Boutique Banking to Bankrupt Buzz: City One Securities


The world of investment is a volatile one, with waves of triumphs and falls. But recent events surrounding City One Securities have created ripples that are hard to ignore, especially in the bustling financial hub of London. This misconduct, involving a once-respected IFA (Independent Financial Advisor), has certainly jolted even the most seasoned of investors.

A Closer Look at City One's Illustrious History

Established in 1990, City One Securities had carved a niche for itself as a "boutique corporate finance house," with an unmatched skill in curating tax-efficient investment avenues tailored for its private clientele. Over its three-decade legacy, the firm underwent several name changes, notably including Europacific Corporate Finance Ltd and Holmes & Company Ltd, as documented by the Financial Times.

However, the golden run seemed to have hit a major roadblock. By 29 April 2020, this financial titan, which had once commanded respect in London's financial circles, announced its liquidation, sending shockwaves across the sector.

Peeling the Layers: The Enigma of Easy SIPP & Its Investments

The current cloud of uncertainty surrounding Easy SIPP, a pension fund closely linked with City One Securities, has been a major talking point. Its associations with investment brands such as NQ Minerals and the Just Loans Group have led to increased scrutiny. Furthermore, these investments being channeled through major providers like Beaufort Securities and Strand Capital raises more questions than answers.

According to Intelligent Partnership, 'With an average SIPP size of £70,000 to £80,000 and over 800,000 SIPP investors out there (and the number is growing at 20 per cent to 30 per cent a year), this represents a significant new and enticing market for advisers. It is not just the growth in SIPPs driving this.' This figure underscores the gravity of the situation, of which a large proportion of these figures may be at risk.

Decoding Relationships: The Extensive Web of IFAs & Affiliates

Digging deeper, one encounters a maze of connections. City One's professional associations extend to other significant IFAs like Danial Stuart & Company plc and St. Paul's Marketing. Adding to this intricate web are names of appointed representatives such as AC Equity Research Ltd and Beer & Young Ltd, among others.

The FSCS's recent announcement on 13 Sep, 2022, further complicates matters. The decision to temporarily halt specific claims against City One, pending an in-depth investigation, hints at the extent and complexity of this unfolding scandal.

Shedding Light on Client Interactions & Offerings

Many recall being approached by St Pauls Marketing with promises of a free pension review—a lucrative offer, indeed. However, subsequent advisories to reallocate their pension funds, particularly emphasising Just Loans, appears questionable, especially given that Just Loans was a relatively new entity in the market, with a brief history of just 18 months.

Promised annual returns, sometimes reaching a tempting 6%, beckoned many, especially those with limited investment experience, into this enigmatic venture. But as with many things that sound too good to be true, this also had its pitfalls.

The Road to Recompense: A Glimmer in the Dark?

For those who find themselves caught in this whirlwind, hope is not lost. While Just Loans Group remained outside the purview of the Financial Conduct Authority and declared its administration in June 2022, potential avenues for claiming losses still exist.

It's heartening to note that in similar situations, the FSCS has stepped in. As reported by Investment Weekly in 2022, they compensated an astounding £5.7 million to former clients of Strand Capital, a discretionary fund manager linked to the debacle.

What Next?

The tale of City One Securities, with its intricate layers and associations, is gradually coming to light. If you find resonances with any mentioned names and believe you might be embroiled in this, don't hesitate. Take a moment to fill out the form below, providing your contact details, for a free, no-obligation chat.

Have You Been Affected?

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