FSCS pays out £3.4m over advice firm amid fraud charges

Money-Cash-20-Note-Currency-UK-700x450.jpg

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has paid out more than £3m in compensation claims against a Norwich advice firm currently in court over alleged fraud offences.

Taylor and Taylor Associates has been the subject of 119 successful claims on the lifeboat fund to date, which has awarded a total of £3.4m in compensation.

The figures obtained from the FSCS by Money Marketing represents an average of just over £28,500 a claim. When an advice firm enters administration, the lifeboat fund can pay out a maximum of £50,000 to anyone missold investments.

Taylor and Taylor was declared in default in December 2015 and is the subject of an ongoing fraud case at Norwich Crown Court.

Advisers Alan and Russell Taylor were charged with a combined 14 fraud related offences in April last year surrounding the handling of investments between Taylor and Taylor Associates and another of their businesses, Vantage Investment Group, between January 2008 and July 2015.

The charges include conspiracy to defraud and fraud by abuse of position, Norfolk Constabulary said in a statement, indicating the alleged fraud is likely to run into the millions of pounds.

The FCA ordered Vantage Investment Group to cease any regulated activity in March last year. It was also prohibited from transferring client money without the regulator’s consent and told to secure all of its records.

The FCA notice says that Vantage did not have the permissions required to manage an alternative investment fund.

The notice adds: “The Authority has received a number of consumer complaints concerning, among other matters: a lack of client documentation; an undisclosed conflict of interest with T&TA (a connected entity operated by the directors), a number of whose customers say they were recommended to invest in the fund; and misclassification of customers as professional or high net worth.”

In a statement on its closure, Taylor and Taylor Associates said that regulatory costs were partly to blame for them going out of business.

An original timetable to submit case summaries by 9 September last year ahead of a 23 September case management hearing was postponed.

The original trial was due to start in April, with an estimate that the case would run for six to eight weeks, but this is now likely to start months later.

A further case management hearing was scheduled for this Monday (9 January) but was postponed due to the judge’s availability.