Astute Capital plc, which issues bonds listed on the Irish Stock Exchange paying up to 8.9% per year, has filed its accounts for the year ending March 2019.
In the year to March 2019, Astute Capital made a marginal loss (£2k) and finished with net liabilities of £82k. The directors assume the company will continue to operate on a going concern basis.
Astute Capital plc on-lends investors’ money to another company, Astute Capital Advisors, which in turn lends to “the UK property and SME markets” and pays 12.5% per year back to Astute Capital plc. As at March 2019, £15.7 million had been lent to ACA.
ACA’s only previous accounts were filed using small company exemptions and were unaudited. Due to being a private rather than public limited company, ACA still has another two months to file its March 2019 accounts.
Whether Astute continues to keep the performance of the company which conducts the actual lending activities under wraps with fileted accounts will become clear when the ACA accounts are filed.
Astute Capital plc advertised its bonds via Google as “up to 8.9% Fixed Return, Easy Online Process” with no risk warnings.
Astute has been scrubbing material critical of the company and warning retail investors of the high-risk nature of its bonds from consumer forums.
A MoneySavingExpert forum thread “astute capital safe?” was started on 1 Feb 2019 by a first-time poster, who asked simply “Is astute capital a safe place to invest in an ISA?”
The initial responses to their query have since been deleted. The first response to their query, dated a month and a half later, from another first-time poster, now starts “I think so, there are fund managers in place and FCA trustees too…” (neither of which is relevant to the fact that Astute Capital’s bonds, like any loan to a small company, have an inherent risk of 100% loss and cannot be described as “safe”).
The second response from “eskbanker” retorts “And here we go, new shillsposters joining to make a solitary contribution in support of an operation that everyone else is running a mile from because of the risks highlighted in the above posts!”
This post makes clear that multiple posts highlighting the risks of Astute Capital’s bonds have been deleted between eskbanker’s post and the present day.
As does one a few posts below, which confirms that a total of five posts have been deleted from the thread between 16 June 2019 and the present day.
MoneySavingExpert has refused to comment on why the posts were deleted. Nevertheless the only plausible reason why multiple posts from various users highlighting the risks of Astute Capital’s bonds would all be deleted is that Astute Capital complained about them.
Why Astute Capital feels the need to get posts highlighting the risks of its high-risk bonds scrubbed from consumer forums is not clear.
And in case anyone’s wondering: no I haven’t. Not a dicky bird.