I am now the Chairman of the All Party Group for Arch Cru Victims. The vicitms invested and lost over £400 million. The investments were meant to be secure, non risky. Some investors invested only £5000, others over half a million. I have met many of the Tynedale victims in surgeries and special meetings. Every one is very upset, much poorer and justifiably angry.
They have suffered a lot. As usual, I have done an update to every member of parliament who has a constituent who has suffered a loss - and whose MP has bothered to join the All Party Group. I do stress that All Party Groups are unpaid and entirely self supporting: I, and my small staff in London (2 people) run two All Party Groups - Arch Cru and the All Party Group in support of Air Ambulances. My staff have become quasi experts in both issues as we run these campaigning groups on top of our usual work as an MP, and my work in the Home Office. I owe Charlie and Dan a huge thank you for their efforts down the years.
Along with Equitable Life the Arch Cru financial scandal has been the most upsetting issue for me as an MP these last 4 and a half years. Trying to help decent blameless people who have lost all or most of their savings is a thankless task, but one which we have made some progress on. Equitable Life has finally got a variety of government payouts, notwithstanding the recession / shortage of government money after a 20 year wait and successive governments. I am mindful that victims would like more and have met many of them.
My December letter sent to every one of the Arch Cru MPs for forwarding on to their constituents is below:
Subsequent to the letter being sent out in mid December I received the brilliant news that Mr Justice
Paul Walker has found for the Administrator of the Cells of the SPL Guernsey ICC in their claim against Arch Financial Products and Mr Robin Farrell. This recovery is part of the several legal claims that are being pursued to get more money back for victims [as referred to in the December 2014 update above]. However, as all lawyers will tell you, judgment is all very good and well, but recovery of the money is what matters to the victims: and that will be a job for 2015. I will update MPs in January with more details. However, for the moment the press release post judgment is here:
I, for one, do not wish Mr Farrell a happy new year, and will be urging the Administrator to pursue Arch and Mr Farrell for the money, by all means necessary and legal. The judgment is damning against both Arch and Farrell.
"The Cells' claims alleged, as against Arch, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligence, and, as against Mr Farrell, dishonest assistance of Arch in breach of its fiduciary duties and inducing breach of contract.
Mr Justice Walker concluded that the claims against Arch and against Mr Farrell succeeded and has made an order for damages, jointly and severally payable by Arch and Mr Farrell, in a sum in excess of £22m, plus interest and costs.
Permission to appeal was refused."