FCA continues to investigate Premier FX, affairs not easy to unravel

Maria Nikolova

The UK regulator has been checking a large number of transactions across Premier FX’s 73 bank accounts.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published updated information for customers of Premier FX Limited, which was placed into creditor’s voluntary liquidation in December 2018.

In the update to customers, the FCA says that it is continuing to investigate the business undertaken by Premier FX to determine whether any individuals may have broken the law and whether any money can be returned to customers of the firm.

Premier FX was not permitted to carry on a business of accepting deposits and, if it turns out this is what it was doing, it was doing so illegally, without the proper authorisation. Accepting deposits without authorisation is a criminal offence under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

The FCA has been reviewing Premier FX’s bank accounts and tracing funds as a matter of priority. The tracing exercise is complex and involves reviewing a large number of transactions across Premier FX’s 73 bank accounts that took place over the course of several years, in a range of currencies and through a number of overseas bank accounts that the regulator has identified.

The FCA is speaking to relevant witnesses and is also assisting the liquidators.

“The affairs of Premier FX are not easy ones to unravel as the business was controlled by the late Peter Rexstrew and the firm’s records do not fully explain its affairs”, the FCA says.

Many of the witnesses the regulator has spoken to so far indicate that Mr Rexstrew was the only person they dealt with in relation to their money and the FCA is no longer able to obtain his explanation of how Premier FX treated customers’ money.

Whereas the FCA understands that customers are keen to receive details on the progress of the regulatory investigation, the regulator notes that it can only provide limited information while the investigation is ongoing.

Any client who paid money to Premier FX but the money was not sent to the recipient in accordance with the client’s instruction will have a claim against Premier FX. The joint liquidators will assess the money available to reimburse claims made.

Customers who want to contact Menzies LLP to discuss their accounts can do so by emailing [email protected], by contacting 02920 447 514, or by writing to:

Menzies LLP

Lynton House

7-12 Tavistock Square

London

WC1H 9LT

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