After seven years in limbo, clients of failed wealth firm Pritchard Stockbrokersare set to receive a meagre final payout by July, recouping only 3-5p in the pound.
In the latest update, covering the period from 1 September 2018 to 28 February 2019, the special administrators, Mazars, said they intend to make the second and final distribution by 12 July 2019.
A payout timeframe could not previously be arranged as 2,341 clients with claims that reached up to £800,000 are yet to file their forms.
The deadline for filing claims has now been set for 12 April 2019, however, after the High Court ruled in February that the administrators could make the final distribution without committing breach of trust.
The ruling also gave Mazars the green light to distribute £23.5 million of client assets on total client claims of an estimated £26.6 million, meaning there is a £3.1 million shortfall currently.
‘We are continuing to receive correspondence on a regular basis from clients, or from their representatives, most commonly from a deceased client,' the update stated. 'This process is ongoing.’
‘At this time, we estimate that the second and final distribution of pooled client money may amount to between 3p and 5p in the pound.
'This can, however, only be an estimate at this stage, and the actual quantum and eventual timing of the final distribution can only be finalised in completion of the claim agreement process after the Bar Date has passed.’
The expected 3-5p distribution is significantly lower than the first payout of 50p.
Since the saga began in 2012, the administrators have agreed to total claims of £25.8 million from 6,371 clients.
Together with another 2,409 clients that have agreed their claims at nil this makes up 97% of potential claims by value.
According to the update, on 28 February £12.9 million had been distributed to clients by the administrators, while the Financial Services Compensation Scheme had paid some £9.4 million to over 2,088 clients.
In the February High Court hearing Judge Alastair Norris said: ‘In relation to claims of more substance the view may properly be taken that the need for finality is much greater than the need to preserve hitherto unpursued claims.
'Those who now receive a final distribution are entitled to regard it as their own (and not exposed to some claim to follow or trace into it by a hitherto unresponsive client). It is undoubtedly time for the book to be closed.’
Over the whole of the administration, which started on 9 March 2012, the special administrators Mazars has racked up fees of £6.4 million for more than 24,000 hours of work.