FSA once again showed that it is the sanest regulators out there and also the quickest to act. It managed to successfully halt an unauthorized Forex scheme early in its life and to recoup most of the invested money.
On another note: how did an accounting firm think that it could get away with such scheme in a highly regulated country like the UK is simply beyond me.
Consumers who lost money in an unauthorised investment scheme are set to receive £3.7 million in compensation.
About 391 investors paid just over £5 million into a currency plan being offered by Wakefield-based Upton & Co Accountants, which promised investors high returns through investing in foreign exchange markets.
But only limited foreign exchange trading ever took place and very little money was ever returned to investors. The firm was also not authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
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The regulator secured a High Court injunction in March last year to stop the firm trading and freeze its assets, and earlier this year it reached an agreement with the firm to pay compensation to investors.
A High Court ruling today confirmed that £3.7 million would be paid to investors on a pro-rata basis immediately, with further payments of £10,000 a month also due to be returned to them during the coming seven years.
Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “This is a fantastic result.
“It is so rare for victims of unauthorised businesses to get any money back because normally the money is misappropriated and victims of unauthorised firms are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
“But as we intervened early in the scheme’s life cycle we were able to recover a large proportion of the original amount invested. Normally the amount recovered – if any – is often just a few pence in the pound, so securing this amount is a real coup.”