SEI Investments’ UK arm has been fined £900,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failing to protect client money, writes Patrick Brusnahan.

According to the regulator, the outsourced wealth manager failed several times to correctly perform internal reconciliations or to ensure that any shortfall or excess identified was paid into or withdrawn from the client bank account before deadline. Their ‘non-standard method’ led to a lack of accuracy in their records and accounts.

Moreover, the FCA claimed the firm failed to properly train their staff. On one occasion, an employee with no training reduced SEI’s client money requirement from £14 million to £932,000 after believing that a £14 million shortfall was too large to be accurate.

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: "SEI has committed a serious breach by failing to comply with our client rules for over five years. We have repeatedly emphasised the importance of ensuring that client money is adequately protected and we have taken a number of enforcement actions against firms of all sizes."