The Premier FX Fraud Fiasco; and why it really matters…

Register for the event

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When

Wednesday, May 12th from 6pm to 8pm UK time

Where

Online symposium via Zoom.

Format

There'll be a great line-up of speakers plus ample scope for discussion and debate.

Why you should attend

In February of this year the FCA censured Premier FX, a now defunct currency exchange firm that once operated in Portugal, Spain and Dubai, for “seriously misleading” customers, failing to safeguard their money and for misusing its payment accounts. A substantial fine would have been imposed had the company not already been in liquidation or owed over £9milion to its creditors, said the FCA in its report.

However, the FCA’s Censure Report has done little to satisfy the many victims of Premier FX, who feel that it unfairly condemns them, rather than:

  • The bank that carried out the transactions, for poor supervision and oversight of its trades
  • Premier FX’s directors, for lying and destroying customer records
  • The FCA itself, for failing to regulate effectively

Instead, Premier FX victims feel the Report placed all the blame on Premier FX’s late founder and director, Peter Rexstrew, who had died. 

The Censure Report did not answer the most important question of all: “Where is the money?”

In this symposium, three Premier FX victims will be sharing with us their ongoing battle to get their money back, whilst exposing the many failures of the bank involved and the FCA who, once again, would seem to have failed to protect consumers from harm

It is clear that there are serious premeditated frauds and theft taking place by FCA authorised and regulated firms. The Premier FX fraud debacle hit the fan in July 2018 (before mini bonds and LC&F mis-selling became public knowledge) and many questions arise: 

  • Is this yet another example of catastrophic regulatory failure?
  • Have the victims been shunted aside by the UK’s investigating authorities?
  • Have the liquidators been acting appropriately?
  • Did the Premier FX directors commit offences under payment services regulations (2009 and 2017) and criminal offences under FSMA (2000 and 2012), as suggested by the then CEO of the FCA, Andrew Bailey, back in Nov 2018.

The FCA Censure Report published in February 2021 has been criticised for being weak. Again, many questions arise:

  • Why does the Censure Report not strongly highlight Barclays and its FX platform for poor supervision and oversight of FX trades, for inadequate client monies segregation and for failing to supply transaction data?
  • Did the Premier FX directors lie and destroy customer records as some claim?
  • Has the Barclays Relationship Director who was involved gone missing as some believe?
  • Have Barclays barred their 3 person account team from being interviewed, saying the Bank owns all the information pertaining to the account?
  • Have the FCA actually admitted they were not sufficiently supervising or checking Premier FX?
  • Did the FCA make no effective checks when Premier FX was reauthorised in 2018, eight weeks before the firm collapsed, revealing a Ponzi scam scheme, moving £1.6bn while registering accounts of under £2.7m and carrying out speculative trading using client money for over 12 years?

What’s really been going on?

Who/what is to blame?

And, what about the solution? 

What would be necessary for this kind of debacle to be prevented from happening again? One idea is that theft by authorised firms should be refunded in full within 3 months by a new City Victims Fund that was financed by the large City institutions and FCA. This would put their “skin in the game” and help ensure they properly prevented fraud by “supervised and regulated” firms.

It’s going to be a very interesting event – be sure to book your place!

Here's the programme and timings so far...

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