On 5 August 2019, the Court appointed Julien Irving, Andrew Poxon and Alex Cadwallader, all of Leonard Curtis, as Special Administrators of SVS Securities Plc (SVS), following an application by the Directors. The Joint Special Administrators are currently considering the options for the business going forward, including a sales process of the whole or part of the business. They will be speaking with interested parties about this.
Launch of the Online Claims Portal
The Special Administrators have now contacted customers of SVS inviting them to make claims to client money and assets via an online client portal. Claims must be submitted before the Bar Date on 10 January 2020. This is the next stage in returning client money and custody assets to SVS’s customers.
For further information, please visit the Leonard Curtis website www.leonardcurtis.co.uk/SVS.
Please note, the Special Administrators are contacting customers by post except for Chinese based non-EPC FX customers and SIPP Providers who are being contacted by email. Should you have not received contact from the Special Administrators regarding how to make your claim by 4 December 2019, the Special Administrators request you contact them using the details below.
At this stage, the Special Administrators are NOT requesting that customers provide bank details nor requesting any form of payment to be made. Please remain alert to scams.
What is the FSCS and will they cover any losses?
The FSCS protects consumers when financial services firms fail. It is the compensation scheme for customers of UK authorised financial services firms. It has eligibility criteria both in respect of the people and businesses who are covered.
The FSCS will cover custody assets and client money shortfalls, including the costs associated with their distribution back to clients, for eligible clients up to £85,000.
The Special Administrators will work with the FSCS to determine the position and will provide further updates.
Being Alert to Scams
We have been made aware of fraudulent letters being sent to clients that claim to come from the Special Administrators. All customers should remain alert to the possibility of fraud. If you are cold called by someone claiming to be from SVS or Leonard Curtis please end the call and call them back using the number below. Further guidance is provided on the Leonard Curtis website www.leonardcurtis.co.uk/SVS
What concerns led the FCA to take action on this firm?
Acting on intelligence received about the assets in which SVS invested its clients’ money, we conducted urgent supervisory work and identified serious concerns about the way in which the business was operating.
The FCA has opened an investigation into this matter.
Why did the Directors of SVS take this action?
Following action taken by the FCA to impose requirements on SVS stopping it from conducting regulated activities and restricting it from disposing of its own or its clients’ assets, the directors considered the viability and solvency of SVS. They obtained solvency advice and resolved to place the firm into Special Administration.
Where can I find more information and who can I contact?
Customers can find more information about how they will be affected by visiting the Leonard Curtis website www.leonardcurtis.co.uk/SVS and can contact the administrators by email: [email protected] or call 0203 457 4871.
The Special Administrators have written to all clients and customers with their proposals for the Special Administration. This document is available on the Leonard Curtis website.
I have an investment held by SVS, will I get my money or assets back?
The Special Administrators engaged third party specialists to carry out an assessment of the client money and assets held by the firm. This work has been completed and the Special Administrators have confirmed that client money and assets are intact.
The Administrators continue to develop a strategy to return as much client money and assets to customers as possible, as quickly as possible. For further information please see the Leonard Curtis website.
Do I have to pay to get my money or assets back?
There are costs associated with distributing client money and custody assets back to clients, including the administrators’ fees. Under the legislation, these costs will be deducted from the client money or custody assets.
The Special Administrators are working closely with the FSCS and expect the vast majority of clients will be compensated in full by the FSCS for these costs. As a result, the vast majority of clients shall receive their client money and custody assets in full.
Do I need to use a claims management company?
You should proceed with caution if you are approached by a claims management company.
For the vast majority of clients, there is no benefit in involving a third party in reclaiming your assets.
If you use a CMC to assist in the return of your assets, the CMC is likely to seek a fee which may reduce what you get back.
If you are considering using a CMC to assist with the return of your assets, we suggest that before you decide to proceed with this route you first discuss this with the Special Administrators using the contact details provided on their website.
Is the FCA overseeing the administration?
SVS is still authorised by the FCA and remains subject to supervisory oversight and the FCA’s rules. The Special Administrators are officers of the Court and need to comply with all insolvency law. The individuals appointed are authorised to act as licensed insolvency practitioners by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW). We are liaising closely with the Special Administrators.