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Land banking fraud case costs FCA £2.5m

A land banking fraud case brought by the FCA which has been frustrated by the cuts to legal aid has cost the regulator £2.5m.

In May, a judge threw out the case after the five defendants failed to get legal representation. Later that month, the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

A Freedom of Information request published by the FCA shows the case has so far cost the regulator £2.5m, including £23,800 for external counsel for bringing the appeal.

In April 2013 the FCA charged eight men with land banking fraud and carrying out a regulated activity without authorisation. The case was classified as a “very high-cost case”. The Government has introduced a 30 per cent reduction to lawyer fees for VHCCs as part of legal aid cuts.

The defendants will now seek representation again.

A separate FoI request published by the FCA shows a big increase in customer data losses. In 2012, the regulator was notified of three incidents where firms had lost data or had it stolen. In 2013, it was notified of 13 incidents.


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