Barclays pay out for Dover woman over Premier FX collapse

A fraud victim has spoken of her relief after her stolen life savings were finally returned after a battle lasting more than three years.

Pauline Creasey, of Dover, lost almost £ 500,000 following the collapse of payment services firm Premier FX.

Pauline Creasey lost almost £ 500,000 after Premier FX collapsed (55710386)

When the Surrey-based firm collapsed shortly after the death of its owner Peter Rexstrew, police found that there was more than £ 11 million of customers’ money missing.

Ms Creasey was one of 250 customers across the UK affected by its shutdown in 2018 and led 166 others in a grueling three-and-a-half-year pursuit of their stolen funds.

“It affected us hugely, I’d been working abroad in Portugal, and some of that money was from the selling of my apartment, some was my daughter’s university funds,” she explained.

“It made me quite ill with stress – I had been a pretty fit person before it happened, but since then I have been in hospital several times because of the stress.

“I’ve caught bacterial infections and had heart problems which I never had before all of this happened.”

“Six claimants have died in the time it has taken us to get this money”

Calls to investigate the crime were turned down by Surrey Police, who told Ms Creasey that it lacked the resources to look into it properly.

The 65-year-old had to take money out of her retirement fund to pay for the last two years of her daughter’s vetinary degree – but said she was “comparably one of the lucky ones”.

“Six claimants have died in the time it has taken us to get this money,” she said.
“Three of those passed away within three months of getting the news that their money had been stolen.

“I have little doubt that the shock and stress will have gone some way to contributing to their deaths.”

Barclays paid out more than £ 10 million to the victims
Barclays paid out more than £ 10 million to the victims

Eventually, after being turned down by City of London Police, Action Fraud, Barclays and the Treasury, the campaigners managed to convince the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to step in.

Barclays, which served as Premier FX’s bank, was fined £ 783,800 for a “failure to conduct its business with due skill, care and diligence”.

The FCA emphasized that the only reason the fine was so low was that the bank had promised to also pay the remaining £ 10 million that the victims had lost.

“Following the distribution by the liquidator amounting to 9p for every £ 1 lost, Barclays’ voluntary payment of £ 10,076,943.75 will make up the difference, meaning all 167 customers of Premier FX with accepted claims will have 100% of their money returned,” a spokesman said.

“Barclays failed to make inquiries to ensure that Premier FX’s actual business activity aligned with Barclays’ expectations and did not identify that Premier FX’s internal controls were deficient. This constituted a failure by Barclays to conduct its business with two skill, care and diligence.”

With her money now returned, Ms Creasey says she will now look to finally buy the house in Dover she had hoped to purchase years ago.

“I’m going to keep working for a little while, but at least I will not be working to keep the lights on as I have been,” she said.

“To be honest I haven’t quite taken it in, I am just relieved and exhausted.”

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