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FCA bans fare dodging BlackRock manager

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The Financial Conduct Authority has banned BlackRock managing director Jonathan Paul Burrows for “not being fit and proper” after the asset manager admitted to dodging £43k in rail fares.

Burrows made headlines in November 2013 when he admitted to dodging tens of thousands of pounds in rail fares. On a number of occasions he had boarded a Southweastern train from the rural station of Stonegate, in East Sussex – which has no barriers – and tapped out at Cannon Street using a £7.20 travelcard. The actual cost of his journey should have been £21.50 per day.

Burrows reimbursed Southeastern three days after he was caught, paying the rail operator £43k to settle the dispute.

According to the FCA Burrows admitted that he had evaded his train fare purposely and had been aware that he was breaking the law. The FCA does not consider this ‘fit and proper’ behaviour for an approved person.

Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “Burrows held a senior positon within the financial services industry. His conduct fell short of the standards we expect. Approved persons must act with honesty and integrity at all times and, when they do not, we will take action.”

Burrows responded: “I have always recognised that what I did was foolish. I have apologised to all concerned and reiterate that apology publicly today.

“The settlement I made with Southeastern in March 2014 was for an amount significantly in excess of the value of the fares not paid by me on the small number of occasions that I failed to pay. Indeed the size of the settlement could be said to have led to a distorted perception of the scale of my wrong-doing. However, that does not change the fact that what I did was wrong, and I accept that.

“In view of this, I have been told by the British Transport Police that they do not regard it as being in the public interest to pursue a case against me.

“While I respect the FCA’s decision today, I also regret it, coming as it did after a 20 year career in the City that was without blemish. I recognise that the FCA has on its plate more profound wrong-doing than mine in the financial services sector, and I am sorry that my case has taken up its time at this critical juncture for the future of the City and its reputation.”

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