Travel firm’s collapse leaves couples’ plans in ruins

PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 December 2010

The Fry's gave £110,000 to CCE, a week before it crashed

The Fry's gave £110,000 to CCE, a week before it crashed

Archant

AN AXBRIDGE couple say they are ‘devastated’ by the collapse of a travel money company, which has left their plans for a retirement home in ruins and their children’s futures up in the air.

Nick and Larissa Fry, of Northern Street, had sent £110,000 to Crown Currency Exchange (CCE) to be exchanged into Euros for buying a retirement home in Italy.

But the firm, which was one of the country’s biggest foreign exchange websites, collapsed, leaving the family’s plans in ruins.

The Frys, who have two children, 10-year-old Sam and 11-year-old Joe, put an initial £10,000 into CCE on September 20, before putting a further £100,000 in two days later to buy the property in Abruzzo, a region on Italy’s east coast.

But the firm’s collapse has meant all their hard-earned savings are now frozen, with administrators saying customers should not expect a quick return of their money.

Mr Fry, aged 39, who is a firefighter based in Weston, said: “We’re absolutely devastated, frustrated, and infuriated by what has happened.

“It will have an effect on our kids as well. This was an investment for them as well as us, and if they want to go university we’ll have to find the money somewhere else.

“I’d used CCE before, and it was recommended as being very good by financial experts.

“The head of the joint-administrators, MCR, has been in contact with us because of the amount of money we’ve lost, but we haven’t spoken to anyone from CCE itself. To be honest I wouldn’t want to.”

Mr Fry added: “We go over to Italy whenever we can, so it would have been the perfect place for us to retire. It was our dream.

“We re-mortgaged our house to do it. We’ve always been very careful with our money, never had any credit card debts, or got into trouble with any loans, so it’s very galling for this to happen to us after being so careful.

“Our MP, Tessa Munt, has been superb, and she has been raising questions in the House of Commons about it. We’re hopeful we can get some compensation from the Financial Services Authority, as CCE was registered with it, but not regulated by it. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

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