FCA responds to complaints into its regulation of Premier FX

The FCA has today responded to complaints from people who complained to the FCA after losing money when Premier FX (PFX), a payment services firm, authorised for money remittance, collapsed in 2018. Following an independent internal assessment of each complaint, the FCA has upheld or partially upheld 5 out of 31 allegations.

The upheld or partially upheld allegations relate to the timeliness and accuracy of updates made to the Register, the reauthorisation of the firm just prior to its collapse in 2018 and concerns over how information was handled and not actioned. The issues identified relate to events that happened several years ago, which the FCA’s wider work, including on transformation has largely remediated. For example, data capabilities have been improved and a ‘single view of firms’ dashboard has been rolled out across the organisation to ensure intelligence is handled, assessed and shared effectively. This forms part of the FCA’s strategy to improve its use of data so that harm can be identified and prevented sooner.

The FCA investigated the circumstances that led to Premier FX's insolvency. The investigation identified serious misconduct perpetrated by Premier FX and its bankers Barclays Bank Plc. The FCA took action on both and as a result of enforcement action taken against Barclays Bank Plc, it voluntarily agreed to repay the people who lost money in Premier FX and by April 2022 they were repaid all the money they originally paid in, that had not been paid out when Premier FX collapsed.

The FCA’s response

An FCA spokesperson said: 'We recognise that the collapse of Premier FX resulted in the loss of significant sums of money for its customers, and welcome the fact our successful enforcement action against Barclays Bank plc has meant that all 167 affected Premier FX customers with accepted claims have had 100% of the money they paid in returned.

'We are very sorry for the mistakes we made prior to the collapse of Premier FX. We are a very different regulator today than we were during the period that these complaints cover. We strive to continuously improve and learn lessons and have been transforming the way in which we operate. Complaints, like those received about our regulation of Premier FX, provide a vital source of insight, which have led to improvements to our processes and working practices and has enabled us to become a more assertive, adaptive and innovative regulator.'