Shares in Berkeley Berry Birch skidded 51/2p to 8p yesterday, their lowest price for more than a year, after the insurance broker and financial adviser put out a profit warning blaming a Financial Services Authority investigation for lost sales.
The company said that after a slowdown within its financial services division in the final quarter of its year to March, turnover for the full year is likely to be below market expectations and will now be broadly in line with that in the previous financial year.
This setback was due mainly from the impact of the FSA's investigation on Berkeley Independent Advisers, which has stopped selling its regular savings premium and whole of life products, which are the focus of the investigation.
Despite the lower turnover, BBB said it expects its operating loss, before exceptional items and goodwill impairment and amortisation, to be in line with market expectations.
The company added that the investigation is on-going and its board continues to provide its full assistance and to liaise with the FSA on the nature and extent of any investigation into past business.
As a result, it said the costs of such an exercise remain uncertain at this point, although they could be substantial if a full review is required.