Good news for investors in defunct Beaufort

Nearly all individual customers of Beaufort Asset Clearing Services are expected to be protected in full for the return of money and assets, the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has confirmed.

The lifeboat scheme made no mention of parent company Beaufort Securities in its update on Friday. However, it stated that all client money and assets were held with Beaufort Asset Clearing Services.

The Financial Conduct Authority declared discretionary fund management firm Beaufort Securities and its clearing arm to be insolvent on 1 March 2018.

There are approximately 17,000 retail clients and approximately 500 corporate clients in Beaufort Asset.

Customer entitlements were previously estimated at around £37m ($49.5m, €42m) of client money and £664m in client assets.

US interference

It was revealed in March that the fund manager had been given a stay of execution by the UK watchdog to allow the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to finish an undercover operation.

The US Department of Justice brought criminal charges against the company for its alleged involvement in securities fraud and money laundering shortly before the FCA took action.

In April, the FSCS announced it was aiming to reimburse circa 2,700 clients, provided their investment was worth less than £2,000.

Paying for failure

In May, investors were dealt a blow after it was revealed that they could face covering £100m in liquidation costs.

However, it now looks as if nearly all of the firm’s individual customers will be protected by FSCS so that assets and cash can be returned without any loss.

The FSCS has said it expects to meet the shortfall in assets and cash arising from liquidator PwC’s costs.

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