Viola Money (Europe) Limited enters administration

Viola Money (Europe) Limited (Viola) is an authorised electronic money institution, authorised by the FCA under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (EMRs).

On 21 December 2021, a special administration order was made by the Court in relation to Viola under the Payment and Electronic Money Institution Insolvency Regulations 2021 and Edward George Boyle and James Robert Bennett of Interpath Advisory have been appointed as joint special administrators. The special administration process includes provisions to facilitate the return of customer funds by the special administrators. 

The application for the special administration was made by the FCA and follows requirements imposed on Viola on 14 December 2021, which required it to cease all regulated electronic money and payment services. These requirements were imposed because we identified a number of serious concerns around the way that Viola operated its business and prevented the firm from dealing on behalf of its clients.  

Viola’s special administrators are responsible for managing claims against the firm and distributing funds back to customers where possible. The special administrators are required to provide a report to creditors within 8 weeks of their appointment which will include details of their proposals and how customers should make a claim. 

If you have any questions regarding the special administration process, please refer to the special administrators’ website which answers a number of frequently asked questions or contact the special administrators directly by email or telephone. 

Joint special administrators contact details:

What should I do if I have money with Viola?

Customers should contact the special administrators if they are concerned, have any questions or for any updates. 

The special administrators will gather as much information as possible from creditors and customers of Viola about payments made to, or owed by, Viola. 

Customers of Viola who believe that they are owed money by the firm should contact the special administrators using the contact details above. 

Customers can also contact our Consumer Helpline for further information.

Safeguarded funds 

When Viola provided regulated electronic money or payment services activities it was required to hold money separately for those customers. These safeguarding requirements apply to Viola and the firm must comply with them at all times. 

Safeguarding is a key consumer protection measure within the EMRs. The purpose of safeguarding is to protect customer funds if a firm fails. 

The special administrators will carry out an assessment of all the customer funds held by the firm to confirm the current position. 

Being Alert to Scams 

All customers should remain alert to the possibility of fraud. If you are cold called by someone claiming to be from Viola, Interpath or the FCA, please end the call and contact them directly. Find out more about protecting yourself from scams

Can I take money out of my accounts with Viola? 

Customers cannot take money out of their accounts. The priority for the special administrators is to identify, protect and in due course return funds to customers in accordance with their interests to the fullest extent possible. 

The special administrators were appointed on 21 December and are required to provide a report to creditors within 8 weeks of their appointment. The report will provide details of Viola’s history, the special administrators’ proposals and will include details of how customers should make a claim.  

Is the FCA overseeing the Special Administration? 

Following the special administration order, the special administrators are responsible for Viola but it continues to be FCA authorised and remains subject to our rules. The special administrators are officers of the Court and need to comply with all insolvency law. The individuals appointed are authorised to act as licensed insolvency practitioners by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW). The special administrators have statutory objectives which include engaging with authorities, including the FCA. We will work with the special administrators throughout the administration.

What should I do if I gave money to an agent of Viola Money? 

E-money institutions (EMIs) like Viola Money may provide payment services, and distribute and redeem e-money, through agents. An agent is any person (this can be an individual or a company) who provides payment services on behalf of an EMI. EMIs may also appoint distributors to distribute and redeem e-money, however distributors cannot provide payment services. Agents are registered by the FCA and published to the FCA’s Register. Unlike agents, there is no requirement to register distributors. Where EMIs appoint agents or distributors, the EMIs are responsible for their activities. 

Given the restrictions imposed on Viola, its agents and distributors are also restricted from carrying on any regulated activities on its behalf. Accordingly, any customers who have used Viola via an agent or distributor and are unable to access their funds should contact the special administrators if they have any further questions.

Do I need to use a third party to get my money back? 

If you are approached by a company offering to help you recover your money, you should proceed with caution. For most of the firm’s clients, there will be no benefit in involving a third party in making a claim.  

If you have any questions about the special administration process, please contact the special administrators using the contact details above. 

Page updates

23/12/2021: Information changed Joint special administrators website link updated

Source: FCA

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