Press release

Husband and wife banned after abusing insolvent company’s assets

A married couple who were directors of an independent financial advice company have been disqualified for taking assets from an insolvent company.

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Kevin Gerald Neal, and his wife, Cheryl Neal, have been banned from acting as company directors for 6 and 4 years respectively, due to their misconduct in Kevin Neal Associates Wealth Management LLP (KNAWM).

The finance company had been incorporated to take over the wealth management business of a previous company, Kevin Neal Associates Limited, which went into compulsory liquidation on 1 July 2013.

By a deed poll and declaration, signed by both Kevin and Cheryl Neal on 8 April 2011, KNAWM became liable, amongst other liabilities, for any award of the Financial Ombudsman Service against Kevin Neal Associates Limited.

By May 2014, at least six decisions by the Financial Ombudsman Service, totalling at least £573,274, had gone against Kevin Neal Associates Limited and KNAWM.

The company’s previous insurer refused to settle the claims and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had altered KNAWM’s permissions to ensure that it did not transfer away assets without its permission.

Despite this, between May and June 2014, KNAWM transferred £55,000 and two cars worth £22,120 to associated parties.

However, these transactions were to the unreasonable risk and ultimate detriment of other creditors who either submitted claims in the liquidation of Kevin Neal Associates Limited or were included within the Statement of Affairs.

The Secretary of State accepted disqualification undertakings from Kevin Gerald Neal and Cheryl Neal on 10 May 2018 for periods of 6 and 4 years respectively and they are effective from 31 May 2018.

The disqualifications prevent Mr and Mrs Neal from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership for the duration of their bans.

Mark Bruce, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:

“This is a particularly blatant example of common misconduct seen by the Insolvency Service.

“Mr and Mrs Neal plainly acted to improve their position, once the partnership was insolvent, while failing to honour either the prior decisions of the Financial Ombudsman or the protections put in by the FCA, specifically to stop such actions.

“Such conduct will invariably lead to disqualification.”

Notes to editors

Kevin Neal Associates Wealth Management LLP (CRO No. OC357585) was incorporated on 2 September 2010 and traded in Wealth Management from Repton Manor, Repton Avenue, Ashford, Kent, TN23 3GP and The Maltings, Bridge Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 2DE.

Kevin Gerald Neal’s date of birth is in January 1958. Cheryl Neal’s date of birth is in September 1959. They have resided in recent years in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

The allegation not disputed in the undertakings was:

Mr Neal caused, and Mrs Neal caused or allowed, Kevin Neal Associates Wealth Management LLP (“KNAWM”), on 19 May and 3 June 2014, to make payments totalling £55,000 to an associated company, and on 27 and 30 May 2014 to transfer vehicles with estimated equity of £11,363 and £10,757 to an associated company and/ or themselves when they knew, or ought to have known, that KNAWM was insolvent and due to enter into liquidation. These transactions were to the unreasonable risk and ultimate detriment of other creditors who submitted claims in the liquidation, or were included within the Statement of Affairs sworn by Mr Neal, in respect of liabilities totalling £9,443,648.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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Published 25 May 2018