Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2012 Niall Brady of the Sunday Times has written an eBook about the collapse of Customs House Capital. It's only 58 pages, so it's a very easy read. I find a lot of books on such topics are 300 pages and filled full of irrelevant stuff which you have to wade through. This gets the right balance between too much and too little detail. It's a short story instead of a novel. It's a good insight into how a business grew from very small beginnings to managing over €1billion in clients' funds. They were very proactive and took advantage of the changes in PRSA and ARF legislation. It's another "victim" of the credit cruch. They were buying commercial properties in Germany and other european markets with syndicated funds from clients. The problem is that they entered into contracts to buy the properties before having raised the funds from clients. When the credit market crashed, they couldn't get the finance to complete the deals so they "borrowed" it from their clients without their clients' knowledge. Whom can you trust? This was a highly regarded company. It was regulated by the Financial Regulator. Most of the investors in CHC were well-off self-employed people who would have had a reasonably good understanding of business and finance. It surprised me that they did not twig that there was something wrong earlier. There were reports in the Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post that the FR was unhappy with the company, but the company just brushed off those concerns claiming that they were about technical matters such as lack of documentation on identifying clients. The book illustrates the dilemma the Financial Regulator faced. If they moved in as soon as they saw the problem, the clients would definitely have lost a lot of money. They thought that they could stop them taking on new clients and that they could force them to sell the business which would save the clients' money. I got the impression that the FR took the same approach to Irish Nationwide. They knew about the problems but hoped that the sale of the Irish Nationwide to a foreign bank would solve the problem for them. The firms' auditors will certainly have questions to answer. It seems that Lavelle Coleman, solicitors, are investigating taking a case against them.