UK watchdog extends deadline for filing LCF complaints

The UK Financial Conduct Authority is extending the deadline for filing complaints against London Capital & Finance.

London Capital & Finance

Citing the exceptional circumstances surrounding the collapsed mini-bond provider, LCF stakeholders will be able to make complaints to the UK’s financial watchdog until March 17, 2022, the FCA said in an update on its website.

“We announced our broad approach to LCF complaints in April 2021, and, given the exceptional circumstances surrounding LCF, individuals will continue to be able to make complaints to the FCA about LCF until 17 March 2022. We will continue to have the flexibility to investigate complaints after that time if the complainant can show reasonable grounds for delay, as per the terms of the Complaints Scheme,” the statement further reads.

The FCA further explains: “Our standard approach to complaints, as set out in Section 3.3. of our Complaints Scheme, is that any complaint about the FCA should be made within 12 months of the date on which the complainant first became aware of the circumstances giving rise to their complaint. Therefore, in the case of London Capital & Finance (LCF), we would typically not investigate any complaints under the Complaints Scheme following 17 December 2021, given this point in time is 12 months from the date on which the Gloster Report was published.”

The move also comes after recent reports suggested that the FCA is understaffed in certain key areas, which led the regulator to recruit private law firms to help process applications. The shortage in FCA staffers has been publicly aired by its vacancy levels that are reportedly running at about 500.

An independent, government-backed investigation concluded last year that the FCA failed to properly supervise and regulate London Capital & Finance before the firm collapsed and wiped out the savings of neary 12,000 investors.

FSCS goes live with government compensation scheme

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has gone live with the government’s redress scheme to reimburse eligible London Capital & Finance victims. The lifeboat system said last month it has contacted around 1,000 bondholders and expects all eligible customers to receive their offer within five months.

The government-funded scheme will be available to all individual bondholders who have not already compensated by the FSCS. Per the proposed terms,  the government would pay 80 percent of the compensation, up to a maximum of £68,000, that LCF clients would have received if they were eligible for FSCS protection.

Those who still want to receive their principal investment in full can reject the offer when the FSCS contacts them by April 20, 2022. Approved claimants are expected to get their payments later this month.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme paid compensation to investors who relied on claims for misleading advice in the collapsed mini-bond provider. The fund said it was aware that some Strand customers were advised by independent financial advisers to transfer existing assets to the firm that was put into special administration in May 2017.