FCA removes permissions of child grooming adviser
Apr 4, 2022
The Financial Conduct Authority has removed the permissions of Frensham Wealth Ltd effective from 1 April . The regulator had been seeking to ban the IFA since March 2021 after its sole director Jon Fresham (formerly Jonathan James Hunt) was convicted of trying to sexually groom a child. The FCA had already removed the IFA’s approval to be a senior manager and to take on any regulated role in the future. In September 2016 he communicated online with a girl he believed to be 15 on a number of occasions. According to the FCA’s decision notice, he arranged to meet her on 14 September 2016 with the intention of engaging in sexual activity. The girl was in fact an adult woman posing as a child. The police were called and Frensham was arrested. He was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and instructed to attend rehabilitation to correct his attitudes. After the conviction, Frensham changed his name and that of his firm. In November 2021, Frensham Wealth Ltd had the possibility to appeal to The Tribunal after the FCA issued a supervisory notice to remove all of the IFA’s permissions. Yet, Frensham Wealth Ltd chose not to submit an appeal. The IFA was ordered by the FCA to inform all customers in writing about the variation in the firm’s permissions. Frensham Wealth Ltd also had to confirm to the regulator it had done so. In addition, the IFA had to either update its website to reflect these changes or to delete it. The FCA also told the firm to secure and preserve “all records and/or information (physical or electronic) relating to all business or transactions involving one or more regulated activities that the firm had been permitted to carry on from its systems in their original form, or in a copy proved to be identical to the source material”. Frensham previously argued he has shown real remorse. He also said his conduct will not be repeated, and it has no bearing on his competence as an adviser. According to the FCA, Frensham applied to the tribunal to make orders that the decision notice should not be published. These applications were rejected by the tribunal in February 2021. The FCA previously said Frensham failed in his obligation to be “open and transparent” with the regulator. This is because he failed to inform the regulator about his arrest and being remanded in custody in respect of the offence which led to his conviction. He also failed to inform the FCA of the decision by the Chartered Insurance Institute not to renew his statement of professional standing and to expel him from membership.