About 350 clients in Wales of the failed stockbroker Beaufort Securities Limited (BSL) have been reunited with their money and assets, thanks to collaborative work between the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
BSL was placed in administration and Beaufort Asset Clearing Services Limited (BACSL) was placed in Special Administration by the High Court following an application by the UK regulators in March 2018. This was shortly after the US Department of Justice brought criminal charges against BSL and a number of individuals for their alleged involvement in securities fraud and money laundering.
BACSL provided the clearing and custody services to BSL. The firms, which had a main office in central London and regional offices in Colwyn Bay and Bristol, acted as traditional stockbrokers servicing private investors, corporate clients and institutions.
PwC has reached an agreement with a nominated broker, AFH Private Wealth, for the transfer of client money and client assets of about 350 clients who were mostly previously customers of Beaufort’s Colwyn Bay office.
The customers will be able to begin accessing their money and assets from the morning of Monday 5 November onwards. Any remaining client assets and client money not transferred but that are still eligible for transfer will be moved to the relevant nominated broker in later tranches.
Mark Neale, FSCS’s Chief Executive, said:
“By securing money and assets for a further 350 more Beaufort clients, we have taken another step towards ensuring that the vast majority of their clients can access their money and assets. This is a tribute to the skills of FSCS’s specialists and a testament to the continuing collaborative approach taken by FSCS and PwC to ensure that the majority of Beaufort clients are now back on track.”
In September, close collaboration between PwC and FSCS saw just over 12,000 Beaufort clients transferred to a new broker, The Share Centre, and a first tranche of cash and assets returned to Beaufort clients.
FSCS is protecting the vast majority of Beaufort’s 17,500 clients by compensating for any shortfall arising from the costs of returning cash and assets. This means those costs will not need to be taken from client assets and client money. FSCS is arranging for these costs to be met directly with PwC and the vast majority of individual Beaufort clients are not expected to suffer any financial loss.