On 16 March 2018, the FCA made applications to the High Court in Manchester to appoint new administrators in respect of Collateral (UK) Ltd (Collateral UK), Collateral Sales Ltd and Collateral Security Trustee Ltd (together, the Collateral Companies). The Collateral Companies had been placed into administration by their directors on 28 February 2018.
The Collateral Companies operated a peer-to-peer lending platform through a website (collateraluk.com) and Collateral UK Ltd purported to hold an interim permission from the FCA to carry on regulated activities. In fact, none of the Collateral Companies held any valid authorisation or permission to carry on regulated activities. When challenged by the FCA, the Collateral Companies agreed to cease their lending activities and, on 26 February 2018, the lending platform became inoperative.
The Collateral Companies were required to obtain the approval of the FCA when appointing an administrator. This is designed to protect investors by ensuring an independent person conducts the administration in the best interests of the investors. This did not happen. Accordingly the FCA has intervened to ensure investors are protected as the law requires.
On 16 March 2018, the High Court adjourned the FCA’s applications to 27 April 2018. Until then, the Court ordered that, barring incoming payment of loan interest and repayments and certain other administrative steps, the substantive progress of the administration should be paused.
The FCA will continue to work in the best interests of investors in the Collateral Companies. The case will return to the High Court in Manchester on 27 April 2018.