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Trust firm employees barred from industry over anti-corruption failings

Trust firm employees barred from industry over anti-corruption failings

Thursday 04 January 2024

Trust firm employees barred from industry over anti-corruption failings

Thursday 04 January 2024


Two senior employees at a Jersey trust company found to have “inadequate” procedures for detecting corruption have been barred from working in finance.

An on-site examination of Lutea Holdings Limited was undertaken in 2019 by the Jersey Financial Services Commission following concerns over the company's compliance with financial regulations.

When this examination identified "serious deficiencies", Lutea was placed under full investigation in 2020. Among the industry watchdog's findings were that it lacked a formal strategy to counter money laundering and terrorism financing, and that one high-risk client was rated as "low" for more than a decade.

It wasn't until December 2022 that the JFSC confirmed that it had settled with the business, but did not provide details of the settlement.

Now, around a year later, it has issued orders barring two of Lutea's senior team – Nicola Marguerite Hodge and Andrew Mark Hicks – from the industry. They will only be able to return if they get written permission from the JFSC.

In a public statement, JFSC said that "longstanding" senior employee Ms Hodge had "caused" or "contributed to" failings at Lutea which had left the business "vulnerable to significant money laundering/terrorist financing risks".

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Pictured: The JFSC said Ms Hodge and Mr Hicks "demonstrated a lack of awareness of regulatory requirements" and created a "culture" at Lutea where there was a lack of "due regard for compliance".

The watchdog said that she failed to "prioritise compliance matters, demonstrated a lack of awareness of regulatory requirements, and engendered an organisational culture within Lutea without due regard for compliance".

These comments were echoed in the case of Mr Hicks, and both were described as "lack[ing] competency and pos[ing] a significant risk to the JFSC's guiding principles and objectives of protecting and enhancing the reputation and integrity of Jersey in commercial and financial matters and the need to counter financial crime."

If either takes up a job in the industry without the permission of the JFSC, they will commit an offence under the Supervisory Bodies Law, the regulator said. It will also be an offence for any finance firm to employ them.

READ MORE...

Trust company taken to task by regulator over "significant" failings

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