On 4th July 2019, in a move to protect investors, the following four car parking companies close to Gatwick and Glasgow airports were placed in administration:
- Park First Freeholds Limited
- Help Me Park Gatwick Limited
- Park First Glasgow Rentals Limited
- Park First Gatwick Rentals Limited
They were each part of an investment scheme sold to individuals and companies, both directly and through Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), securing the purchase of an airport parking space.
According to the website of City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the companies failed because they did not have sufficient funds to pay investors wanting to sell back their investment, which they were allowed to do after a specified number of years.
Park First and Financial Conduct Authority
The FCA intervened in December 2017 as the companies were not authorised to run collective investment schemes. As a result, Park First offered investors the choice of getting back their initial investment or transferring to another scheme approved by the FCA, known as a ‘lifetime leaseback’ scheme. Under the leaseback scheme, investors agreed to lease their parking space back to the company in return for a fixed rent, together with a share in the company.
The FCA confirmed that the “companies that have gone into administration include the two companies that have entered into Buyback arrangements with investors (Park First Freeholds Limited and Help Me Park Gatwick Limited). In addition, the companies that entered into the Lifetime Leaseback (Park First Glasgow Rentals Limited and Park First Gatwick Rentals Limited) have also entered administration.”
What this means for Investors
Under administration, the car parks will continue to operate but no payments will be made to investors under either the Buyback arrangement or Lifetime Leaseback. Some £33m has been set aside for valid legal claims from creditors, the majority of whom are believed to be the investors. Restructuring plans will soon be launched and the administrators have said that they will provide updates for creditors nearer the time.
Advice for investors on the FCA website includes:
“We did not authorise any of the companies that have gone into administration. As a result, investors will not be able to claim compensation through the FOS or from the FSCS in relation to these companies.
“However, investors who have dealt with a regulated firm, such as a financial adviser, may have other sources of redress. Investors may be entitled to complain to the regulated firm, and if they are not happy with the outcome of their complaint, they may be able to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
“If the regulated firm they have dealt with is insolvent, investors might be entitled to bring a claim to the FSCS, e.g., for unsuitable advice on investments. Further information can be found on the FSCS website.”
TLW Solicitors’ view
Peter McKenna, Partner and financial mis-selling specialist at TLW Solicitors added:
“A number of companies involved in the Park First investment scheme have been placed in administration. We act for several Park First investors, those who used pension money and cash, and while bad news, at least the administration process gives clarity to the situation.”
TLW Solicitors can help
If you think that you, a friend or loved one may have lost out financially after investing in any of the Park First companies mentioned above, then please get in touch with one of the specialist financial mis-selling lawyers here at TLW Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion. Time limits do apply, so please contact us as soon as possible so that we can advise you fully.
You can either ring us on 0800 169 5925, email email@example.com or complete the call-back form below.
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