Liquidators appointed over Allied Wallet.
Allied Wallet Limited (AWL) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to issue electronic money and provide payment services under the Electronic Money Regulations (the EMRs). Some of the activities of AWL are also subject to the Payment Services Regulations (PSRs). AWL has been authorised and regulated by the FCA under the EMRs since 3 February 2014.
On 21 May 2019, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an independent agency of the United States government, published a press statement on its website in relation to AWL and its CEO, Mr Andy Khawaja. The press statement stated that AWL, its CEO and other associates had agreed to settle FTC charges, including a monetary judgment totaling $110 million.
On 4 June 2019, the FCA imposed a number of requirements on AWL including that AWL must not carry on any regulated activities or dispose of its assets or any of the funds it holds. The FCA subsequently applied to the High Court to place AWL into provisional liquidation to protect the interests of AWL’s customers.
On 23 August 2019, Shane Michael Crooks, Emma Sayers and Malcolm Cohen, all of BDO LLP, were appointed as joint provisional liquidators of AWL.
On 20 March 2020, the High Court ordered AWL to be wound up, further to an application by the FCA. The FCA brought the application as it had concerns about AWL’s conduct and management.
Why did the FCA take this action now?
The FCA, as part of the ongoing supervisory discussions with AWL, expressed its concern over the failure to disclose these FTC charges and how this monetary judgment impacted AWL’s financial position. We also had concerns about the firm’s arrangements, in particular on how it is safeguarding customers’ funds. Although in liquidation, AWL continues to be regulated by the FCA. We continue working with the joint liquidators to minimise harm to customers.
What should I do if I have money with AWL?
Shane Michael Crooks, Emma Sayers and Malcolm Cohen, all of BDO LLP, have been appointed as the joint liquidators of AWL.
Customers should contact the joint liquidators if they are concerned, have any questions or for any updates. Customers of AWL who believe that they are owed money by the firm should contact Shane Michael Crooks, Emma Sayers and Malcolm Cohen of BDO LLP as soon as possible.
Customers can also contact our consumer helpline for further information.
Are my funds protected by FSCS?
No. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) only applies to certain types of activity. This does not include issuing electronic money or payment services.
Under the EMRs and PSRs, there are rules on how customers’ money should be protected and these requirements are known as ‘safeguarding’.
What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is a key consumer protection measure within the EMRs and PSRs. The purpose of safeguarding is to protect customer money if a firm fails. A firm’s ability to effectively safeguard customers’ funds is critical to help ensure that customers’ money is protected if a firm fails.
These safeguarding requirements applied to AWL and were a condition of AWL’s authorisation. On 4 June 2019, the FCA imposed requirements on AWL including a requirement not to dispose of any funds it holds in relation to e-money services so as to protect the interests of AWL’s customers.
What happens next?
Shane Michael Crooks, Emma Sayers and Malcolm Cohen, all of BDO LLP, have been appointed by the Official Receiver to be joint liquidators of AWL. The joint liquidators are responsible for managing customer claims against AWL and distributing the company’s assets to creditors and customers.
Although in liquidation, AWL continues to be regulated by the FCA. We are working with the joint liquidators to minimise harm to customers.