Investors who have lost millions in failed unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS) have had the green light to claim compensation.
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The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has given them the go-ahead to seek up to £50,000 per person from a list of 19 investment firms in default.
To be considered in default, a financial firm has to be regulated and unable to cover claims for compensation.
Firms in default
The firms in default are:
- Earl Elwood & Co Limited (formerly t/a Earl & Co Financial Services
- Quintillion Asset Management Limited formerly T/A O S A Investments Limited
- I F J Financial Solutions Limited
- Sigma 360 Wealth Management Limited now known as Sigma Wealth Management Limited
- The Arden Court Group Limited
- Conders’ Garage Limited
- Cashsafe Limited
- Green Money Limited
- Morgans Insurance Broking Limited formerly Morgans General Insurance Services Limited
- Aston Court Chambers Wealth Management Limited
- Home Finance
- Oxygen Finance Services Limited
- Specialist Solutions Limited formerly Specialist Solutions Public Limited Company
- David Bates (deceased) & Anne Bates t/a Cairns Horne & Company
- Adrian Cox Asset Management
- Estate Asset Management
- B.K. Thomas and Partners Limited
- Wessex Brokers Limited formerly t/a Lerwick Plc
- Greene Financial Practice
- Opus Accountancy Services
Several of the firms have been the subject of legal action by disgruntled investors.
England cricketer James Anderson and former Everton footballer Craig Short were among 16 investors, mainly from the world of sports, who took Sigma Wealth before the courts last year claiming £7 million compensation.
They attacked the firm for offering them negligent advice about investing in risky, unregulated funds.
A £300,000 legal challenge was also launched against network IN Partnership after former appointed representative Aston Court Chambers put clients into an unregulated property investment which failed.
The former Financial Services Authority (FSA), now regulator the Financial Conduct Authority, fined Specialist Solutions £25,000 for poorly promoting UCIS investments.
Director Ian Jones was fined £16,000 for suggesting more than 100 customers should invest £11 million between them in three UCIS funds without testing the risk was suitable for them.
The FCA has warned advisers not to offer UCIS to amateur investors because of the high risk/high return strategy which gives the potential for losing money. Many UCIS schemes involve offshore investments or property deals that turn sour, leaving the investors out of pocket.
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