Those who lost out by investing with London Capital & Finance (LC&F) and other firms will protest outside the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) main offices on Friday.
The protest will take place between 11am until 4pm on Friday (6 December) outside the FCA main offices in central London.
At 3pm, there will be a one-minute silence to remember people who have taken their lives after losing money and then loved ones, according to Trevor Mealham, who lost money and his business after investing with Lloyds, the protestors want to send the message to FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey that people's lives have been affected.
LC&F collapsed in January this year for mis-selling some £236m worth of mini-bonds to thousands of investors.
In April, the FCA called for an independent investigation into the issue raised by the collapse, which included its own supervision of the firm. Then in May this year, the Financial Services and Compensation Scheme (FSCS) revealed it was looking into how customers of LC&F might be compensated, despite its core product being unregulated and so technically unprotected by the lifeboat fund.
According to LC&F victim Maria, who did not want to reveal her second name, the main purpose of the protest is to bring victims together who have been "let down by the regulator".
Maria, who was lucky enough to not "lose everything" following the collapse, felt LC&F customers had been" fooled and mis-sold" schemes they thought were appropriate for them.
"We want to create a sense of unity," she said, "so when we are standing outside the FCA, hopefully [the FCA] will realise that they have let down people from different backgrounds. It's really sad because it keeps happening and I think they must change."
Lloyds Banking Group
Other victims set to attend the protest are those affected by the Lloyds Banking Group compensation scheme, including the Independent Network of Estate Agents founder Trevor Mealham, who has been working to help other people and himself receive compensation.
Mealham helped to organise the protest and said that some of those he has spoken to have considered heading to Switzerland to take their own life. He stressed the seriousness of those cases and urged the regulator to step in.
According to Mealham, Lloyds contacted him and other business owners in 2009 advising them that they would be applicable for a £200,000 EFG loan. He and other customers bought into the loans and have now found themselves victims of fraudulent activity. This has caused them to lose money, lose business and subsequently their homes, he said.
In August this year, the BBC reported Mealham went on hunger strike to protest against Lloyds "destroying his life". Mealham said Lloyds has ruined his and other people's businesses and lives by increasing interest rates on loans during the banking crisis in 2008. He said they were mis-sold schemes that they believed would improve their businesses and now the loans have been taken away from them, leaving investors to pay them back regardless.
In December 2018, the BBC reported the FCA had been criticised for allowing Lloyds to set up a "flawed" compensation scheme for victims of a massive fraud. The SME Alliance filed an official complaint with the watchdog, accusing it of covering up its awareness of criminality and excluding some victims of compensation. According to the BBC, the compensation scheme was announced after the January 2017 convictions for fraud, corruption and money laundering of six people including two former bankers of HBOS, a subsidiary of Lloyds.
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