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Keydata: From start to (almost) finish

Even though a judge threw out Keydata founder Stewart Ford’s £600m claim against the FCA for its role in the firm’s collapse, the maligned life settlements distributor’s seven year old battle with the regulator looks set to drag on in the appeals courts.

More than £330m in compensation has been paid out over the collapse, and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme clawed back £52m from the more than 800 advisers it took legal action against.

Money Marketing has charted the key moments in a collapse that rocked the IFA community and continues to rack up legal bills.



Keydata founder has £600m claim against FCA struck out

A judge has struck out Keydata founder Stewart Ford’s £600m legal claim against the FCA Ford, along with former Keydata sales director Mark Owen and three Keydata related companies: – LAS Global Limited, LAS International Limited and Tandem Marketing Partners Sarl – began their case against the FCA for misfeasance in public office and conspiracy to […]


Keydata boss calls for pause in legal battle amid FCA disclosure row

The former chief executive of collapsed investment company Keydata has applied to the Upper Tribunal for more FCA documents relating to the case. Stewart Ford is currently appealing a £75m fine from the regulator for his role in the company’s administration. Keydata, which distributed life settlement bonds through IFAs, entered administration in 2009 after authorities […]


FSCS ends four-year legal battle against Keydata advisers

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has ended its long-running battle with advisers who sold Keydata products. A consultation paper published by the FCA and PRA on the management expenses levy limit reveals the compensation scheme is dropping legal action over four years since it began. It says: “Costs in this area [financing and major recoveries […]

Life cover for life

When someone mentions whole of life plans, most people will think of a niche product that serves as an inheritance tax planning tool for high-net-worth clients. And it’s really not surprising they’ve been pigeonholed in that waybecause before the arrival of RDR in 2013, that’s more or less exactly what they were. For advisers thinking […]


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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “(almost) finish” to my mind implies that MM are of the view that Stewart Ford’s case will fail, but what if it is ultimately demonstrated (amongst other things) that the FSA/FSCS had no good cause for forcing Keydata Investment Services Limited into administration and that they were largely responsible for Lifemark failing? The latter will completely undermine the FSCS’ case against IFAs and will open the doors for those firms whose businesses have been ruined by the FSCS’ suit to counter-claim against the regulator – the ramifications are huge.

  2. This is a history? It wouldn’t have even merited a 3rd.
    What of (just as a very few examples)
    1. Luminaries such as Dr Harrison giving these an endorsement?
    2. The fact that the regulator somewhat perversely decided Key Data was an adviser and not a provider.
    3. That a significant part of the problem was caused by a criminal act – to whit Mr Elias absconding with the lolly. This was further compounded for many advisers because the PI insurers latched on to this to negate claims as they didn’t cover criminal acts.
    4. That the regulator at the time was derelict in its duties. Little inspection. No notification that some of the overseers and trustees had resigned or given up their posts.
    5. The fact that the case and actions by Herbert Smith was a complete dog’s dinner. They breached the Data Protection Act and merely received a slap on the wrist where others would have been severely sanctioned. That without any due diligence whatsoever just decided that anyone who had dealt in these products was guilty. For small firms this was just blackmail as going to court would probably have cost more than paying the impost. And that impost was subject to the sort of haggling not out of place in a Persian market.

    And so on practically ad infinitum. The Regulator, the FSCS, the FOS, the accountancy firms and the banks and trustees involved hardly covered themselves in glory. Mr Ford and his colleagues didn’t come out of this as white as snow either, but perhaps not quite as black as the Regulator would like to paint them. The real fall guys were in most cases the advisers. True some were very cavalier, but a significant number did carry out as much due diligence as was both appropriate and possible – only to have been tarred with the same brush. The Revenue was also a loser as these fines and compensation payments went against tax liabilities.

    The winner? Why Herbert Smith of course. How much did they trouser over the whole farrago. Don’t even dare to tell me they had huge costs. I happen to know (from the inside) that in the main they used trainees and for all I know the tea lady as well, to process this work.

  3. There is hardly any detail on your timeline at all Justin, I could provide you with a massively more detailed one which would make an awful lot more interesting reading and showing you why there are still significant questions to ask and answers to be given by people in the banking, auditing and regulatory regimes. Stewart Ford may well be no innocent in this whole debacle, but he is only one side of the story.

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