FCA applies to strike out Keydata case

FCA applies to strike out Keydata case

The Financial Conduct Authority has applied to strike out Keydata founder Stewart Ford’s legal claim against it.

Keydata Investment Services founder Mr Ford said the FCA’s attempt to put an end to his case was at very early stages but a hearing could take place in the summer.

He said: “They have applied to the court but I have not got a date fixed for that yet. It is pretty preliminary stuff.

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“The process of me suing them has been on going for some time and they don’t believe they have a case to answer.”

Last month Mr Ford’s case had its first case management hearing in the Upper Tribunal with FCA arguing the case should be split up into two cases dealing with Mr Ford’s alleged misconduct and, if this is upheld, what penalty is appropriate.

The judge disagreed.

Another case management hearing is scheduled for October and the hearing itself is expected to take place in 2017.

Keydata Investment Services designed and sold life settlement policy-based investment products to retail investors via independent financial advisers.

Products were underpinned by investments in bonds issued by Luxembourg vehicles SLS Capital and Lifemark.

From December 2005 to June 2009, more than 37,000 investors purchased the products, investing more than £475m.

In the Lifemark Bonds alone, £373.2m was invested by 30,906 retail customers, via IFAs.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has subsequently made payments to investors in the products of more than £330m.

In May the FCA announced it had decided to fine Mr Ford £75m and former Keydata sales director Mark Owen and former Keydata compliance officer Peter Johnson £4m and £200,000 respectively.

It cited a “lack of integrity” and “reckless” actions while also saying the regulator itself had been “deliberately misled”.

But Mr Ford has alleged that the then-FSA knowingly exceeded its statutory authority to bring down Keydata in an attempt to prove it could be effective following the financial crash.

The FCA declined to comment.