Wealth management firm SVS Securities PLC has entered special administration after the Financial Conduct Authority identified "serious concerns" about the way in which the business was operating.
The intervention followed "urgent" supervisory work by the financial regulator after it received a tip-off about the assets in which SVS was investing the money of its clients, with the watchdog consequently instructing the wealth manager to cease all regulated activities.
The FCA also stopped SVS, which is still authorised by the regulator, from disposing of its own or its clients' assets and an investigation is ongoing.
Following solvency advice the directors of SVS decided to place the company into special administration, the FCA said.
Today (August 5) the court appointed Julien Irving, Andrew Poxon and Alex Cadwallader of Leonard Curtis as special administrators of SVS, with the FCA confirming a whole or part sale of the business was being considered as part of the administration process.
The administrators are expected to send their proposals and any updates to creditors and clients of the wealth manager within the next eight weeks.
The FCA warned clients to "proceed with caution" if approached by a claims management company with regards to SVS, stating for the "vast majority of clients" there would be no benefit in involving a third party to reclaim assets.
The regulator said: "If you use a CMC to assist in the return of your assets, the CMC is likely to seek a fee which may reduce what you get back.
"If you are considering using a CMC to assist with the return of your assets, we suggest that before you decide to proceed with this route you first discuss this with the special administrators using the contact details provided on their website."
Meanwhile in a statement published today the Financial Services Compensation Scheme said it was working closely with the administrators to determine SVS's position in respect of client money.
The lifeboat scheme confirmed it would cover assets and client money shortfalls for eligible customers if the administrators found the company did not have sufficient funds, up to its compensation limit of £85,000.
This included the cost of distributing money back to the clients and any administrator's fees, which are usually deducted from customer money or assets.
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