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Trusts &#39found wanting&#39 over help for splits victims

AITC director general Daniel Godfrey has criticised the industry for its reluctance to offer voluntary financial assistance to the hardest-hit victims of collapsed split-capital trusts.

Speaking in London last week, Godfrey said the AITC has been lucky that demand for payouts from its hardship fund has been lower than feared, as financial help from the industry has been found wanting.

Some firms that prospered from splits have offered support but he said others have dragged their feet “or even more disappointingly said no”.

Godfrey said the reason that demand has been so low is because most of those who lost money were well-off investors who committed only part of their portfolios to the sector. If this had not been the case, the AITC risked falling flat on its face, although he said it deserved its luck for trying to do the right thing.

The hardship fund, launched in June, issues payouts to investors with less than £16,000 in savings who are suffering severe financial hardship as a direct result of losses. The AITC initially hoped to raise £10m but revised this target once it became clear that firms were reluctant to contribute.

It believed to have raised no more than £2m although the AITC will only say it has gathered enough to help all those in immediate financial need. However, Godfrey expressed his hope that more firms will contribute.

He said: “We have been lucky because demand has so far been much lower than we might have feared. I hope those firms who have so far failed to step up to the mark will now do so, so that we can complete this important task.”


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