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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 08:14 GMT 09:14 UK
Why action over splits is 'necessary'
Leon Kaye
Leon Kaye is representing 1,200 split cap investors
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By Leon Kaye
A solicitor representing splits investors
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On Thursday, the Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog, published its initial findings into the split capital Investment trust sector. It announced a more detailed probe into allegations of mis-selling and whether there was collusion between fund managers.

Leon Kaye is a London-based "class action" solicitor, who is representing more than one thousand investors who stand to lose money. He told the BBC what he thought was wrong with the report and why legal action was still necessary:

"I think that the Financial Services Authority is being incredibly dismissive. We are talking about many thousands of people who have lost a substantial amount of their savings.

"We have been shown material that clearly leads investors to believe that they were investing in low-risk vehicles.

"But it was also cross-holdings between funds which were to blame. They were an accident waiting to happen.

"I think the FSA's report is quite blinkered - and we still intend to pursue the case.

"The grounds of complaint are that these were supposed to be low-risk investments. Many of these people who invested in them had limited funds available to them and were making plans for their future.

"Some fund managers have taken a gamble on these investments in the hope that the stock market would keep on going up.

"Investors can complain to the company and then the Financial Services Ombudsman, but even if those people decide to do battle and go to the ombudsman, I am not convinced that it will provide the remedy that these investors are looking for.

"The ombudsman can look at mis-selling, but cannot make judgements based on investment performance."

See also:

16 May 02 | Business
Split caps 'mis-sold'
22 Oct 01 | Business
Q&A: What are split caps and zeros?
06 Feb 02 | Business
FSA steps up split caps probe
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