FCA Life Ban For Fare-Dodging Jonathan Burrows

The financial watchdog has banned a top fund manager from any role in the City after it was discovered he paid 43,000 to avoid prosecution for dodging train fares.

Jonathan Paul Burrows, who was a London-based managing director at US investment firm BlackRock, admitted his actions sullied the reputation of the City.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned Mr Burrows for “not being a fit and proper” person.

It launched an investigation after a furore when it emerged an unnamed City worker paid the money to Southeastern Railway to avoid prosecution for repeated fare dodging.

In November 2013, a ticket inspector at Cannon Street station noticed an irregularity with the payment history of Mr Burrows’ Oystercard.

Under caution he admitted regularly not paying for tickets from his home in Stonegate, East Sussex, where there were no ticket barriers.

It was claimed he only paid 7.20 for a Oystercard single ticket in London instead of the standard single fare of 21.50 from Stonegate.

It emerged he had stopped buying annual season tickets in 2008, despite continuing to work in the City for another five years.

“Burrows held a senior position within the financial services industry. His conduct fell short of the standards we expect,” FCA director of enforcement Tracey McDermott said.

“Approved persons must act with honesty and integrity at all times and, where they do not, we will take action.”

According to the Daily Mail, father-of-one Mr Burrows owned two mortgage-free multi-million pound mansions in East Sussex and drove a Porsche sports car.

A heated public debate developed over how a wealthy worker was able to pay a five-digit sum to avoid prosecution.

Following his banning, his former employer said: “Jonathan Burrows left BlackRock earlier this year. What he admitted to the FCA is totally contrary to our values and principles.”

After being banned on 15 December, Mr Burrows released his own statement through a PR firm and said: “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 wrongdoing.”

Approached by Sky News, Southeastern Railway defended its decision not to prosecute Mr Burrows at the time.

In a statement it said: “We reached a 43,000 settlement with Mr Burrows regarding allegations of fare-dodging earlier this year.

“We believe that the actions that we took were in the best interests of our passengers (and taxpayers) by giving us the best opportunity to recover a substantial sum in respect of the allegation.”

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15 December 2014 | 5:35 pm – Source: orange.co.uk

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