Two brothers who ran a multi-million pound peer-to-peer lending company face criminal charges for allegedly lying to investors about the safety of their savings.

The Financial Conduct Authority has brought charges of fraud and profiting the proceeds of crime against Peter and Andrew Currie, who ran an unregulated peer-to-peer lending company called Collateral until it collapsed under administration in 2018.

The regulator alleged that the pair “dishonestly represented to investors that Collateral was authorized and regulated by the FCA to operate as a peer-to-peer lender knowing it was false.”

The city watchdog further claims that the brothers, who are due to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on January 26, knowingly siphoned off money they had accepted from duped customers at another company and a personal account, immediately after they have been ordered to cease trading on their behalf. alleged fault and fold back the cabinet.

Individuals have used the Collateral platform to invest in real estate programs and other projects. The company has announced returns of up to 12% per year on properties ranging from townhouses near the seafront in Blackpool to apartments in Chelsea.

A security breach that allowed third parties to manipulate information displayed to consumers on the FCA’s online list of regulated companies is believed to have reassured savers to invest thousands of pounds.

BDO, an administration company, was commissioned to collect debts from borrowers in order to return them to investors. However, he only managed to recover a fraction of the £ 14.8million that had been guaranteed against property and an additional £ 1.7million invested in jewelry and gems, according to his latest bet. up to date.

He said he also found a discrepancy between money held in clients’ accounts and company records, which administrators have so far been unable to explain.

The collateral is now insolvent and in liquidation. Peter and Andrew Currie could not be reached for comment.

They have not yet filed a plea.