London banker banned for dodging rail fares

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2014 11:57 AM

LONDON (AP) — A London banker has been banned from working in the financial services industry after he was caught dodging rail fares.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement Monday that Jonathan Burrows has been banned for not being "fit and proper."

The former BlackRock director would board a train at Stonegate, a suburb nearly 60 miles southeast of London, for his daily commute and, after arriving at London's Cannon Street, pay only 7.20 pounds ($11.70) for the journey, instead of the full 21.50 pounds price that was required for that journey, railway officials said.

By boarding at a station without a ticket gate barrier, Burrows was able to use a loophole in the system of pre-paid transport passes. When arriving in London he touched out with his pass, which is only valid for travel within London, and was charged only 7.20 pounds. He should instead have bought a full ticket for traveling into the city from Stonegate.

Burrows paid 43,000 pounds ($67,000) in an out-of-court-settlement with Southeastern railways.

Michelle Ulyatt, a Southeastern spokeswoman, said the company believed Burrows was dodging fares for up to five years.

He was finally caught by inspectors at Cannon Street station on November 19 last year.

Burrows said in a statement Monday that he had apologized to all concerned. "I have always recognized that what I did was foolish," he said.

The amount the company asked Burrows to repay was based on its calculations on the basis of single fares.

This meant the settlement cost him around 20,000 pounds more than if he had bought season tickets.

Tracey McDermott, the FCA's director of enforcement and financial crime, said in a statement that Burrow's "conduct fell short of the standards" of a senior manager.

Burrows left his job as a managing director of BlackRock Asset Management Investor Services earlier this year after the fare-dodging was uncovered.