Financial services body to compensate Lancashire customers

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is accepting claims from customers who lost money through two failed Lancashire businesses.

The FSCS, the UK's statutory compensation scheme, protects customers of authorised financial services firms which carry out certain regulated activities. The organisation made the announcement after two Lancashire firms, and a third company in Cumbria, were declared in default.

A declaration of default means that FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

The announcement relates to Abrams Ashton & Co (Financial Services) of Westcliff Drive in Blackpool, Greg Smith Financial & Insurance Services of Gliviger near Burnley, and Ulverston Financial Services Limited in Cumbria.

The scheme will declare a firm in default if it has received at least one claim; and it is satisfied that the firm has failed and is unable to return the money itself.

Declaring a firm in default allows private individuals who have suffered actual financial loss as a result of their dealings with that firm to apply to the scheme. Some businesses and charities may also be eligible, depending on the type of claim.

FSCS steps when authorised financial services firms go bust.

Alex Kuczynski, chief corporate affairs officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust.

"This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects your deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with these firms to get in touch, as we may be able to help you."

FSCS was set up by Parliament in 2001 and is funded by the financial services industry. It protects deposits, investment business, home finance (mortgage) advice, general insurance, insurance broking and debt management.

FSCS can pay compensation if the regulated firm owes a civil liability to a customer of an authorised firm, for example due to negligence, in connection with the regulated activity. Since its launch, it has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

More information about making a claim can be found on the FSCS website.