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Keydata boss loses battle to overturn £76m FCA fine

Stewart-Ford-Keydata-500x320.jpg
Keydata founder Stewart Ford

The boss of former failed investment company Keydata Stewart Ford has lost his attempt to overturn a £76m fine handed down from the FCA.

Keydata became infamous for the sale of life settlement bonds, which pooled life insurance policies into a securitised investment. The Luxembourg-registered bonds ran into trouble when it was claimed their tax status had been labelled incorrectly, and did not qualify for Isa treatment, encountering liquidity issues over substantial unpaid tax bills.

Keydata was placed into administration nearly ten years ago. The Upper Tribunal’s decision yesterday to uphold Ford’s fine and ban marks the latest update in a long-running series of legal dramas between senior Keydata staff, the regulator, and others, which also saw Ford attempt to counter-sue the FCA for £400m over “misfeasance in public office and conspiracy to injure” as well as other lawyers and heads of related companies to Keydata.

Keydata: From start to (almost) finish

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme also pursued advisers who recommended Keydata to clients for redress through the courts.

The tribunal verdict yesterday was critical of both the fees Ford paid to himself from the products, as well as how the firm disclosed the potential risks of life settlement bonds to elderly clients, the Times reports.

The tribunal said: “A constant theme is the deliberate and calculated concealment by Mr Ford of material information.”

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