A Birmingham financier who fleeced cash-strapped householders has been handed a record near £1 million fine and branded a ‘disgrace to financial services.’

Gurpreet Singh Chadda, who targeted homeowners in arrears or facing repossession with his Red2Black Homes company, was banned and fined £945,277, a record sum for a sole retailer.

The FCA said Chadda, of Soho Hill, Handsworth, had deliberately misled vulnerable customers for personal gain, pocketing nearly £700,000 from seven transactions. The authority has since referred the case to West Midlands Police.

Tracey McDermott, FCA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “Chadda’s misconduct is the most shocking we have seen from a home finance manager. He is a disgrace to financial services.

“He deliberately misled his clients for his own personal gain and then repeatedly and cynically lied to the FCA. Chadda is not fit to work in regulated financial services and he presents a serious risk to customers and lenders alike with his dishonest and unscrupulous actions.

“The unprecedented level of the fine for a sole trader reflects our determination to deprive him of the gains he made as a result of his misconduct.”

The FCA said in a statement: “Chadda was based in Birmingham, trading under the names Red2Black Homes and B&L Homes.

“The FCA investigated his involvement in seven sale and rent back transactions between June 2009 and January 2010 and found serious failings in all of them.

“A sale and rent back transaction is an agreement where a home owner sells their home and then rents it back from the arranger so as to be able to carry on living in the home. Often people who sell their homes in this way are vulnerable as they are in financial difficulties and need to raise money to pay mortgage arrears and avoid imminent repossession.” Mr Chadda could not be contacted for comment.