Expat investor clients of Almancil-based PremierFX are panicking as they are unable to access their life savings due to the collapse of the firm.
Set up in 2006, the firm specialised in helping expats buy property and transfer money abroad, and was last week forced into administration after court action by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The business has vanished, taking with it hundreds of thousands of investors’ cash. Staff are unable to be contacted, the website has been pulled, phones are disconnected, clients are seeking legal advice and the firm’s head office in Reigate, Surrey as well as its Mallorca subsidiary cannot be contacted, according to Portuguese media.
One couple had just paid a deposit on their retirement home in the south of Portugal, with the balance of £200,000 parked with PremierFX. They now risk losing their money.
Dave Pratley retired to the Algarve last year with his family. Yet he is now unable to access his £56,000 life savings according to The Times.
Several investors told local media they had been assured their funds were being held in designated, secure accounts and cannot understand how it could have all been lost.
“The FCA took this action to ensure that customers of Premier were adequately protected. The FCA will continue to work closely with the firm during the administration to ensure that customers are treated fairly”, the UK’s watchdog said in a statement.
Then firm suspended business on July 27, citing the death of its founder, Peter Rexstrew, the month before.