Fare-dodging City executive banned
A high-flying City executive who paid back nearly £43,000 after he was caught dodging rail fares has been banned from the financial industry.
Jonathan Burrows, who reportedly earned £1 million a year, admitted his behaviour was "foolish" saying the ban came after an unblemished 20-year career.
Mr Burrows left his job as a managing director of BlackRock Asset Management Investor Services earlier this year.
He was today banned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) from performing any function in the industry it regulates "for not being fit and proper" after the fare dodging, which was believed to have taken place over five years.
Mr Burrows carried out the ruse by boarding the London-bound train from Stonegate, a rural station with no barriers in East Sussex, without buying a ticket, before "tapping out" using an Oyster card at Cannon Street.
It meant he paid a £7.20 maximum Oyster fare rather than paying for a £21.50 train ticket for the one hour 22 minute journey.
Tracey McDermott, FCA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "Burrows held a senior position within the financial services industry. His actions fell short of the standards we expect.
"Approved persons must act with honesty and integrity at all times and, where they do not, we will take action."
He was eventually caught in November last year by a ticket inspector standing next to the barriers and was able to pay the £42,550 in dodged fares and £450 in legal costs within three days as part of an out-of-court settlement with rail firm Southeastern.
The FCA said Mr Burrows admitted in an interview to evading his train fare on a number of occasions and had done so in the knowledge he had been breaking the law.
He had also admitted that he did not disclose his behaviour to his employer.
Mr Burrows said in a statement: "I have always recognised that what I did was foolish. I have apologised to all concerned and reiterate that apology publicly today.
"The settlement I made with Southeastern in March 2014 was for an amount significantly in excess of the value of the fares not paid by me on the small number of occasions that I failed to pay.
"Indeed the size of the settlement could be said to have led to a distorted perception of the scale of my wrong-doing. However, that does not change the fact that what I did was wrong, and I accept that.
"In view of this, I have been told by the British Transport Police that they do not regard it as being in the public interest to pursue a case against me.
"While I respect the FCA's decision today, I also regret it, coming as it did after a 20-year career in the City that was without blemish.
"I recognise that the FCA has on its plate more profound wrong-doing than mine in the financial services sector, and I am sorry that my case has taken up its time at this critical juncture for the future of the City and its reputation."
BlackRock said in a statement: "Jonathan Burrows left BlackRock earlier this year. What he admitted to the FCA is totally contrary to our values and principles."
A spokesman for British Transport Police said: "We conducted a full and thorough investigation following allegations that a rail traveller had repeatedly avoided paying the correct fare between Stonegate and central London.
"Following these inquiries detectives have concluded that, at this stage, it would not be appropriate to take further action."