Norfolk savers join forces in bid to get money back

Ben KendallHundreds of Norwich and Peterborough customers, whose life savings are caught up in an investment fund collapse, are to join together in a legal challenge over alleged mis-selling.Ben Kendall

Hundreds of Norwich and Peterborough customers, whose life savings are caught up in an investment fund collapse, are to join together in a legal challenge over alleged mis-selling.

Specialist financial services law-firm Regulatory Legal organised two meetings at Dunston Hall, near Norwich, yesterday to offer advice on how those affected may be able to claim back tens of thousands of pounds. More than 100 people, mostly pensioners, attended each meeting.

Meanwhile, six investors have joined forces to create Norwich and Peterborough Victims - a pressure group which has begun a petition, will lobby MPs and is planning protests to highlight the issue.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the N&P stressed building society officials were working with regulatory bodies and administrators to try to help savers get their money back.


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An estimated 3,500 people had invested in Keydata Investment Services savings plans on the advice of financial advisors at East Anglian branches of N&P. Many more have invested through independent advisors or other banks and building societies.

Keydata was forced into administration last year and is now being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. Investors fear savings ranging from �5,000 to more than �100,000 could be lost.

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An 82-year-old investor, who did not want to be named, told the EDP: 'The money was there to give myself and my wife a small income and, in the event that anything should happen to either of us, to provide some security, for example to pay for a care home.

'We were cautious investors and feel we were misled when we were sold these products.'

Yesterday's meeting heard that many plan to challenge the N&P directly or make individual complaints to the Financial Services Ombudsman.

Gareth Fatchett, partner at Regulatory Legal, has offered to bring a group action against N&P on a no-win-no-fee basis. Hundreds are expected to join the action in the hope of retrieving 100pc of their savings.

Mr Fatchett told the meeting: 'We don't want to end up in a high court battle because that could take years and the costs could be huge. What we need to do is put together a technical argument and put pressure on them…

'We will launch a co-ordinated challenge against the N&P and through the Financial Services Authority, arguing that these products were systematically mis-sold.'

Tony Hunt, from Downham Market, a member of N&P Victims, has begun a petition to increase the pressure on the building society.

He said: 'So far all we have had are platitudes as they attempt to keep us at arms length. We need to show the strength of feeling that exists - they need to realise that this is a chance to do the right thing and get their reputation back.'

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has paid out in some cases. Repayments are capped at �50,000 meaning many will not be able to retrieve their entire investment.

In a large number of cases, customers are currently only entitled to reclaim the tax liability on their investment - meaning they could lose their larger, capital investments.

After the meeting, Ronald Parker, from Attleborough, said he would join the group action. He has �25,000 invested in Keydata products and added: 'What we need is co-ordinated action, making the proper legal arguments, which they cannot ignore.'

A spokeswoman for the N&P said that financial advisors sold to individual's needs - no targets or bonuses had been attached to encourage the selling of Keydata products.

She added: "We are working with all of the regulatory bodies and the two administrators involved in the Keydata situation to hasten a satisfactory resolution for our customers. We share their frustration with how long this is taking.

'We understand that these customers are under severe pressure and stress while waiting for the administrators to make an announcement. If customers feel that they were misadvised by N&P then they should complain directly to the society for proper investigation.

'We would suggest that nobody should pay any money to a third party to make a claim for compensation which they are entitled to do entirely free of charge."

Regulatory Legal we hold two more meetings for Keydata investors at the Dunston Hall hotel at 11am and 3pm on June 4.

To contact the N&P Victims group, email napvictims@googlemail.com

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