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12,000 ex-Merchant Capital investors face Reyker charges

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Around 12,000 former Merchant Capital investors face hundreds of thousands of pounds in total charges by new plan manager Reyker Securities.

Reyker has taken over as plan manager and custodian for investors who have a total of £400m in Merchant Capital structured product plans.

The charges will vary depending on the size of the investment but Reyker says based on a £25,000 plan, those with capital plans will typically pay £115 a year, while those with monthly income plans will pay £195 a year.

Reyker intends to limit total costs at £500 for capital plans and at £600 for income plans, but says these are not guaranteed. Early redemption charges of £250 also apply.

Investors will have to pay the charges when their plans mature, kick out or are redeemed.

Reyker says the charges cover custody and administration costs that parent company Merchant House Group agreed to pay in relation to Merchant Capital when the structured products arm went into administration in January. Merchant House Group then went into administration last month.

Reyker was appointed custodian in March 2012 after former custodian Pritchard Stockbrokers was suspended by the FSA.

Reyker charged Merchant Capital clients between £15 and £25 per investment to receive delayed income payments and act as custodian last year.

Lowes Financial Management managing director Ian Lowes says: “Following the collapse of Merchant House Group, it seems Reyker is now seeking to charge clients what seems to be more than double what they were originally going to receive. It is surely not treating customers fairly.”

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