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Beaufort investors clash with PwC over £100m bill

Former customers of collapsed stock broker Beaufort Securities furious after administrators refuse to request to cap liquidation bill at £35 million.

 
Beaufort investors clash with PwC over £100m bill

Former investors of Beaufort Securities clashed angrily with administrators PwC yesterday as a meeting intended to discuss the liquidation of the stock broker broke down into a confrontation over costs.

Many among a group of up to 300 people in attendance hoping to recover assets held by the business reacted angrily to PwC’s estimated all-in bill of up to £100 million.

The accountancy firm defended its costings and rejected a counter proposal presented by clients and creditors which pledged to cap costs at £35 million.

Campaign group ShareSoc this week took up the cause of Beaufort clients, accusing PwC of presenting an ‘incredible’ set of charges with ‘no justification’. PwC yesterday released insolvency papers revealing the scope of the challenges in piecing together customer paper trails.

The result of a vote on the liquidation proposals is expected later today.

‘People were furious,’ Beaufort client Anthony Breton told the Financial Times. ‘It was very hard to find anyone in the room who was voting for the proposals but people are confused too. They were very frightened by PwC telling them it could take longer and cost more if we rejected them.’

Beaufort Securities and sister company Beaufort Asset Clearing Services filed for insolvency in March, hours before US prosecutors accused the company of fraud and money laundering.

Clients of the company were also shocked after an estimated £800 million in client assets held  by the business was cut to £500 million after PwC said much of its book was ‘highly illiquid’.

 

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?

Kengee

May 12, 2018 at 23:43

Why isn't the winding up of a company put out to tender?

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