The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has withdrawn the permissions to carry out regulated activities from Falcon Financial Solutions Ltd and Thestral Financial Services Ltd.
The UK financial watchdog has taken this action as it believes there is a “significant risk” that the firms “may have offered, or been intending to offer, investments to customers which were not protected”.
It said: “Neither Falcon nor Thestral has ever been permitted by the FCA to provide regulated investment services. Any investments offered by either firm could pose significant risks to consumers due to the potential lack of regulatory protection.”
Falcon Financial Solutions Ltd and Thestral Financial Services Ltd are listed as a credit broker and a payment services business, respectively, on the FCA register.
The permissions removal means that “they are no longer permitted to carry out any regulated activities”, the FCA said, and that customers’ money “may not be protected” and that they “could lose all your money if you invested with them”.
The regulator said that both Falcon and Thestral are “controlled” by the same individual Bhupinder Rehal.
The FCA said: “Cavendish appeared to have been carrying out investment activities without permission and consumers may have invested substantial sums in bonds or loan notes issued by Cavendish. Consumers may have been misled about the scope of Cavendish’s permissions and the protection afforded to their investments.
“Due to this connection, we are concerned that Falcon and Thestral may also be offering investments to customers. Customers that invest with Falcon and Thestral could lose all their money. We believe these firms may be part of a network of credit brokers/payment services firms that are offering investments to consumers which may not be protected.
“Customers are strongly encouraged to see the information available on our website before making any payments in relation to investments. Customers are also advised when considering an investment to check they are dealing with a firm that is authorised and holds investment permissions.”
International Adviser contacted both Falcon and Thestral but did not receive a comment in time for publication.