Advisers on FSCS levy: ‘It is hard not to be cynical’

Darren Cooke, chartered financial planner at Red Circle Financial Planning said he hoped this “sets a downward trend” for the FSCS but also “highlights the impact failed regulation by the FCA had on businesses”.

“Their failure to properly deal with LC&F, Blackmore Global, Bassett and Gold, the list goes on, significantly contributed to the levy,” he said.

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“All these were businesses that had no involvement from the advice community yet we still had to put our hand in our pockets to bail out the FCA's failure to deal with these scams.”

Cooke said, in all cases, the regulator was warned years before they finally collapsed. 

“Tens of millions could have been saved let alone the impact being scammed has had on the people affected,” he said. 

In October, the FCA said it was looking at the Blackmore Bond scandal in the same “forensic detail” as it has done with the London Capital & Finance scandal. 

Speaking at the regulator's annual general meeting at the time, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight, Mark Steward said the regulator’s focus in relation to the bond scandal has been focused on the way in which those financial promotions operated.

The Manchester-based mini-bond scheme collapsed in April 2020. It had promised investors interest payments of up to 10 per cent a year from a property portfolio it was supposed to build with the money.

Around 2,000 investors lost £46mn, despite being told their money was guaranteed up to £75,000 through an insurance scheme. One investor lost his entire military pension, while another family lost £40,000.

Earlier this year, a BBC Panorama documentary about the Blackmore Bond scandal raised questions over the parameters of the FCA’s powers. 


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