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Appeal dismissed in favour of FCA and investors

Wednesday 16th April 2014

The Court of Appeal has dismissed, on all counts, an appeal by David Banner-Eve and Asset Land L.I. 
Asset Land L.I. was a land banking firm, run by Banner-Eve and his associates, selling plots of land as investments in Stansted, Harrogate, Lutterworth, Newbury, Liphook and South Godstone. 
The judgment makes clear that the law around collective investment schemes (CIS), which require Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation, does apply to these types of scheme and that any effort to avoid authorisation on technical legal points will be unlikely to succeed.  
The decision paves the way for some money to be returned to investors, although it is unlikely to be the full amount.
Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: “Winning this case sets an important legal precedent in the fight against unauthorised business. Firms trying to exploit loopholes to claim that they are not running collective investment schemes should be clear - it simply will not work.”
“This is a clear warning to any firm selling dubious investments and I reiterate it today: we will come after you, we will shut you down, and we will do whatever we can to ensure money you have taken, no matter how much - or little - is left, is used to reimburse your victims.”
“We constantly see new variations on these schemes. If someone is contacted out of the blue with an offer that is too good to be true - it probably is. Put down the phone and keep your money."

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