Spread betting boss who ‘guaranteed’ 15% returns gets ban

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The boss of a failed £8.5m spread betting scheme has been banned from managing any limited company for 12 years.

Stuart Mudge “guaranteed” investors 15 per cent quarterly returns as he accumulated £8.5m for spread bets through his Churchgate Trading Syndicate between June 2009 and February 2012.

Mudge admitted he had broken the law by operating the scheme without FCA permission in 2013, and a High Court ordered to him pay back over £7m to investors, to be distributed through the FCA.

He could not pay this money, however, and was declared bankrupt.

After further investigation by the Insolvency Service, Cardiff County Court has now handed down a 12 year ban on Mudge that he “cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until February 2029”.

FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight Mark Steward says: “Churchgate is one of several unauthorised spread betting schemes we’ve investigated where investors have lost large amounts of money. Spread betting on shares and currencies can be very risky, and it is illegal for someone to trade them in this way on behalf of investors without FCA approval.

“We urge investors to check the FCA register before handing over any money for this type of investment, and be very wary of anyone promising high or guaranteed returns on this type of investment – these are often the hallmarks of a scam.”

In December, the FCA said it was looking to impose stricter rules for firms selling risky spread bets and rolling spot foreign exchange products.

‘Advisory’ firms in the contracts for difference space were causing concerns at the regulator over unsuitable advice being given and high commissions.