Splits agreement reached after three years

Those firms which have agreed to the package will establish a fund of £194m to compensate investors who lost capital in zero dividend preference shares. In return the regulator will not apportion blame for the affair to these companies. Firms which have accepted the deal include Aberdeen, Collins Stewart, Edinburgh Fund Managers, Framlington and New Star.

However, four of the firms investigated by the FSA have yet to agree to the deal: BFS, Teather & Greenwood, BC Asset Management and Exeter. In addition, eight individuals involved have not agreed to sign the deal. According to a statement from the regulator it will continue to investigate these firms and individuals to determine if it is appropriate to take enforcement action against them. Such action, it says, could include the imposition of financial penalties and restitution orders on them.

Of the individuals who said yes to the FSA’s compromise, former head of investment trusts at Aberdeen Chris Fishwick has agreed not to apply for authorisation to perform any FSA-controlled functions for the next seven years. Additionally the regulator has dropped charges against David Thomas, formerly of Brewin Dolphin. Having reached the age of 71 he will retire from the industry.

To be eligible to make a claim from the distribution fund investors must have purchased their zeros between July 2000 and June 2002. Further details are to be published later this quarter while it is expected the first payments will be made in the fourth quarter this year.