The local criminals

Victims who lost their life savings when a currency exchange firm collapsed have waited nearly 1,000 days to find out whether they will ever see their money again.

Premier FX, an exchange firm, was placed into administration in August 2018, despite being given a clean bill of health by the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, just months previously. The firm collapsed following the death of Peter Rexstrew, 55, the sole director and shareholder of the firm.

Classic Ponzi scheme stuff. Run a foreign exchange service for expats. Lift chunks of the money, finance through delays on FX transfers for new customers. It all keeps working until there’s no more new money coming in. Which the death of the principal might well cause:

The firm encouraged British customers both in the UK and expats living in Portugal and Spain to leave large amounts of cash with it in the hope that they would benefit from exchange rates, helping them buy holiday homes. But Premier FX did not have the right regulatory licences to hold customer money beyond remittance.

That’s how to increase the amount supposedly within the company and thus cover the money that’s been appropriated.

The Financial Conduct Authority asked the UK courts in August last year to declare Premier FX insolvent because after the death of the sole director and shareholder, the firm was unable to pay its debts.

No, didn’t know him but I’m sure I know people who did.

5 thoughts on “The local criminals”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    Relying only on the information above, it looks less like a classic ponzi scheme which continues to grow until it bursts, and more like milking the float of funds going across the books.

    Acting as a deposit-taker without a licence is very naughty, of course, but you would need to measure the funds being held against current transactions booked to spot the naughtiness which might be a bit beyond the FCA.

  2. Are they saying that these investors have lost everything? I would have thought that it was very unwise to have put your whole life savings into just one place.

  3. If they were transferring savings from one currency to another, using this service, then possibly they have lost everything. But it doesn’t seem very likely.

  4. Who knew that people ran “life savings” through the corner FX office. Always thought it was more a place to change a few hundred for some exotic currency.

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