On 13 February 2023, we imposed restrictions on Independently East Ltd for failing to engage with us in an open and cooperative way.
Our actions mean that:
the firm’s bank accounts are frozen
its permissions to carry our regulated activities have been cancelled, and
it is unable to carry out any regulated activities
Our concerns with Independently East include whether it can be effectively supervised and holds appropriate resources. It has not provided us with the information we requested about its clients, financial position, or a Financial Ombudsman Service award it was due to pay out.
The outstanding Financial Ombudsman Service award is for an upheld complaint by a consumer who paid £70,000 into Independently East’s business account. The consumer understood these funds would be used to invest in a bond.
We have looked into this investment and found no evidence to suggest that the money transferred by the consumer to Independently East was invested in a bond or any other form of investment. It also appears that some of the consumer’s funds were transferred to a personal account of the Director.
We have issued a First Supervisory Notice which sets out the full details.