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£17m fraud firm named alongside IFAs in FSCS default list

A firm run by brothers jailed for a £17 million investment fraud has been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme

£17m fraud firm named alongside IFAs in FSCS default list

A firm run by brothers jailed for a £17 million investment fraud has been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The FSCS regularly publishes a list of firms it has declared in default, meaning they are unable to pay out on claims made against them.

A number of IFA firms are included in the most recent list, as well as a business called Vantage Investment Group.

Vantage was owned by two Norwich-based brothers who also ran an IFA firm Taylor and Taylor Associates.

Around £17 million from 239 clients was invested without their knowledge through Taylor and Taylor Associates into the unregulated Vantage Investment Group fund, of which the brothers were the directors and shareholders, between 2008 and 2015.

According to police, the Taylors used the money to fund expensive lifestyles, which included cars and a private boat. The pair were each charged with seven counts of fraud in 2016, and pleaded guilty in 2018 to a single count of conspiracy to defraud.

A 2018 data request by New Model Adviser® revealed the lifeboat fund had paid out £5 million for a total of 176 complaints against the Taylor and Taylor. Of these, 102 related to advice on Sipp products, 28 related to unregulated collective investment schemes, and 23 related to investment bonds.

Other IFA firms in today’s FSCS list were

  • Synergie Financial Planning Limited (trading as Future Financial), Dorset.
  • Magna Wealth Management Limited, Worcestershire.
  • TBO Investments Ltd, Birmingham
  • Kennett Investment, Life & Pensions Limited, Humberside.
  • Premier Financial Solutions (Harrogate) Limited
  • Pensionology UK Limited (Formerly Broker-Support Limited), Cheshire
  • Ulverston Financial Services Limited, Cumbria
  • Susan Fleck Associates Limited, Kent
  • John Henry Moore, East Sussex
  • Sequant Capital Limited Formerly Central Markets (London) (although still listed as active on the FCA register at the time of writing, check the register here).
  • GD Tancred Ltd, Peterborough.

GD Tancred's FCA register entry records that it was censured by the Financial Services Authority back in 2006, though it is not clear whether there is any connection to it going into default in 2019.

Advisers are set to fork out £153 million towards the FSCS levy in 2019/20. In April the FSCS said it is still seeing the majority of claims coming from unsuitable Sipp advice. However there was also a slight slowdown in advice compensation claims.

The FSCS has in fact recovered £300 million over the past five years from failed financial services firms.

Alex Kuczynski, chief corporate affairs officer at FSCS, said: ‘We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with any of these firms to get in touch as we may be able to help you.'

Read more on the FSCS: Revealed: consolidation is fuelling FSCS bills worth millions

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