Xpress Money Services Limited enters special administration

On 11 February 2022, a special administration order was made by the Court in relation to Xpress Money Services Limited (Xpress) under the Payment and Electronic Money Institution Insolvency Regulations 2021. David Hudson and Philip Reynolds of FRP Advisory have been appointed as joint special administrators. Special administration is intended to facilitate the return of customer funds as soon as possible.

Xpress is an authorised payments institution, authorised by the FCA under the Payments Services Regulations 2017.

The application for the special administration was made by the FCA in response to a winding-up petition brought against the firm, to help ensure better outcomes for affected customers.        

Xpress’s joint special administrators are responsible for managing claims against the firm and returning funds to customers where possible. Customers should receive more information from them, including details on how to make a claim, within 8 weeks of appointment. 

Customers should contact the joint special administrators at FRP Advisory with any concerns. Their website contains frequently asked questions (FAQs) and you can contact them directly by email or telephone:   

What is special administration? 

The Payment and Electronic Money Institution Insolvency Regulations 2021 introduced a new special administration regime for payment and e-money institutions. A special administration is similar to an ordinary administration however, to the special administrators have an additional objective of returning customer funds as soon as reasonably practicable.

What should I do if I have money with Xpress? 

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 Xpress about payments made to, or owed by, Xpress.   

Customers of Xpress 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. 

What is safeguarding?

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

Safeguarding is a key consumer protection measure within the PSRs. 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.

Is Xpress currently providing payment services?

Xpress is not currently providing payment services.

In June 2020, requirements were imposed on Xpress to cease all regulated payment services due to concerns that the firm was not meeting its conditions of authorisation.

Can I take money out of my accounts with Xpress? 

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 11 February 2022 and are required to provide a report to creditors within 8 weeks of their appointment. The report will provide details of Xpress’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 Xpress but it continues to be FCA authorised. 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 Insolvency Practitioners’ Association . The special administrators have statutory objectives which include engaging with authorities, including the FCA. We will work with the special administrators as appropriate.

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

Authorised Payments Institutions (APIs) like Xpress may provide payment services through agents. An agent is any person (this can be an individual or a company) who provides payment services on behalf of an API. Agents are registered by the FCA and published to the FCA’s Register. Where APIs appoint agents, the APIs are responsible for their activities.   

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

Xpress’s agents are Fairdeal Express Money Transfer Limited, International Bureau de Change Limited and UAE Exchange UK Limited. 

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.

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 Xpress, FRP Advisory or the FCA, please end the call and contact them directly using the contact details provided by us. Find out more about protecting yourself from scams.

Source: FCA

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