Withers’ website features testimonial from banned insurance boss

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By Thomas Connelly on

Exclusive: The FCA also fined Nicholas Bowyer more than £300,000

The website of elite private client outfit Withers features a glowing testimonial from a banned insurance boss, Legal Cheek can reveal.

In 2014, Nicholas Bowyer was banned for life from holding a position of “significant influence” at a firm authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Moreover Bowyer — the former marketing director of insurance giant Swinton Group Limited — was fined £306,700 for playing what the FCA described as a “central role” in the “design” and “development” of policy extras that were then mis-sold to customers.

Nevertheless, Withers’ website has a personal recommendation from Bowyer.

The quote (screenshot below), from a “retired” Bowyer, praises Withers’ lawyers for their “exemplary expertise and dedication”.

Screenshot taken from Withers’ website

A spokesperson for Withers confirmed to Legal Cheek that it had helped Bowyer negotiate “an early settlement to an investigation by the FCA that concluded in 2014”. They continued:

We are one of the leading law firms to provide senior executives in trouble with advice on matters such as regulatory investigations, employment matters or other disputes. Mr Bowyer was kind enough to provide a testimonial for our website on the expertise and high standard of service provided by our financial regulatory team.

The FCA’s probe also saw Swinton’s ex-chief executive Peter Halpin and former finance director Anthony Clare being handed lifetime bans. The investigation revealed that bosses stood to gain a share of a £90 million bonus if operating profits hit £110 million.

Speaking at the time, Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said:

A culture was allowed to develop within Swinton that pushed for high sales and increased profit without regard to the impact on the firm’s customers.

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