Financial troubleshooter Jessica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money problems
In June my wife and I transferred our life’s savings from Portugal to Britain via a currency exchange company called Premier FX. Unfortunately, before we could actually take the money out, we received an email informing us that Premier FX had ceased trading and was in administration.
Premier FX held itself up as being a fully regulated company that would segregate customers’ funds in the safe haven of a British bank, in this case Barclays. Before using Premier FX we checked it out on the Financial Conduct Authority website and confirmed, as the firm had said, that it was indeed regulated by the FCA. GD, GREATER MANCHESTER Those owed money by Premier FX or with questions about the administration process can contact the administrator by emailing premierfx@ geoffreymartin.co.uk, calling Brooke Overtonyorke on 020 7495 1100 or writing to PKF Geoffrey Martin & Co, 1 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London E14 4HD.
Currently, I understand, these administrators are going over all the 50 or so individual Barclays accounts the company had. Each, I understand, had between 60 to 100 transactions per day so it will take time to see what each transaction relates to. The administrator will be in touch with creditors as soon as it has more information.
Premier FX offered money transfer services mainly to expats in Portugal and Spain. Such money remittance services are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), although firms in this line of business have to be regulated by the FCA and appear on its register. They may also be authorised, as Premier FX was.
The FCA said: “Authorised firms must either segregate such money from the firm’s own money or deposit it with a credit institution authorised by a state in the European Economic Area if it continues to be held at the end of the next business day following receipt, or take out an insurance policy or comparable guarantee to cover such funds to reimburse customers on the happening of an insolvency event.” Requirements for firms that are only registered are less stringent.
The FCA applied to put Premier FX into insolvency when, following the death of the founder, it became unable to pay its debts as they fell due.
The case serves as an alarming reminder that not everything is covered by the FSCS or completely protected by the FCA.
For more details on this see fscs.org.uk and find the “What we protect” page, or call 0800 678 1100 (0044 20 7741 4100 from overseas).
As you point out, how are ordinary people supposed to know that money lost in this way is not covered by the financial safety net? This is a complicated area and advice should be taken. The FSCS website is confusing as to why victims in this case will not be eligible for
No phone refund without box
I bought a basic mobile telephone from my local Vodafone shop. The phone stopped working after 18 days and I returned it together with the receipt only to be told that, because I did not have the box, it could not replace it or refund my money.
I called Vodafone and was told the same story. I have had a contract with Vodafone for many years.
At the time of the purchase nobody told me that I had to keep the box.
I approached Vodafone and the company offered you
One reader fears for large sums sent from Portugal to Britain