Financial Services Compensation Scheme  

FSCS pays out £14m over failed property scheme advice

Darren Rowe, independent financial adviser in the Continuum partnership, who helped the investor and his wife obtain compensation for their failed investments, said the clients had initially dealt with Mr Bolton’s firm but later received correspondence from PFM UK.

He added: "The £14m is a massive figure, I am shocked. When you think that the compensation is capped at £50,000 per claim the actual losses suffered by clients could be many times this this figure. 

"I am also astonished in the amount of claims for each firm, these seem huge figures, it’s a good job they are no longer trading [in financial services].

"I really don’t understand how some advisers feel that Ucis schemes play any part in an everyday investor's portfolio."

Mr Rowe took on the clients in 2014 after they were recommended to him by another client. 

He said looking at the pair’s portfolio he quickly formed the view that the investments were too high risk for the profile of the clients.

In February 2015 he instructed a sale of the LPH bonds but he said LPH would not allow the sale to take place and told the investors to wait until the beginning of 2018 to withdraw the funds. 

In a letter to investors in October 2017 the scheme explained it had been placed under a freezing injunction which had stifled ongoing funding and cashflow and caused all building works to be halted. But the scheme denied any responsibility, or connection to the entity that obtained the injunction, a Panama Foundation at that point.

The 2018 deadline passed without any change prompting the adviser to take the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service and later the FSCS.

According to the FSCS, 181 claimants were given advice to invest in LPH before 2006 but the bulk of advice was given between 2009 and 2012, when 436 of the total 633 claimants to date had invested in LPH.

carmen.reichman@ft.com