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.
Notes to editors
My Cover Limited (CRO 07725808) was incorporated on 2 August 2011. Its registered office was 145/147 St John Street, London, EC1V 4PW. It traded from Unit 3 Littlehampton Marina, Ferry Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 5DS; Unit 1400 Blueprint Industrial Estate, Dundas Spur, Hilsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO3 5RW; and 1st Floor 93-94 Queens Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3XE.
My Cover Limited was placed into Liquidation on 21 January 2014.
David Stuart Picton is of Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 8DX. His date of birth is 21 December 1986.
The Secretary of State accepted an undertaking from David Stuart Picton on 11 November 2015. The disqualification commences on 2 December 2015.
A disqualification order or undertaking has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
- act as a director of a company
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
- be a receiver of a company’s property
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.
Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: Cheryl Lambert, Head of Outsourced Investigations, Investigations and Enforcement Services, the Insolvency Service, 3rd Floor, Abbey Orchard Street, London SW1P 2HT. Tel: 0207 596 6117. Email: Cheryl.Lambert@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.
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Published: 7 December 2015
From: The Insolvency Service