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Advice firm loses regulatory permissions following director’s grooming conviction

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  • 04/04/2022
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Advice firm loses regulatory permissions following director’s grooming conviction
Financial advice firm Frensham Wealth Ltd has had its regulatory permissions cancelled after its sole director, John Frensham, was convicted of child grooming offences.

Frensham, formerly known as Jonathan James Hunt, was convicted in March 2017 after he travelled to meet up with a woman whom he believed was a 15 year old girl.  

The court heard that Frensham had travelled for two hours to meet the girl, whom he met through a website and had exchanged explicit images with. When he got to the address, he was instead met by an adult woman who was part of an anti-peadophile vigilante group.

Frensham was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. 

The name of the firm, which specialised in investments, pensions and mortgage advice, was changed following the conviction. 

In September last year, Frensham was banned from working in the financial services sector by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  

At the time, the regulator said Frensham was “not a fit and proper person to perform any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by any authorised or exempt persons or exempt professional persons because he lacks integrity and good reputation.” 

Frensham unsuccessfully appealed this decision, arguing that the regulator’s fitness and properness tests were wrongly applied to his conviction, as he did not commit the offence at work and his job was unlikely to put him into contact with children.

A tribunal found he failed to inform the FCA of his arrest as well as the decision by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) not to renew his Statement of Professional Standing and to expel him from membership.

The firm has now had all of its permissions removed, with the FCA saying it was “no longer necessary” to keep these in force. 

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