Ex-Cattles directors fined £600k by FSA for misleading investors

Marion Dakers
TWO former directors at doorstep lender Cattles have been banned and fined for misleading investors, the Financial Services Authority said yesterday.

Cattles, which was FTSE 250-listed until its shares were suspended in 2009, breached a number of the FSA’s market abuse, listing and disclosure rules and execs at the loan company “failed to act with integrity”, the watchdog said.

James Corr, former finance director and now an “independent financial services professional”, has been fined £400,000 and banned from performing any function relating to FSA-regulated activities.

Corr was fired in 2009 after a review of the lender’s finances revealed a £700m black hole.

Peter Miller, who was finance director at subsidiary Welcome Financial Services until he was also sacked in 2009, was slapped with a £200,000 fine and also banned yesterday.

A third exec, former Welcome managing director John Blake, has also been banned and fined £100,000 but is appealing his case.

The FSA wanted to fine Cattles and Welcome, but their financial circumstances made it impossible.

Cattles declared a pre-tax profit of £165m for 2007, when it had in fact lost £96.5m with half of its £3bn loan book in arrears, the FSA said.

Investors who took part in a subsequent £200m rights issue may well have done so because of the misleading figures, it added.

Last March, Cattles said its investors would receive only 1p for each share, compared with a rights issue price of £1.28.