Fraud victims who lost properties, life savings and pension pots win £10m in Premier FX battle | UK News

Fraud victims who lost more than £10million in the collapse of a UK currency exchange firm have won a remarkable battle to get all their money back.

corporate bank, Barclays, was fined and condemned by the regulator for “failure to conduct business with skill, care and diligence”. Barclays agreed to reimburse the victims.

Premier FX collapsed in 2018 after the sudden death of owner Peter Rexstrew, and administrators soon discovered that £11.2 million of customer money was missing. He is still missing.

The business collapsed in 2018 after the sudden death of owner Peter Rexstrew

The Surrey-based company was licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority, but only to transfer client funds.

Premier also encouraged customers to deposit cash — something its FCA license did not cover — and then mix it with company funds.

“Three people died within six months of discovering their money had been stolen”

Businesswoman Pauline Creasey, who lost nearly £500,000 and led 167 victims in battle to get their money back, said: “After more than three years without our money, I felt quite giddy to hear that we would get it back.

“But it was horrible, very stressful and exhausting and a lot of people got very sick. I think we lost six or seven claimants who died in the process.

Pauline Creasey
Pauline Creasey lost almost £500,000 and led 167 victims into battle to get their money back

“Three died within six months of finding out their money had been stolen and I think it’s pretty awful to die knowing your life’s work has been scammed by a mean fraudster who had a license from the authorities. British.”

She said the victims, mostly elderly people selling in the UK to buy modest care homes in Portugal and Spain, lost properties, savings and pension funds when the Prime Minister collapsed .

The scandal was brought to light by Sky News in a series of interviews with victims, some in tears, who spoke of their shock, anger and devastation.

Initial calls for help from victims were turned down by Surrey Police, who said an investigation would be ‘extremely difficult’ and ‘the cost in terms of finance and personnel would be high’.

Many of the victims were elderly and sold in the UK to buy modest retirement homes in Portugal and Spain

They were also refuse by the City of London Police, the Serious Fraud Office, Action Fraud, Barclays and HM Treasury.

Ms Creasey, from Kent, said: ‘I spoke to the Treasury quite early on, who are responsible for the FCA’s legal framework, but I was told by a senior official ‘don’t waste your time, you won’t make it go anywhere, no government department will take responsibility for it, you will end up getting even more pissed off.

“He said nobody cares about fraud in the UK; the government will only get involved if it’s a big international scam and there are kudos to working with our international partners to bring down big crooks and that’s good for us and The City of London.

“He said it’s a sad little story and we hear these stories all the time, but you’re no different to other people who have lost their money to scammers. I felt quite insulted. J just thought I wasn’t going to let this go.”

The Financial Conduct Authority eventually investigated and fined Barclays

Eventually, the FCA was persuaded to investigate and fined Barclays £783,800, a sentence which it says would have been significantly higher had it not been for Barclays’ offer to reimburse the victims.

“Barclays did not investigate”

The FCA said: “Barclays did not investigate to ensure that Premier FX’s actual business activity was consistent with Barclays’ expectations and did not identify that Premier FX’s internal controls were deficient. This constituted a failure on the part of Barclays to conduct its business with skill, care and diligence.

“The financial penalty takes into account that Barclays has voluntarily agreed to cover the losses of Premier FX clients whose claims have been accepted by Premier FX’s liquidators.

“Following the liquidator’s distribution of 9p for every pound lost, Barclays’ voluntary payment of £10,076,943.75 will make up the difference, meaning the 167 Premier FX clients with claims accepted will have 100% of their money refunded.”

Victim Graham Dyke, a retired manufacturing engineer, lost what he describes as a ‘modest amount’ compared to some losers, but said: ‘To be honest, if it had only been five cents , I would have chased them away.

Graham Digue
“To be honest, if it had only been a five, I would have chased them away,” says Graham Dyke

He said from his home in Manchester: “We spent long hours studying banking and payments regulations, insolvency regulations etc., and in truth it enabled us to make a very strong case. where FCA and Barclays let us down.

“We were never going to get any money from Premier FX, but these organizations have certainly let us down. Fraud is an easy and fast-growing form of theft and it’s not stopped, it’s not checked. “

A Barclays spokesperson said: “Barclays has reached a resolution with the FCA following an investigation into its monitoring and surveillance of a former client, Premier FX Limited.

“As part of this resolution, Barclays has agreed to pay a fine of £783,800 and make an ex gratia payment to be distributed among Premier FX clients. Barclays has co-operated fully with the FCA’s investigation.”

Two major policing reports last week, by the Police Foundation and the HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, condemned the poor police response to fraud, now the most widespread crime in England and the Country of Wales.

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