Big firms named in ‘splits’ row

KPMG, Deloitte & Touche and PricewaterhouseCoopers were among those named by Stephen Alexander of Class Law, a law firm planning a group action against brokers, financial advisers and fund managers advised clients to invest in split capital investment trusts.

Alexander today said the firms, as well as a number of other financial institutions including Barclays, NatWest and TD Waterhouse, would almost certainly have to answer questions on the advice they gave to clients.

‘This could be the largest number of financial institutions ever involved in such a claim,’ Alexander said.

Split trusts had be marketed as a low-risk investment, but falling stock markets have left investors out of pocket. ‘These were never, ever low risk,’ Alexander said.

Claims from members of the class action group could top £30m, with individual claims ranging from £5,000 up to £1m. ‘This is the tip of the iceberg,’ Alexander said.

A spokesman for PwC said: ‘We are not aware of any class law action.’, while Deloitte: ‘We do not believe we acted inappropriately.’

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