I have written previously about the collapse of brokerage SVS Securities, here: https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/insolvency-and-administration/an-update-on-svs-securities/ and here: https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/brokers/another-update-on-the-svs-special-administration/
Since my last post on this topic, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has the transfer of assets from SVS to a new broker taken an inordinate amount of time, but the choice of broker to receive those assets seems questionable, to say the least. This debacle has been covered by press articles, here: https://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/news/svs-client-fury-as-new-broker-fails-to-return-278m/a1390644 and here: https://www.ftadviser.com/your-industry/2020/08/14/svs-clients-plagued-by-delays-at-new-broker/
More recently, ShareSoc has been contacted by former SVS clients who have still been unable to access their assets, more than a year since SVS’s collapse.
A firm called ITI Capital is the broker selected by the administrator, Leonard Curtis, to receive the assets of former SVS clients, and approved for that purpose by the FCA. Now, I have never heard of ITI and its principals appear to be Russian. SVS clients report that despite assurances that they would regain access to their assets by 24th July, they have still not been able to do so, nor has ITI responded to their complaints and requests.
SVS clients have written directly to the FCA, complaining about these matters. I have also written to senior FCA managers, on behalf of ShareSoc and its members, expressing concern and demanding prompt action to resolve the problems that SVS clients are still experiencing. We have also seen complaints that the client pages on ITI’s website are insecure, not using SSL encrypted protection.
The FCA is responsible for approving the transfer of assets and I find it incomprehensible that a transfer to an obscure Russian controlled broker, that seems incapable of offering acceptable service levels to SVS’s beleaguered clients, was approved.
We have not so far had a response from the FCA and ShareSoc will seek to escalate this matter through parliamentary channels if a satisfactory resolution doesn’t occur soon.
This chain of events raises further questions about the fitness for purpose of the Special Administration Regime and about intermediation of shareholdings.
Mark Bentley, Director, ShareSoc.