Posted by Allison on 5 October 2010, 14:38
If you have been keeping up with the news recently you may have heard that one of the major UK currency exchange services has gone into administration. The company is known as the Crown Currency Exchange and it was run by a husband and wife team in Cornwall. It was one of the biggest companies of its kind in the sector, and its demise has shaken the foundations of the online currency business. It has also shaken the people who were expecting to receive money from the company – anything from £300 to £10,000 – in the near future.
As a consequence of the recession, many travel based companies have found it difficult to continue trading in recent months. This was the case with this currency exchange company.
The premise of the business worked around the fact that you could request money in advance – as much as a year if desired. The exchange rate was fixed at the time you asked for the money, so even if it went up during the time in between the request and actually receiving it, you would get the better rate.
But as October 2010 dawned, the company’s bank – Barclay’s – froze its accounts. The problem became clear on Saturday as far as the bank was concerned, and it immediately took these steps to protect its own creditors. These steps were required by law. The administrators were then called in on Monday to start the process of sorting out the accounts.
At one stage it looked as if the website was merely experiencing technical problems at the weekend. But since the news broke on Monday it is clear that thousands of people are going to be left without their holiday money.
The administrators have gauged that around 13,000 people will be affected by the collapse of the Crown Currency Exchange. If you are among them you will be contacted in due course. However this does not prevent you from contacting them yourself first for more information.
If you visit the website for the company you will see a holding page giving full information about the administration. This page includes an email address through which you can contact MCR, one of the companies involved in the process. No immediate reply is guaranteed due to the sheer number of people who are affected by the situation, but it will assist them in knowing who requires their help.
However the administrators have stated that they “cannot guarantee an early resolution” for those people who are affected by the situation and who were waiting for money from the company to come through.
It is still very early days because the news only broke yesterday. But if you are affected the best you can do is to get in touch with MCR to alert them to your involvement. Hopefully given time customers will receive some of their money back, but whether it will all be recouped is doubtful.