FCA takes first criminal action against lender
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken its first criminal action against someone acting as an unlicensed consumer credit lender.
Dharam Gopee has today, January 17, been charged for conducting regulated activity without authorisation for a number of years.
Gopee, who the FCA believes to have lent more than £1m in the last four years, controls financial services companies the Reddy Corporation, Speedy Bridging Finance and Barons Finance.
He previously acted as director of these companies until he was disqualified in May 2016 for 15 years.
According to the FCA the disqualification arose out of the liquidation of Barons Finance.
Following an investigation by the regulator, Gopee was found to have engaged with consumers who were often in difficult circumstances.
The FCA alleges he regularly registered charges over the homes of borrowers to enable him to take possession of a property if the borrower failed to pay the debt.
This type of financial service was previously licensed by the Office of Fair Trading until April 2014, when it became regulated by the FCA.
The legal team dealing with Gopee’s case, Rahman Ravelli Solicitors, declined to make any comments.
A plea and trial preparation hearing is provisionally listed to be heard on February 14 2017.