Custom House Capital investor compensation claims will take years

The process of compensating investors who lost money from the 2011 collapse of investment firm Custom House Capital may not be complete for a number of years, the Investor Compensation Company (ICCL) has warned.

In its latest annual report, the ICCL said only 574 out of nearly 2,000 claims for compensation in the case have been certified for payment, with a combined €7.4m being paid back to investors.

Screengrab from the Custom House Capital website

It means that only 74 claims have been certified in the past two years. At the time of the ICCL’s 2016 annual report, 500 claims had been dealt with.

The company acknowledged progress in the case has been slow and very disappointing, but said that the “highly unusual and complex nature” of Custom House Capital’s liquidation —which is at an advanced stage — has contributed to the lengthy delays to claim validations.

Custom House Capital collapsed in 2011 after the discovery of the misuse of over €66m of client funds.

As the recovery of misappropriated monies is dependent, in many cases, on the disposal or refinancing of property-related assets, where embezzled funds were directed, the timeframe for completion of future certifications of claims is likely to be impacted, and could extend for a further period of years,” the ICCL said.

A first interim dividend from some recovered misappropriated monies is expected in the first quarter of 2019.

The ICCL also repeated calls for new legislation to speed up the investor compensation process.

“The failure to address this matter would, undoubtedly, result in an equally unsatisfactory outcome for investors caught up in an investment firm failure of similar size and complexity, and ultimately serves to undermine investor protection and confidence.”

The ICCL recorded a surplus of €4.5m for the 12 months to the end of July, €250,000 down on the previous year.

The company closed the year with accumulated reserves of €57.3m.

The only other case in the last year saw €23,000 being paid out to 12 clients of failed Dublin investment firm Asset Management Trust (AMT).


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