These tactics included making unsolicited phone calls to the public and falsely claiming to represent financial service providers. The stability of customers’ existing policy providers
were then questioned in order to encourage the purchase of new polices through Warwick.
His staff also obtained direct debit details from potential customers and set up insurance policies in their names without permission.
Nickols also failed to have appropriate systems and controls in place in his business and made incorrect statements to the regulator during the investigation.
Tom Spender, head of retail enforcement at the FSA, said high-pressure sales techniques and subterfuge had no place in the market.
He added: “By failing to treat his customers fairly and lacking the essential systems and controls to meet the FSA’s minimum regulatory requirements, Nickols poses a genuine risk to his customers and the financial system.”
Paul White, consultant at Belgravia Insurance Consultants, said he hoped a message would be sent out to the industry that confidentiality and customer details must not be used inappropriately.