regulated activity
carried on by:
an authorised person,
a person who is an exempt person in relation to that activity, or
a person to whom, as a result of Part 20, the general prohibition
does not apply in relation to that activity.”
RELEVANT REGULATORY PROVISIONS
In exercising its power to make a prohibition order, the Authority must have regard
to guidance published in the Handbook and in regulatory guides, such as EG. The
relevant main considerations in relation to the action specified above are set out
The Authority’s policy in relation to exercising its power to issue a prohibition order
is set out in EG.
EG 9.1 explains the purpose of prohibition orders in relation to the Authority’s
EG 9.2 sets out the Authority’s general policy on making prohibition orders. In
EG 9.2.1 states that the Authority will consider all relevant
EG 9.2.2 states that the Authority has the power to make a range
of prohibition orders depending on the circumstances of each case;
EG 9.2.3 states that the scope of a prohibition order will depend on
the range of functions which the individual concerned performs in
relation to regulated activities, the reasons why he is not fit and
proper and the severity of risk which he poses to consumers or the
EG 9.5.1 states that where the Authority is considering whether to make a
prohibition order against someone who is not an approved person, the Authority
will consider the severity of the risk posed by the individual and may prohibit him
where it considers that it is appropriate to achieve one or more of the Authority’s
EG 9.5.2 states that, when considering whether to exercise its power to make a
prohibition order against someone who is not an approved person, the Authority
will consider all the relevant circumstances of the case. These may include, but
are not limited to, the factors set out in EG 9.3.2. Those factors include: whether
the individual is fit and proper to perform functions in relation to regulated
activities (noting the criteria set out in FIT 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3), the relevance and
materiality of any matters indicating unfitness, the length of time since the
occurrence of any matters indicating unfitness, and the severity of the risk which
the individual poses to consumers and to confidence in the financial system.
Fit and Proper Test for Employees and Senior Personnel sourcebook
The Authority has issued guidance on the fitness and propriety of individuals in
FIT 1.3.1B.G states that the most important considerations when assessing the
fitness and propriety of a person to perform a controlled function include a person’s
honesty, integrity and reputation.
FIT 2.1.1.G states that in determining a person’s honesty, integrity and reputation,
the Authority will have regard to all relevant matters including, but not limited to,
those set out in FIT 2.1.3.G. It notes, amongst other things and by way of
“… conviction for a criminal offence will not automatically mean an application will
be rejected. The [Authority] treats each candidate’s application on a case-by-case
basis, taking into account the seriousness of, and circumstances surrounding, the
offence, the explanation offered by the convicted person, the relevance of the
offence to the proposed role, the passage of time since the offence was committed
and evidence of the individual’s rehabilitation.”
FIT 2.1.3.G(1) states that the matters referred to in FIT 2.1.1.G include, but are
not limited to, whether a person has been convicted of any criminal offence, noting
that particular consideration will be given to offences including dishonesty, fraud,
financial crime or an offence under legislation relating to financial services