New wine company code to protect investors

Julianm Knight
Saturday 07 July 2012 13:37 BST

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Louise Thomas

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Leading companies in the wine investment industry are looking to set up a regulatory body to combat an influx of bogus sellers and prevent company collapses.

In the past two years, 50 wine investment companies have collapsed, potentially costing investors thousands, while the market has been beset with firms looking to capitalise on buyers' ignorance by selling wine at inflated prices.

Peter Shakeshaft, the founder of Vin-X is behind the new body and says he and other major players are looking for all firms to comply with a new code of practice that should be in place by the autumn:

"Firms should have their wine stocks independently audited and offer guarantees on the legitimacy of the wine offered. If the code of practice is followed it could significantly reduce the risk of fraud and mis-selling."

At present the market is unregulated despite its global size, with Chinese and Asian buyers bolstering prices. A recent BBC investigation showed that nearly £100m has been scammed by bogus companies in the past four years.

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