Financial Conduct Authority  

LCF victims to join protest outside FCA headquarters

LCF victims to join protest outside FCA headquarters

Victims of the London Capital & Finance collapse will join a protest outside the Financial Conduct Authority's head office in Stratford next month. 

The protests will take place on December 6, with demonstrators representing a number of groups including Lloyds customers, mortgage prisoners and investors with London Capital & Finance - the mini-bond provider that collapsed into administration earlier this year owing more than £230m to bondholders. 

The protesters are accusing the FCA of negligence in their respective areas and want the regulator to acknowledge failings and act to rectify the problems they are facing.

One London Capital & Finance investor said: "I am going to the protest because I believe LCF investors deserve compensation and I am also attending because I want to support the organiser who’s campaigning on the behalf of Lloyds victims."

Investors claimed the FCA had failed to properly supervise LCF, which they said should not have been allowed to circulate its "deceptive" marketing. 

LCF signed clients up to fixed-rate Isas promising 8 per cent interest, with investors' capital then invested into mini-bonds used to issue loans to small businesses.

But it was not until shortly before LCF's collapse that the watchdog ordered London Capital & Finance to stop marketing its fixed-rate investment bonds and Isa products and the provider had its assets frozen by the regulator.

Meanwhile the pleas of so-called mortgage prisoners - consumers who predominantly took out a mortgage before the financial crisis but were then blocked from switching to a better deal due to strict lending rules or because their loan was sold to an inactive lender - reached boiling point for the FCA this year. 

Mounting pressure from campaigners and the Treasury select committee eventually led to a change of policy last month when the regulator confirmed it had removed some of the barriers that had previously stopped the customers from finding a cheaper deal.

The planned demonstration will be led by Trevor Mealham, a former customer of Lloyds who is unhappy about the way he was treated by the bank after taking out a business loan in 2013.

He has already held a number of protests outside the bank's branches this year and in August held a 10-day hunger strike outside a Lloyds branch in Bristol. 

A Lloyds spokesperson said: "Mr Mealham’s allegations are part of a long-running legal dispute which will be determined by the courts in the coming months."

According to Mr Mealham the protest outside the FCA will feature banners, signs and demonstrators wearing Andrew Bailey masks. 

The FCA said it is aware of the planned protest but declined to provide further comment. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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