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11 Feb, 2008

Published: 11:25 Monday 11 February 2008
By: Michelle McGagh, News Reporter

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has banned a former Square Mile Securities broker and fined him £21,000 for selling high risk shares to customers without their consent.

Mohammed Suba Miah was also found to have deliberately misled customers by not explaining the risk involved in buying the shares.

Nineteen transactions made between December 2005 and May 2006 were reviewed by the regulator. In 11 of those transactions, Miah was shown to have been dishonest by recording the purchase of shares without their permission and customers would have been made aware of the trades only when they were sent a demand for payment.

Miah was also found to have made inaccurate claims about the performance and value of the shares. The regulator found that Miah's actions were considered particularly serious as they lacked integrity as well as exposing customers to risk of financial loss.

Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement said: 'As a stockbroker and approved person Miah was in a position of trust. Customers have a right to expect their brokers to give clear and fair advice, recommend suitable shares and to treat them fairly. Stockbrokers are on notice that the FSA will not tolerate abuse of this trust, and our actions against Miah show that we take this very seriously.'

Cooperation with the FSA meant that Miah received a 30% discount on the original fine of £30,000.

This is not the first time that trading at Square Mile Securities has come under regulatory scrutiny. It was fined £250,000 last month for using misleading information to sell customers shares that they did not want or could not afford.

The company was found to have used high pressure sales techniques to sell shares to older people and inexperienced investors and its brokers did not get sufficient consent to carry out trades.

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