The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) has issued a public statement outlining its conclusions following an investigation into local financial adviser Mr Christopher Paul Byrne, former Managing Director of Lumiere Wealth Limited.
Mr Byrne held a trusted position as a financial adviser however he fraudulently provided clients with unsuitable and misleading advice and dishonestly facilitated a loan from a vulnerable client for his own personal benefit.
Despite being cautioned by the JFSC not to do so, Mr Byrne provided a number of clients with financial advice prior to Lumiere being a regulated investment business, preventing the JFSC from having any oversight of the advice provided. He also provided the JFSC with false and misleading information to conceal facts and pertinent information he knew would be material to the JFSC’s enquiries.
Mr Byrne was convicted of several offences relating to his conduct as a financial adviser, and was sentenced on 30th November 2018 to a seven-year custodial sentence. The most serious offence was that of ‘fraudulent inducement’.
The JFSC’s Executive Director of Enforcement, Kerry Petulla (pictured) commented: “The role of a financial adviser requires independence and unbiased advice, with no influence from product providers. Mr Byrne, like all advisers, was required to have the highest regard for his clients but our investigation revealed that he prioritised his own and the company’s financial interests over the client’s interests, resulting in unrecoverable client losses of approximately £12 million.
“We have concluded Mr Byrne misled clients and the JFSC and his actions were dishonest and he lacks integrity. Mr Byrne’s conduct poses a significant risk to the JFSC’s guiding principles and objectives and therefore it is necessary to restrict his employment in Jersey’s financial services industry”.
The JFSC advises that any person or business who allows Mr Byrne to perform a function, engage in employment or hold a position within or related to the Jersey financial services industry shall commit an offence.