FSA refuses application from “arrogant” director

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has refused an application from Elmswood.EU after labelling its director “combative” and “arrogant”.

Elmswood.EU applied for permission to carry on with regulated activities including advising on investments and arranging deals in investments, in December 2009. David J Sime, the firm’s owner, also applied to perform the controlled functions of director, compliance oversight, money laundering reporting and customer.

However, the FSA refused the application in July 2010 after saying “it cannot be satisfied that Mr Sime is a fit and proper person to perform the controlled functions to which the application relates”.

The FSA’s refusal of Sime’s application was based in part on his failure to disclose a theft and fraud allegation and a subsequent police interview in September 2008.

The case was referred to the watchdog’s tribunal, which has concluded the FSA was correct to reject Sime and Elmswood.EU’s applications.

“[Sime’s] combative and evasive reactions to the various allegations made against him showed an impatient inability to control his temper, a degree of aggression which was unnecessary and inappropriate in a professional context, and a readiness to make extravagant accusations against others without a sufficient basis for doing so,” the tribunal’s judgement says. (article continues below)

“We found him arrogant. He adopted an unrealistic position that fault was always 100% with someone else … We were also concerned by his attitude to record-keeping, and instances of his lack of close attention to detail.”

However, the tribunal offered some positive findings on Sime’s character, saying: “We gained the impression that Mr Sime was hard working, was ordinarily good to his employees or colleagues, and normally acted with honesty and integrity.

“It was when he was under pressure and insufficiently supported that he let himself down.”