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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 5th Oct 10, 6:21 PM
    • 1,628Posts
    • 1,255Thanks
    MSE Guy
    MSE News: MSE hires insolvency expert to investigate Crown Currency Exchange
    • #1
    • 5th Oct 10, 6:21 PM
    MSE News: MSE hires insolvency expert to investigate Crown Currency Exchange 5th Oct 10 at 6:21 PM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

    "Our move follows swathes of anxious customers asking for help as there is no compensation scheme in place ..."


    Read the full story:



    for background see the original




    Important Note

    Please keep this debate on track about what issues you would like the insolvency practitioner to address - please use the more general Crown Discussion threads for unrelated issues.

    The insolvency practioner will look at how the company operates rather than the wider lack of protection / regulation (which is more of a political point than an insolvency one)

    Also please be reminded that laws of defamation still apply even though the company is insolvent. Be careful what you say or you may be liable.
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 05-10-2010 at 7:49 PM.
Page 1
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 5th Oct 10, 6:39 PM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 10, 6:39 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 10, 6:39 PM
    We hope this will be a useful and provide more information and a co-ordinated point for contacting the administrators in the short term (we've already made contact and they are happy to communicate this way).

    We know many people are very upset, and some with us, though I don't want to get into that here (see CCE goes into admin for my views, and related discussion to have your say on that).

    Many people have asked us to help, suggested getting lawyers, investigating and various other attempts. I have spent most of the day looking at the options and this seemed to be the best one to try and get some info and help out there asap (though do remember ultimately it is the administrator's job to investigate the books - that's what they do).

    Please do help yourself and others by posting information that may be important for our insolvency practioner to read and be aware of (barring the things already covered in the article and elsewhere) and please lets stick to that only in this particular thread.
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 05-10-2010 at 6:52 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • Airgead1
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 10, 6:52 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 10, 6:52 PM
    As someone who has lost 500 I appreciate this gesture.

    I think issues for investigation are
    1. cancelled contracts. The emails indicated "while stocks last". Did this money exist and if not, is what CCE did illegal?
    2. Should FSA have had a more hands on role given the size of the CCE turnover?
    3. What responsibilities had Barclays in this affair?
  • simonewington
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:05 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:05 PM
    Agree....specifically I think the investigation should look at the legality of CC offering rates so far above the market rates in the last week of operating normally (last week) when its now obvious that they did this to get in more customers money to keep themselves solvent.

    I have lost 9000!
  • serenseren
    • #5
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:12 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:12 PM
    I would like to say thank you for taking this issue so seriously, and pursuing the matter on behalf of us all. It is much appreciated.

    We lost 300, which I know is much less than some poor people, but nevertheless, the issues are the same.

    I agree that the issues are as posted above, but would add:-

    1. If the information available is correct, Crown's turnover increased to something in the region of 200 million in the past year, taking it well over the threshold for regulation by the FSA and an obligation to 'ringfence' client monies (if I understand the the rules correctly). I would like to know if either the FSA or Barclays were negligent in this regard.

    2. The cancelled contracts / limited funds offers were suggested by an employee to be a fake, nothing more than a marketing ploy. I am wondering whether this constitutes mis-selling or even fraud. If criminal charges were to follow, and the Directors are as wealthy as some are suggesting, it would allow the Prosecuting authorities to pursue compensation and / or confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

    3. There have also been a number of posts from people in Cornwall having their currency contracts fulfilled over the weekend, despite their deliveries not being due for some weeks, whilst others whose currency was due were left with nothing. I would be intrigued to know the reasons behind this, although I am not certain it would take matters any further.

    Once again, thank you.
    Last edited by serenseren; 05-10-2010 at 7:16 PM.
  • tigercatmk2
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:17 PM
    lost 1300 as well
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:17 PM
    again thanks for all you are doing for us all i was going on holiday on sunday and have lost all our money 1300 not much you can say just gutted
  • Dazwilly
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:27 PM
    Fsa
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:27 PM
    I would like the FSA to be investigated. Should their logo even be allowed on websites if they do not actually regulate the activities? When I see FSA, I feel re-assured....well, no more. How many more organisations are operating in this way?
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 5th Oct 10, 7:37 PM
    • 1,628 Posts
    • 1,255 Thanks
    MSE Guy
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:37 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:37 PM
    The question of regulation is outside the insolvency practitioner's remit, and is a whole new ball game. But it is an issue we will campaign on separately.

    I would like the FSA to be investigated. Should their logo even be allowed on websites if they do not actually regulate the activities? When I see FSA, I feel re-assured....well, no more. How many more organisations are operating in this way?
    Originally posted by Dazwilly
  • Hsl500
    • #9
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:45 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Oct 10, 7:45 PM
    Thanks from me too for doing this, I have lost 800 which was our holiday spends for Nov, holiday saved years for.
    I think that the cancelled contracts need to be investigated esp when staff tell you its a marketing ploy.
    I also think it needs to be investigated if they were over the 3m mark and if so why was nothing done to protect us the clients ie ring faced accounts, if this is the case were would we stand now
    thanks again
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 05-10-2010 at 7:50 PM.
    Sorting Xmas 2011
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    • Mrsmch349
    • By Mrsmch349 5th Oct 10, 7:52 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    Mrsmch349
    We've lost our spending money 1000
    We only ordered Euros and Travellers cheques on 23 Sep for delivery yesterday - surely they knew they were in trouble then?

    How can they sleep at night knowing that they stole from us?

    Does it make a difference that we ordered travellers cheques?

    Why did they ask us to pay by banker's order instead of by credit card?

    Do you think we'll ever get our money back?

    We have looked forward to our holiday for SO long - now we'll have to get cash on our credit card - not good!

    Thank you Martin for trying to help us sort this out - much appreciated.
  • Claire11
    There has been suggestion that the company may have had more than one bank account.
    I would like the investigator to ascertain that the company was acting properly in its banking practices - including making sure that the customers money was indeed paid into accounts which come under the limited liability of the company.
    Thanks
  • pepe100
    I would like to say thankyou for doing this as i have lost 1400 and had to cancel my holiday as i was going this saturday but cant as i sent the last of my money for euros to crown currency . People work hard to earn their money and companies shouldnt be allowed to get away with other peoples money in this day and age . Once again thankyou for your help as i spoke to my bank Clydesdale and they said i would have to contact the administrators .
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 5th Oct 10, 8:09 PM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Once again thankyou for your help as i spoke to my bank Clydesdale and they said i would have to contact the administrators .
    Originally posted by pepe100
    You absolutely should do that - it is the right advice.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • glynd
    Martin

    Some points we believe to be relevant for your practitioner:

    1) The normal approach of Crown Currency was that the longer they had your money the better rate you received. This changed in late summer to a specific shorter deadlines for better deals (before the end of October), after which the exchange rate declined. Was this to increase short term cashflow in a failing business?

    2) As a long-time customer the marketing activities of CCE noticably changed in the lead up to Barclays freezing their account (eg spectacular rates, special offers, aggressive direct marketing and in the final few days the refusal to accept cheques).

    3)We received an email on 23/09/10 (offering special rates for September "whilst stocks last") which, according to the staff at CCE, came directly from a director, as they had no knowledge of the offer contained within the email.

    4) The change in CCE bank account numbers sometime between Nov 2009 (acc 30412139 sort code 20-67-19) and February 2010 (acc 90742821). What was the reason for this change?
    • djburr
    • By djburr 5th Oct 10, 8:18 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    djburr
    Best Foreign Exchange.com
    Martin, if we order currency with Bestforeignexchange.com are we at the same risk as we were with CCE? or do BFE.com have their clients monies "ring fenced", if so does that give real protection? Thank you for your help.
  • Nicole-anne
    we ordered 2500 in dollars as well from one of their "cancelled contracts" due for delivery on 25 october! leaving us with no saving for our holiday, it doesnt matter if it was 300 or 100000 that was ordered i feel it is a disgrace this company can get away with this!! although i have to say it is heart breaking for those peope in particular who have lost all their life savings.
  • ShonaT
    We ordered 1500 of US dollars and had been due to receive these yesterday. The realisation that we weren't going to get our money was the most awful feeling. We fly out on Saturday.
    We appreciate the efforts MSE are making on behalf of all who have been sold down the river by CCE.
    This was the first time we had ever purchased currency on line - will certainly never do so again. Live and learn but a really bitter pill to swallow.
  • dwithnall
    thanks martin
    my son pointed out crown currency after following a link on your site he has lost 1000 and i have lost 600 I'm sure you feel as bad as he does but whats done is done lets just make sure we get all the answers many thanks for your support
    Last edited by dwithnall; 05-10-2010 at 8:44 PM.
  • gordikin
    Don't ask Martin..ask the Admiinistrators!
  • Madd
    I contacted my bank (Halifax) yesterday as soon as I heard the news. I had transfered 1,000 4 weeks ago to buy dollars following a 'cancelled contracts' email. They were due to be delivered next week. The person I spoke to at Halifax said they would temporarily credit my account with the money while they pursued a refund from Barclays on my behalf. She said this would be sorted in 3 months and not to worry. I note 24 hours later, the temporary credit has not yet happened though.
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