After four months of regulatory actions and legal proceedings, former clients of failed stockbroker SVS Securities can now lodge their claims online.
Special administrators have commenced a process in which clients can access an online website to verify their claims for money and assets held by SVS at the time of its collapse.
When the broker went into administration in August 2019, Julien Irving, Andrew Poxon, and Alex Cadwallader of Leonard Curtis were appointed as the administrator to take charge of the company’s affairs.
Clients can visit the Leonard Curtis information website www.leonardcurtis.co.uk/svs/, where there is a link to the client claims portal, which can be accessed at https://LeonardCurtis.InsolvencyData.co.uk. In the meantime, each client has been provided with a unique access code, and the administrators will be writing to customers with further information on the next steps.
While the earliest date for distributions is likely to be late next year, the liquidators have set a deadline for submitting claims, aka bar date, on 10 January 2020. The claims portal will enable clients to view their holdings as the company records showed on August 5.
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Once all clients’ claims have been verified and adjudicated, cash distributions will be made to clients on a pro-rata basis, meaning proportionately in terms of what is owed. Those who don’t submit their claims by the bar date could see their balances transferred to a regulated broker, though it is not guaranteed that late filings will be taken into account.
Some customers would face shortfalls
This is a positive step forward in the process of returning the available funds to clients who suffered losses as a result of the collapse SVS after the FCA identified “serious concerns” about how the company was operating its business.
Leonard Curtis revealed that they are dealing with £277 million of custody assets and £24 million of client money across 21,000 accounts. Further, there are around 670 unsettled transactions, including certain bonds, the value of which remains uncertain.
The administrators also confirmed earlier that they received interest from more than 100 UK firms inquiring about a transfer of SVS business and client money to their own companies.
Finally, the claims portal also allows clients to apply for FSCS compensation through a simplified process. The lifeboat announced earlier this month that those hit by financial losses are eligible for recompense through the FSCS, which covers investments up to the value of £85,000. But they warned there might be a “small number” of clients who may face shortfalls in their funds as above that level they would get nothing more.