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Keydata's Ford plans appeal & tells FCA 'this is not going away'

Keydata's Ford plans appeal & tells FCA 'this is not going away'

Keydata founder Stewart Ford has vowed to appeal the High Court's decision to dismiss his £600 million claim against the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Ford (pictured) told Citywire he applied five times for a stay in proceedings until his appeal of a £75 million fine from the regulator is settled in the Upper Tribunal. However, this was not granted.  

‘I will be appealing – of course. I am not happy about it but I have to respect the judge’s decision. The problem I had with the recent claim was that I did not have enough evidence to demonstrate incompetence on the part of the regulator,' he said.

'It is a high bar to reach to accuse someone of targeting you to cause you harm,' he said. 'I knew that and this was the problem I had with the case. I did not want to raise action until the Upper Tribunal because I knew that in the Upper Tribunal all of the evidence will come out that shows that they [the Financial Services Authority] acted outside of the regulatory remit, which I believe it has done.'

Ford said he has evidence but ‘by no stretch of the imagination do I have all of it’. He said he is waiting for the FCA to disclose material.

Ford joined with sales director Mark Owen and three companies that were linked to Keydata - LAS Global Limited, LAS International Limited and Tandem Marketing Partners Sarl - to launch a legal claim, accusing the FCA of misfeasance in public office and conspiracy to injure with PWC by producing 'an incomplete, hasty and inaccurate' solvency report.

The claimants alleged the former regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), engaged PWC to prepare a solvency report on Keydata to support its application to place the company into liquidation 

The claims amounted to £462 million plus interest. In May of last year, the interest was said to total £171 million, bringing the total up to £574 million.

The FCA's application for the legal claim to be struck out of the High Court was successful on Monday. The judgement said the material it had seen did not provide a basis to think that the FSA or its employees were motivated by a political agenda or were 'maliciously targeting or intending to injure,' Keydata or Ford.

The judgement said the particulars of claim did not identify the officers at the Financial Services Authority who were alleged to have acted in bad faith, alongside the facts that form the basis of the interference of bad faith on the part of specific individuals. As a result, the claims were described as 'deficient and embarrassing'.

Ford plans to appeal the decision and said he also expects the appeal of his £75 million fine will be successful, ending what he describes as '10 years of a nightmare'.

'At the Upper Tribunal, I will beat them [the FCA] as I know what they have done and how they have gone about it. This is not going to go away. They may think this has gone away but this is only on a temporary basis,' he said. 

Keydata entered administration in 2009 over tax debts incurred when the regulator at the time deemed it had mislabelled products as ISAs.

An investigation following the collapse revealed that £103 million of investors' money which was supposed to have been invested in life settlement funds through a company called SLS Capital had disappeared. 

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