Tynwald members have been invited to a meeting of depositors who lost life savings with the collapse of the Louis Group.
The meeting has been arranged by the recently-formed Louis Group Victims Action Group and will take place tonight (Monday) at the Onchan home of one of the group’s members.
Island-based investors in the Louis Group fear they will never see their money again after the fund, promoted as ‘low risk,’ was suspended, and subsequently wound up, unable to pay its multimillion-pound debts.
The host for tonight’s meeting, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes the island’s financial watchdog, the Financial Supervision Commission, has some responsibility for the depositors’ plight.
He said: ‘Victims of Louis Group are a shy lot who collectively feel very embarrassed by being caught up in such a devastating case. It has occurred in the heart of the Isle of Man financial centre to over 100 clients who are of a mainly very Christian leaning. Louis Group always boasts Christian ethics.
‘Our FSC are in denial regarding their responsibilities for all the relevant behaviour of their licence holders within the Louis Group yet it was the FSC who caused the liquidation of LG.
‘This leaves the victims with no recourse and the loss of their pensions and deposits.
‘The FSC maintain their stance that we are all “experienced depositors” who should know better. This is simply not true. Two victims are in their 90s. We are retired trades people.
‘What can our MHKs do? Great question, we will have to wait and see.’
An independent financial advisor whose UK company lost £3.5 million in the collapse is flying to attend the meeting.
At Douglas High Court in January, Deemster David Doyle ordered the winding up of Louis Group Structured Fund PLC and five related companies – Louis Group (IOM) Limited, Louis Group Structured Capital Limited, Louis Group International (Europe) Limited, LG SP Investments Ltd and Louis Group SLN Limited.
Deemster Doyle said it was only by the winding up of the companies that the ‘real truth’ about the affairs of these companies could be established.
The FSC first had concerns in the autumn of 2010 following information received from the company’s board - and was urged by liquidators to press for the winding up of the Louis Group Structured Fund in the interests of investors and the Manx public.