The FCA’s ongoing investigation into London Capital & Finance took a more serious turn yesterday when the FCA revealed that it has placed the following restrictions on the company:
- It may not (without the prior consent of the FCA) deal in any way with its assets, including the money held in its banks’ accounts.
- It must cease conducting all regulated activity.
Around a couple of weeks ago the FCA ordered London Capital & Finance to remove all its marketing materials. The FCA has now announced:
that it is appropriate to publicise the fact of its investigation into LCF now, as a result of other public actions taken by the FCA and in anticipation of legitimate queries from investors regarding the firm.
The FCA is unable to say whether investors are likely to get their investment back at this stage.
Will I get my investment back?
The FCA’s work in relation to the firm is ongoing, but it is aware that investors are keen to receive details on the progress of this work and the status of the firm. The FCA will publish updates on its website, when it is appropriate to do so.
For its part, London Capital and Finance has confirmed on its website that both interest and capital repayments to investors have been suspended, along with new loans to its underlying borrowers.
In the meantime, LCF is unfortunately unable to make any further loans to borrowers at present, or to make payments of principal or interest to bondholders.
For the avoidance of any doubt, LCF would wish to stress that at the date of this notice no borrower has defaulted on loans made to it and the security taken in respect of each borrower loan remains in place.
Investors looking for more information should refer to the FCA announcement.
London Capital & Finance’s introducers look elsewhere
One of London Capital & Finance’s most significant introducers is RPDigitalservices Limited, which operates the websites best-savings-rate.co.uk and top-isa-rates.co.uk. RPDigitalservices Limited is wholly owned by Ronak Mahendra Patel. Patel resigned as a director of the company in June 2018, but remains its owner according to Companies House. The sole director is now Stephen John Jones.
Alexa lists best-savings-rate.co.uk and top-isa-rates.co.uk as the two biggest drivers of web traffic to London Capital & Finance’s website, with 53.8% of “Upstream Sites” visits (the website that users visited immediately before London Capital & Finance) coming from those two websites.
How much RPDigitalservices has earned in commission for referring investors to London Capital & Finance is not known.
After London Capital & Finance was ordered by the FCA to remove its marketing materials, RPDigitalservices switched to promoting Blackmore Bond plc. Like London Capital & Finance, Blackmore offers high risk unregulated bonds with a risk of total loss.
Unlike London Capital & Finance, Blackmore Bond plc is not an FCA-authorised company, which means it needs an FCA-authorised company to authorise its website and other promotions in order to be able to legally issue them to the public. At time of writing, Northern Provident Investments Limited is the firm which currently authorises Blackmore Bond plc’s website.