Broker Stephen Goodwin fined and banned
An insurance broker has been banned and fined after pocketing more than £300,000 of clients' premiums, the Financial Services Authority has said.
Stephen Goodwin, of Goodwin Best in Bury, received one of the largest fines of its kind at £471,846.
The FSA said Goodwin had been "dishonest" and at least three clients lost money when they found they were uninsured or had paid premiums twice.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is looking at reimbursing them.
It was set up to help people who cannot claim money back if, for instance, a company has ceased trading.
'Very heavy price'
Tracey McDermott, FSA acting director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "This is a significant fine to reflect serious failings.
"Goodwin knowingly diverted money intended to pay for contracts of insurance into his own business to keep it afloat.
"These are dishonest breaches; Goodwin posed a risk to consumers and the financial system more widely and now he is paying a very heavy price."
The premiums were diverted between 2008 and 2010 and involved Goodwin and his now deceased business partner, according to the FSA.
Goodwin was declared bankrupt in April 2011 in relation to debts incurred by the commercial insurance firm, which is no longer operating.