Broker 11 years directorship ban for mis-selling 11,000-plus insurance policies

David Stuart Picton has been disqualified from acting as a director for 11 years for mis-selling insurance policies to customers that were not underwritten by an insurer and without the appropriate authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority.

The disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

My Cover Limited was incorporated and commenced trading in August 2011. My Cover was a non-life insurance agent, which until March 2013, sold policies for insurance of domestic items on behalf of principals, such policies being underwritten by a third party insurer. My Cover was placed into Liquidation on 21 January 2014.

The Insolvency service investigation found that:

- from 31 March 2013 until November 2013, David Stuart Picton caused My Cover Ltd to mis-sell at least 11,162 contracts for insurance to customers that were not underwritten by an insurer, and without the appropriate authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority

- until 31 May 2013, My Cover was an authorised representative of a principal. On 15 March 2013 that principal had instructed My Cover to write no further new business on its behalf

- on or around 31 March 2013, the underwriter withdrew its underwriting facility from My Cover. No alternative underwriter was ever appointed on either a prospective or retrospective basis

- between 01 June 2013 and My Cover’s cessation of trade on or around 15 November 2013, My Cover was twice an authorised representative of two other principals and twice operated with no principal

- following the withdrawal of underwriting on or around 31 March 2013, My Cover sold at least 11,162 policies (a combination of new and repeat business) that were not insured by an underwriter, in breach of the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority. My Cover continued to represent to policyholders that the policies were in fact underwritten by an insurer

- My Cover’s income from its business book during that period totalled at least £986,775

At the date of Liquidation My Cover had assets of £12,500 and estimated liabilities of £1,515,662.

Commenting on the disqualification, Cheryl Lambert, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors who breach regulations and cause the public to lose money can expect to be investigated by the Insolvency Service and enforcement action taken to remove them from the market place.

Mr Picton caused My Cover to mis-sell 11,162 insurance policies to members of the public who were told that an underwriter was in place. These people have lost a total of £987k. Taking action against Mr Picton is a warning to directors to take their duties seriously and to protect their customer’s interests.