SVS Securities plc

In special administration 25 November 2019

FRN: 220929

SVS Securities plc (SVS) was placed in Special Administration by its directors on 5 August 2019. Andrew Duncan, Andrew Poxon and Alex Cadwallader, of Leonard Curtis Recovery Ltd have been appointed Special Administrators of SVS.

SVS Securities plc is a wealth management firm that offers a range of services to its clients, including advisory stockbroking, online share dealing, foreign exchange trading and discretionary fund management services.

The directors of SVS decided to place the firm in Special Administration. This was following action taken by the FCA to place requirements on SVS, stopping it from conducting regulated activities and restricting it from disposing of assets. The FCA took these steps after it identified serious concerns about the way the business was operating. As a result, the directors obtained solvency advice and resolved to place the firm into Special Administration.

See our investment compensation limits and their conditions on our Investments page.

Find contact details for Leonard Curtis Recovery Ltd by clicking the Information tab below and scrolling down.

Download the Determination papers (pdf 1.0MB).

  • 10 Aug, 2020

    To consider a claim against a failed firm, such as SVS, FSCS must be satisfied that:

    1) customers can't claim against any connected firms. This would include FCA authorised advisors.

    2) if they have claimed against a connected firm, the claim is completed.  This would also include FCA authorised advisors.

    We know that some FCA authorised advisers may have recommended that customers invest via SVS model portfolios. Doing so meant customers had certain corporate bonds as investments. We're also aware that some of these bonds were given a nil value or written down significantly for the purpose of allocating costs in the Special Administration following an independent valuation

    If an FCA authorised adviser that’s still trading advised you to invest in discretionary managed funds with SVS, you must complain to the adviser first. If your adviser rejects your complaint, then you can make a complaint against the adviser to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

    If your complaint is against an FCA authorised adviser that’s no longer trading, submit a claim to FSCS against them.

    FSCS considers different factors when calculating losses on pension advice (a claim against your financial adviser) compared to a discretionary fund manager (e.g. a claim against SVS).

    You may receive more compensation by claiming against your financial advisor, compared to claiming against the discretionary fund manager (SVS).

    You can check whether your financial adviser has ever been authorised by the FCA by visiting the FCA’s website.

    It's likely that we will reject any claims made against SVS if a potential claim against an adviser has not been made first. 

    But if that has happened, and there are uncompensated losses for which customers believe SVS is responsible, customers can make a claim against SVS.

    Alternatively, if customers did not receive any advice from an authorised financial advisor and feel SVS is solely responsible for their losses, they can also make a claim against SVS. 

  • 24 Jul, 2020

    From today, former clients of SVS Securities plc (SVS) can begin to access their money and assets. They can do so via the new nominated broker, ITI Capital Ltd (ITI).

    Clients’ money and assets transferred from SVS to ITI in June 2020. There then followed a six-week period which ITI has used to set up clients' new accounts in its systems. Clients have now been provided with login details to complete the online onboarding process with ITI, following which they can begin to access their assets immediately.

    ITI will contact clients individually with specific instructions on how to register for an account with them in due course. Please do not contact ITI until you are instructed to so. Direct any questions to the Joint Special Administrators (JSAs). Contact details are at the bottom of the 'Information' page.

    Over the past few months, the JSAs and their team at Leonard Curtis have been working closely with ITI to ensure a smooth transition for customers.

    Under the terms of the distribution plan, approved by court order on 7 May 2020, FSCS is committed to meeting the costs of the Special Administration on behalf of all eligible claimants up to £85,000. FSCS will do so by direct arrangement with the JSAs. 

    This means that the vast majority of clients will get their money and assets back in full via ITI, with no deduction from clients’ money or assets to cover the costs of the Special Administration.

    We would like to thank clients for the patience that they have shown throughout this difficult period.

    FSCS would like to begin looking at other issues that have arisen following the failure of SVS. We have opened up our online claims service for those clients who wish to make further claims in respect of SVS (other than for the simple return of money and assets).

    This is likely to apply to clients who feel that having their client assets and client money returned is not going to address the losses they’ve suffered, and who consider that SVS is to blame for these additional losses.

    Note that the FSCS cannot compensate clients whose losses arise from an inability to sell assets or settle transactions during the Special Administration. We also cannot compensate clients for poor investment performance alone.

    It’s completely free to make a claim for compensation with FSCS if you claim with us directly.

     

    If you are in any doubt regarding the authenticity of any correspondence you may receive regarding the special administration or ITI, please do not hesitate to contact the Joint Special Administrators on 0203 457 4871 or by email at svs@leonardcurtis.co.uk.

    Support is available to all clients and further information on the special administration can be found at www.leonardcurtis.co.uk/svs

  • 12 Jun, 2020

    On 11 June 2020, the JSAs announced the transfer of the vast majority of client assets and client money to their nominated broker. The nominated broker is ITI Capital Limited (“ITI”).

    Under the terms of the Distribution Plan, approved by court order on 7 May, FSCS will meet the special administration costs up to £85,000 on behalf of eligible claimants.  The payment will be made direct to the JSAs. This means almost all FSCS eligible claimants will get their money and assets back in full via ITI with no further action required.

    There will now follow a period of up to six weeks to allow ITI to set up clients' new accounts in its systems. Customers should be able to access their money and assets from 23 July 2020. The JSAs have requested that clients not engage directly with ITI until the end of this period, after which it will be able to handle queries.

    We're aware that there will be several communications for customers this weekend. We'd encourage customers to read this information as it contains some important details about the transfer. We'd also encourage customers to remain careful and vigilant in dealing with SVS-related correspondence.

    Previously we've provided information about further claims customers may wish to take if they consider SVS responsible for additional losses. We are not currently open to such claims but expect to be so during the course of July.

    FSCS can pay compensation of up to £85,000 in respect of the total liabilities that might be owed to customers by SVS. It’s completely free to make a claim for compensation with FSCS if you claim with us directly.

  • 19 May, 2020

    On 7 May 2020, the High Court approved the SVS Distribution Plan. This is the latest important milestone in the timeline set out by the Joint Special Administrators (JSAs) in April. It means that the JSAs remain on course, and customers can expect to gain access to their money and assets in July, following transfer to a replacement broker.

    The SVS Creditors’ Committee agreed to the Distribution Plan on 21 April 2020. The High Court approved it on 7 May 2020, and it became effective on that date.

    The Distribution Plan lays out how the JSAs, working with FSCS, plan to return SVS clients’ money and assets.

    You can find further details on the JSAs' website https://www.leonardcurtis.co.uk/svs/.

    We are aware that the client statements issued by the JSA on 15 May 2020 have revalued certain corporate bonds held by SVS on behalf of customers. Some have been given a nil value, others have been written down significantly.

    We realise that customers who have invested in these bonds may wish to make a further claim to FSCS if they consider that SVS is to blame for these additional losses. We will treat such claims separately from the costs of the Special Administration, which FSCS will also be meeting on behalf of eligible claimants.

    At the moment, FSCS is not open to these additional claims. Our priority is the special administration process, where we are focusing on assisting the JSAs in a successful transfer to the nominated broker. However, we intend to be open to these claims as soon as we can. We will make an announcement on this page when we are ready to do so, which we expect will be by the time customers can access their money and assets in July.

    FSCS can pay compensation of up to £85,000 in respect of the total liabilities that might be owed to customers by SVS. It’s completely free to make a claim for compensation with FSCS if you claim with us directly.

     

  • 24 Apr, 2020

    On 21 April 2020, the SVS Creditors’ Committee agreed the Distribution Plan. The Distribution Plan has been drawn up by the Joint Special Administrators (JSAs) of SVS Securities plc.

    The plan allows for customers to be reunited with their money and assets via a transfer to a new broker. FSCS will meet the costs of the special administration on behalf of eligible claimants up to £85,000. The costs will be met by FSCS making payment directly to the JSAs. This will allow customers’ money and assets to transfer whole, without the deduction which otherwise would have been applied.

    Individuals and small companies are all FSCS eligible claimants. The JSAs' analysis suggests that all but a very small handful of clients will be FSCS eligible. The JSAs have also advised that there only a small number of SVS clients whose share of the costs is likely to exceed £85,000.

    The JSAs have recently set out a timeline that anticipates customers getting access to money and assets again in July. The agreement by the committee means that progress is still on schedule, as set out in the timeline. The next step is for the JSAs to get the distribution plan approved by the court. This is scheduled for 7 May 2020.

    Customers should follow the directions of the JSAs. Most customers, particularly those who agreed their balances and accepted FSCS compensation in the SVS customer portal in late 2019/early 2020, do not need to do anything.

  • 27 Mar, 2020

    FSCS is continuing to work closely with the Leonard Curtis/SVS towards delivering a transfer of client money and assets to a new broker. Teams at both organisations are continuing to function in spite of the COVID 19 restrictions.

    We're working with the joint special administrators on the steps necessary to return custody assets and client money as soon as possible.

  • 13 Dec, 2019

    We're aware that the return of money and assets may not satisfy those SVS customers who might have a claim for further losses against SVS. Customers who believe SVS has caused additional losses may wish to make a claim to FSCS in relation to those losses.

    We're not currently open to these claims, as we want to make progress on reuniting customers with their money and assets. But we do intend to open to such claims, and we will announce this on our website when we are ready.

    By agreeing to FSCS compensation for the costs of returning money and assets via the SVS portal, customers will be assigning their right to claim against SVS to FSCS in relation to that claim.  Customers will not lose the right to make further claims to FSCS in relation to additional losses. 

    Although separate from any claim a client may have in relation to the costs of returning money and assets, FSCS can’t pay more than £85,000 in total per person against SVS.

    We can only consider claims when we're satisfied a customer has first exhausted any right to claim against any connected firms that are still trading. We're aware that FCA authorised advisers may have recommended investments to some clients of SVS.

    If an FCA authorised adviser that’s still trading advised you to invest through SVS, you need to complain to them. If your adviser rejects your complaint, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

    If an FCA authorised adviser that’s now not trading advised you to invest through SVS, you’ll be able to submit a claim to FSCS against them.  

  • 02 Dec, 2019

    The Joint Special Administrators (JSAs) have now contacted customers of SVS Securities plc ('the Company'). They're inviting them to make claims to client money and assets via an online client portal.

    This is the next stage in returning property to the Company’s customers. 

    It is hoped that the distribution plan (which will need to be agreed by the Creditors’ Committee and the Court) will enable customers holdings to transfer whole to a new broker.

    For this to happen, FSCS plans to meet the costs of the Special Administration on behalf of each eligible customer, up to £85,000. We intend to pay the JSAs directly. 

    However, if a customer states that they do not want FSCS compensation when offered it in the portal, the JSAs will not be able to transfer the customer’s property to a new broker without deduction. 

    Accepting FSCS compensation is subject to our terms and conditions.

  • 01 Nov, 2019

    FSCS is pleased to make an announcement to those customers categorised by the Joint Special Administrators as 'Elective Professional Clients (EPC) holding an FX account balance': FSCS will be able to protect eligible claimants – individuals and small businesses – within that group whose money has not been returned.

    We’ve reached this decision because of the type of investment, and because of the way the investment was held. We can cover shortfalls for eligible customers with valid claims up to our compensation limit of £85,000.

    We are currently working with the Special Administrators to work out the best way to return money. At this stage EPC Clients do not need to do anything. There is no need to make an application to FSCS about SVS Securities at the moment. FSCS will make further announcements as soon as we know more.

  • 22 Aug, 2019

    We have been made aware of a fraudulent letter that claims to come from the Special Administrators Leonard Curtis. Please ignore the letter. For more details visit the SVS page on the Leonard Curtis website.

  • 05 Aug, 2019

    The Special Administrators will carry out an assessment of the client money and assets held by the firm to confirm the current position. Following the assessment, the Special Administrators will work to return as much client money and assets to customers as possible, as quickly as possible. Should the Special Administrators find that the firm does not hold enough client money or assets, then FSCS will cover asset and client money shortfalls, including the costs associated with their distribution back to clients, for eligible customers up to our compensation limit of £85,000.

    FSCS is working closely with the Special Administrators to determine the firm’s position in respect of client money and assets and will provide further updates. At this stage there is no need for customers to make a claim with FSCS. Customers should subscribe above to receive the latest updates on SVS.

Allocation of costs / FSCS compensation

At the creditors’ and clients’ meeting on 10 October 2019, questions were asked about the costs of administration and the impact on portfolios of different size. So, we’ve put together some examples in the tables below. These show whether FSCS compensation (limited to £85,000 per eligible client) is enough to cover the costs of transferring clients’ portfolios to a new broker.  Eligible clients are individuals and small companies (as defined in the Companies Act 2006).

These examples deal with the costs of transferring portfolios.  FSCS has made a separate announcement regarding the claims of SVS clients who had foreign exchange trading accounts, including Elective Professional Clients.

The examples are based on two earlier broker failures, where FSCS paid compensation and assume:

  • client money costs will be charged at a percentage of the balance held (as required by the relevant rules)
  • asset transfer costs will be set as a flat fee, capped at the value of the transferred assets.

The special administrators have suggested that this is what they’d like to do, and FSCS agrees that it would be the best option. But this action will need to be agreed by the creditors’ committee as part of the distribution plan.  Also, the plan will need the approval of the court, at some point in the future. These assumptions could change, so there could be a difference in the costs clients could face. 

The level of costs that SVS will have to carry also still has to be agreed between the administrators and the creditors’ committee. This means that the final figures could be quite different to the two examples. All the same, we think the tables below will help show which SVS clients may have to bear some of the costs of the administration.

The tables set out the compensation payable by FSCS and shortfalls payable by the client in eight example portfolios, ranging in value from £10,000 to £2 million.

Firm A

  • FSCS to pay costs of up to 10% of client money and £10,000 for asset transfers. The example shows these costs capped at the current limit of £85,000.
  • clients with assets (shares and/or bonds) of any amount and a cash holding of £750,000 or less would bear no cost*.
  • clients with cash balances larger than £750,000 would have to pay a contribution (which can be deducted from the cash balance prior to transfer).

Firm B

  • the model shows FSCS agreeing to pay costs of up to 16% of client money and £2,250 for asset transfers. The example shows these costs capped at the current limit of £85,000.
  • the equivalent cash balance is £517,187.50 (again for clients who also hold assets of any amount).

*Clients with assets worth less than £10,000 would be able to be compensated in full for cash balances up to £850,000 as their asset transfer costs would be capped at the value of the assets and the balance of £85,000 compensation available to cover cash costs.

Firm A

  Money held Asset value Total portfolio Money charge  Asset charge Total charge Compensation Shortfall
A 5,000 5,000 10,000 500 5,000 5,500 5,500 -
B 5,000 20,000 25,000 500 10,000 10,500 10,500 -
C 5,000 95,000 100,000 500 10,000 10,500 10,500 -
D 50,000 50,000 100,000 5,000 10,000 15,000 15,000 -
E 100,000 250,000 350,000 10,000 10,000 20,000 20,000 -
F 500,000 500,000 1,000,000 50,000 10,000 60,000 60,000 -
G 750,000 500,000 1,250,000 75,000 10,000 85,000 85,000 -
H 1,000,000 1,000,00 2,000,000 100,000 10,000 110,000 85,000 25,000

 

Firm B

  Money held Asset value Total portfolio Money charge Asset charge Total charge Compensation Shortfall
A 5,000 5,000 10,000 800 2,250 3,050 3,050 -
B 5,000 20,000 25,000 800 2,250 3,050 3,050 -
C 5,000 95,000 100,000 800 2,250 3,050 3,050 -
D 50,000 50,000 100,000 8,000 2,250 10,250 10,250 -
E 100,000 250,000 350,000 16,000 2,250 18,250 18,250 -
F 500,000 500,000 1,000,000 80,000 2,250 82,250 82,250 -
G 517,188 500,000 1,017,188 82,750 2,250 85,000 85,000 -
H 1,000,000 1,000,000 2,000,000 160,000 2,250 162,250 85,000 77,250

 

Notes

Although the two examples are based on real events, at the time the limit for compensation was £50,000. It’s now £85,000 and the tables reflect this. Also, one of the firms involved FSCS returning client money before the distribution plan took effect – this has been remodelled to reflect the current intention to transfer cash and assets to a new broker at the same time.

 

 


Leonard Curtis Recovery Limited

If you’ve any questions, please contact the Special Administrators:

Website: www.leonardcurtis.co.uk/SVS

Email: svs@leonardcurtis.co.uk