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FCA bans former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers from financial services

  • 06/03/2018
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FCA bans former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers from financial services
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned former Co-operative Bank chairman Paul Flowers from the financial services industry.

A formal independent review into how regulators oversaw the bank between 2008 and 2013 has also today been announced.

Flowers was found to have sent sexually explicit messages and discussed illegal drugs using his work email account, as well as using his work phone to call premium rate numbers.

The FCA found his conduct “demonstrated a lack of fitness and propriety required to work in financial services”.

Flowers was chairman of Co-op Bank between 15 April 2010 and 5 June 2013 during which time the bank suffered significant financial losses and barely survived complete collapse a year later.

After stepping down as chairman Flowers was convicted for possession of illegal drugs.

He is the third senior member of the bank’s leadership team during this period to be severely censured by regulators.

Two years ago former chief executive Barry Tootell and ex-managing director Keith Alderson were banned and fined respectively by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) for failing to protect the bank from risks to its financial stability.


Disregard for standards

2340283-paul-flowers-ex-deputy-chairman-co-op-group“Flowers had demonstrated an unwillingness to comply not only with its requirements and standards but also with other legal, regulatory and professional requirements”, the FCA said.

The regulator highlighted that Flowers’ disregard for those standards demonstrated a lack of integrity and warned that any future involvement in financial services risked undermining consumer and market confidence.



The FCA found that while chairman Flowers (pictured):

  • used his work mobile telephone to make a number of inappropriate telephone calls to a premium rate chat line in breach of Co-op Group and Co-op Bank policies; and
  • used his work email account to send and receive sexually explicit and otherwise inappropriate messages, and to discuss illegal drugs, in breach of Co-op Group and Co-op Bank policies despite having been previously warned about his earlier misconduct.

The FCA added that throughout its investigation it had liaised with and received the support of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

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