Allansons, the solicitor firm behind an unregulated investment scheme offering potential 50% returns within a 6-18 month timescale, has been shut down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
According to The Bolton News,
The Solicitors Regulation Authority took the decision to close Allansons Solicitors, which had been operating out of an office Queens Buildings in Central Street, after ruling that its manager, Roger Allanson, had failed to comply with a number of regulations.
A notice from the industry regulator on the door to Allansons’ office states that the firm was shut down on Friday, and that all “practice papers, files and monies held” were now in the possession of the SRA.
Roger Allanson, who late last year was banned from running his practice by the SRA over charges unrelated to the investment scheme, told The Bolton News:
“There was no dishonesty with this scheme, it was an opportunity for people who are not adverse to risk to gain a return on an investment.”
Whatever Allanson may have intended the scheme to be, “for people who are not adverse to risk” was not how the scheme was marketed by third party introducers.
Third party introducers claimed that the scheme was “100% secure with FSCS”. One introducer, Smart Investment Club, told potential investors in March 2018 that the scheme was “exposed to zero risk”. Smart Investment Club appears to have shut down – its website has been replaced by a blank WordPress template.
Allanson also stated:
“We have raised about £20,000,000 to back about 4,000 cases, and have an insurance policy if it goes wrong.
They are all grown ups who are able to make their own decisions.
This decision has been taken because they (the SRA) are worried this will collapse under their watch.”
Allanson is a prominent member of the Bolton community, who until rececntly served on the board of the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Trust.
Where this leaves the investors who invested £20 million to back Allansons’ cases on behalf of people affected by automatic capitalisation of mortgage shortfalls is unclear.
Yesterday a statement on the website of Mortgage Audit Bureau said
We have been made aware this morning (24th May 2019) of a re-assignment of cases between Allansons and Quanta Law.
At this moment we have not been provided with any further information. We hope to be able to provide more information by close of play on Tuesday (28th) through our website.
On Tuesday evening this was amended to say Wednesday 29th. At time of going to press no further information had been provided.
The cases were purportedly covered by After The Event insurance offered by Leeward Insurance in the small island of Bermuda, and it remains to be seen whether Leeward will pay out if the closure of Allansons means these cases are toast.
It also remains to be seen whether, if Leeward Insurance refuse to or are unable to pay out, and the insurance broker Box Legal also does not compensate investors, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will step in, as was claimed by third party introducers.
My opinion? You’re more likely to see Bolton Wanderers lift the 2021/22 Premier League title.