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FCA Shuts Down Tyneside Based Wealth Management Firm

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The Financial Conduct Authority ordered WealthTek LLP
to cease operations in order to protect customers.

A Newcastle-based wealth management partnership, WealthTek LLP has been shut down by City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after uncovering ‘serious regulatory and operational issues’.

WealthTek LLP, which also traded as Vertem Asset Management and Malloch Melville, was ordered to cease trading in April 2023 and ‘urgent steps’ were taken by the FCA with the High Court relating to the order. The firm was also put into special administration under the Investment Bank Special Administration Regulations 2011.

WealthTek LLP was an FCA authorised wealth management firm. The firm provided discretionary, advisory and execution only services to retail clients.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority’s website, it was forced to take action against WealthTek LLP “in order to protect WealthTek’s clients following the FCA becoming aware of serious regulatory and operational concerns relating to the firm. The FCA used its powers under the Investment Bank Special Administration Regulations 2011 to apply to Court to place WealthTek into Special Administration.”

Shane Crooks, Mark Shaw and Emma Sayers from BDO LLP, a licenced insolvency practitioners firm, have been appointed as Joint Special Administrators and are now responsible for the affairs of WealthTek LLP.

In a ‘FAQs’ document posted to its website on 6 April 2023, BDO LLP, Joint Special Administrators, instructed any clients with queries about their investments to contact them directly.

It also outlined the importance for clients to stay vigilant against scammers, as fraudsters can take advantage of companies going into Special Administration by impersonating administrators or employees of WealthTek LLP itself. If you are a current or former client of WealthTek, Vertem Asset Management, or Malloch Melville, it is important to be aware of potential scams that may arise due to the administration process. BDO LLP states on its website that neither it, nor WealthTek LLP will ask clients for bank details or other personal information over the phone, so all cold calls and conversations should be treated with suspicion and reported directly to the administrators.

If you believe you have lost money as a result of WealthTek’s operations, the team at TLW Solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation.

As the administration process is still ongoing, administrators at BDO have outlined on the website that:

“The Special Administrators will be liaising with the FSCS to determine the position as regards the LLP and what cover may be available.  Further updates will be provided in due course.”

The FSCS is a Government-backed lifeboat scheme for customers of failed, regulated financial firms.

Sarah Spruce, Head of TLW’s Professional Negligence team, commented on the FCA decision:

“This is a very interesting move made by the FCA, and there are not many details around the exact reason for the decision, so we will be waiting for the outcome with interest. If there are any current or former clients of WealthTek, or any of the other firms in the partnership, who believe that they have lost money as a result of the firms’ operations, I would encourage them to get in touch with us for a no-obligation chat as we may be able to help.”

If you are concerned about your, a friend or a loved one’s WealthTek investment, then please get in touch with TLW Solicitors. Call 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or complete one of the forms below.

It is important to get advice as soon as possible as strict time limits can apply.

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