A recent ruling by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has seen 21 companies declared in default. One of the most notable names is Vantage Investment Group Limited, owned by a pair of brothers sentenced to 11 years in prison for a £17m fraud case.
Vantage Investment Group Limited have been put into default a year after its directors were jailed for defrauding 200 clients, many of them elderly and/or vulnerable. The investment manager was owned by Alan and Russell Taylor, alongside their advice company Taylor & Taylor Associates Ltd.
The brothers were sentenced to six and five years respectively in a May 2018 ruling at King’s Lynn Crown Court. The case came to light after clients noticed the loss of money invested in Taylor & Taylor Associates Ltd and reported the issue to Action Fraud. From 2008 to 2015, the brothers produced fraudulent client documents, persuading clients to sign them and then gaining access to each client’s pension funds.
They then proceeded to transfer money to Vantage Investment Group Ltd, unbeknownst to the clients, and moved them into a high-risk finance scheme. The total loss across the group of clients was almost £17m with Mike Broomfield, The Pensions Regulator’s head of intelligence, calling Taylor and Taylor “a textbook example of how fraudsters abuse the trust of their vulnerable victims”.
In addition to the VIG case, the FSCS declared another 20 companies in default in the period between February and April this year, including:
- Ulverston Financial Services Limited
- Abrams Ashton & Co (Financial Services) Limited
- Greg Smith Financial & Insurance Services
- Pensionology UK Limited
- Kennett Investment Life & Pensions Limited
- Premier Financial Solutions (Harrogate) Limited
- Magna Wealth Management Limited
- Synergie Financial Planning Limited
- Cherwell Finance
- Susan Fleck Associates Limited
A company is declared in default by the FSCS when it is satisfied that it cannot pay the compensation claims made against it. Consumers then take the claims to the compensation scheme instead. Since 2001, the scheme has paid out over £26bn in compensation. FSCS said: “We step in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, free to consumers, protects your deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management.”