UK-based advisory firm: Mortgage biz on FSCS default list 'dissolved in 2014'

UK-based advisory firm: Mortgage biz on FSCS default list 'dissolved in 2014'

Blevins Franks Financial Management Ltd, one of the longest-established advisory firms specialising in looking after expatriate British nationals, said it has contacted the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to find out why a London-based mortgage business bearing its name that had been dissolved in 2014 had been included on a list of some 11 companies the FSCS on Monday declared to be in default. 

The business in question, Mortgage Partner Services, or MPS, had been part of the Blevins Franks Group when it changed ownership back in 2012, but last was active “around 2008/2009”, a company spokesperson said.

“Under [Blevin Frank’s new] management, the company was first put into voluntary liquidation in March 2013, and thereafter dissolved in October 2014.” the spokesperson added.

“There are no outstanding complaints relating to clients of this business, and we do not know why and see no reason why it has appeared on such a list in 2018 — so far after the liquidation date.

“We have contacted the FSCS and the liquidator, asking them to explain why this has occurred.”

A spokesperson for the FSCS confirmed that Blevins Franks had in fact “been in touch”.

“We’re not able to say any more at the moment”, he added, “but we will be responding to them in due course”.

’11 failed financial firms’

On Monday, an entity known as “Mortgage Partner Services Ltd [trading as] Blevins Franks Mortgage Services (formerly [trading as] Blackstone Franks Mortgage Services Ltd”, and located on Regents Park Road in London, was among 11 “failed financial firms” listed by the FSCS in a statement on its website.

The FSCS is the UK’s official compensation scheme, which was first set up in 2001, to compensate people who end up out-of-pocket as a result of UK-regulated firms going out of business.

As the FSCS pointed out in its statement, clients of those 11 companies who “lost money as a result of their dealings with [them]” could be in line to get back some or all of the money they’ve lost.

The other companies named on the FSCS’s list were: Beaufort Asset Clearing Services Ltd,  London; Beaufort Securities Ltd, London; Ebullio Capital Management LLP, Eastleigh, Hampshire; Active Wealth (UK) Ltd, Willenhall, West Midlands; Total Financial Control Ltd, Bramhall, Cheshire; Alan Driver Financial Services, Leeds, West Yorkshire; Approved Financial Solutions Ltd, Sheffield, South Yorkshire; R Kalisiak, C Wells & S Kalisiak, trading as Goldsmith Insurance, Aspley, Nottingham; Regent Wealth Ltd, Northaw, Hertfordshire; and C3 Financial Services Ltd (formerly trading as Foyle & Lagan Ltd), Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Founded in 1975

Blevins Franks was founded in London in 1975 as a chartered accountancy by its two founding directors, Bill Blevins and David Franks. By the 1990s it had established an office in Malta, where it became one of the island’s largest employers, with more than 100 staff.

In 2012, Blevins and Franks sold their stakes in the business to a management team, which was headed up by Lombard International founder John Stone and ex-Bluefin chief executive John Simmonds, who set about expanding the business and relocating its management headquarters to London.

Today the company operates out of 20 offices across seven countries. In addition to the London head office, these include an operations hub in Malta, and regional offices across Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus and Monaco.

More than some other expat advisory firms it hosts numerous events and seminars for its clients, and stipulates that all of its financial and pension advisers are UK FCA authorised and regulated.