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FSCS places collapsed platform owner’s advice firm in default

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The advice firm run by the former boss of collapsed platform Avalon has been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

A county court first ordered Tetbury-based Market Place Financial Services Limited to be wound up last February over debts it incurred buying shares in a biofuel company chaired by former Conservative MP Tim Yeo.

The FSCS has now officially placed the firm into default, meaning compensation claims against it can be processed.

Avalon, of which Kerr was also managing director, then entered financial difficulty after facing a £2m civil claim bought against it by a former business associate, Michael Bennett, who alleged that Kerr promised to raise money for investment in his business that he did not provide.

Bennett alleged that Kerr said Market Place would help him raise in excess of $50 million (£35 million) from Chinese investors to go towards Bennett’s farming business.

Hornbuckle parent Embark Group bought Avalon after it entered special administration.

Market Place is one of 40 firms the FSCS declared in default between 1 January and 28 February 2017.

Other advice firms declared in default include M I Wealth Management Limited, which had its permissions cancelled by the FCA last April for failing to submit its regulatory returns, and Moneygate Wealth Management, which was a subsidiary of Moneygate Group, the consolidator which became Fairstone.

FSCS head of communications Mark Oakes says: “Our message to anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with any of these firms is please get in touch as we may be able to help you.”

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  1. Whilst you say “Bennett alleged that Kerr…”, don’t forget that the High Court actually found as a matter of fact that Kerr did these things.

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