The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a public censure against Premier FX Limited, a company under liquidation, for violating the regulations around handling clients’ money.
Premier FX was authorized and registered as a remittance company, meaning it was only allowed to take funds from the customers accompanied by a payment order for onward transfer for an immediate or a future date execution.
However, the market watchdog found that the company was receiving and holding the proceeds on behalf of its clients, misleading its customers with the nature of its authorized services.
Peter Rexstrew, the now-deceased previous Chief Executive of the company, is also blamed for using clients’ money in settling business expenses. The FCA elaborated that the company was not permitted to hold any of the clients’ funds indefinitely.
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No Money to Run the Business
“This has been a complex investigation involving the analysis of hundreds of thousands of transactions across Premier FX’s bank accounts over the course of several years, in a range of currencies and through a number of overseas bank accounts,” said Mark Steward, FCA’s Executive Director for Enforcement and Market Oversight. “The investigation was complicated further by a lack of proper records.”
The discrepancies in Premier FX business were revealed after the death of Rexstrew when his two children and the staff attempted to continue the remittance business, only to find out that the firm did not have enough money to pay for its expenses.
The company collapsed when a large number of clients, with deposited funds in the company, demanded their funds back.
“Whatever the reasons for his deception, [Peter Rexstrew’s] scheme completely unraveled within a few weeks of his death, leaving a mess for others and losses for customers,” Steward added.