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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 July, 2002, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Absolute Zero

FSA headquarters
The FSA are investigating what went wrong
When Tony and Jane Abramson decided to invest 20,000 they believed their money would be safe.

They asked their stock broker to find a low risk home for their savings to grow steadily for retirement.

The money was invested in zero dividend preference shares, a type of share issued by split capital investment trusts.

With Zeros the Abramson's received no dividends, they were simply told when the trust would wind up and how much they could expect to receive at the end.

Little did they know at the time, the split-cap market was not what it seemed.

No idea

Instead of getting the low risk investment they asked for, the Abramson's, like thousands of others, ended up with a massive gamble they had no idea they were taking.

Of 134 split capital investment trusts, 40 are now in serious trouble and one has gone bust.

The Financial Services Authority is currently investigating the market to find out what went wrong and who is to blame.

Thousands of people are fighting for compensation.

They are angry about advice and information they received telling them their money would be 'safe as houses' and more recent allegations of collusion between fund managers.

The trail of responsibility

Deeply concerned by the state of the market, Mr Abramson joined Inside Money to find out what had happened to his investment.

It was not good news.

He discovered that his 20,000 pounds had been invested in two of the worst hit trusts and had lost 90% of its value.

Desperate for answers, Inside Money and Mr Abramson explore the trail of responsibility, speak to experts and confront the organisations he feels let him down.

Click here to view or save transcript

Presenter: Lesley Curwen
Listener: Tony Abramson
Producer: Jessica Dunbar

Split cap crisis a 'major scandal'
Split caps mis-sold
What are split caps and zero's

Trust investors 'could lose money'
29 Jul 02  |  Scotland
Split cap crisis a 'major scandal'
26 Jul 02  |  Inside Money
Split caps 'mis-sold'
16 May 02  |  Research
Q&A: What are split caps and zeros?
22 Oct 01  |  Business

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