Westway Holdings collapses into administration

Westway Holdings has collapsed into administration, according to the Gazette.

Reviews left on Trustnet suggest the company stopped repaying investors around November 2019.

I reviewed Westway Holdings in January 2018 and concluded that, despite Westway’s brochure claiming “income underpinned by Government allowances”, its bonds were inherently high risk.

In June 2019 an individual calling himself “Mark” claimed in the comments under the review “many of your statements are factually incorrect and seem designed to scare people” and “every investor to date has received every coupon payment due, with over £2 million repaid upon maturity of historical bonds” (which sounds like inside information to me, unless Westway were touting this irrelevant factoid in promotions or investor communications).

“Mark” failed to point out any incorrect statements in my review. Westway collapsed a few months later.

How much investor money is at risk in Westway is not known, as the company fell overdue with its accounts around the same time that it stopped paying investors. (A figure of £20 million has been mentioned in the review comments but this is unverified.)

How do I get my money back from Westway?

Westway’s investor list has already made its way into the hands of recovery scammers, who have contacted investors already knowing about their Westway bonds. Anyone who cold-calls you claiming they can get your money back from Westway or want to buy your bonds is a scammer.

How Westway’s investor list was leaked to recovery scammers is not known.

If you were advised to invest in Westway by an FCA-regulated company, you may be able to recover your money by making a formal complaint to them.

If the company refuses to provide compensation, the complaint can be taken to the Financial Ombudsman, which can order compensation up to a defined limit. If the company is unable to pay, you would be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to £85,000 per person.

Investors should avoid Claims Management Companies (CMCs) as they are unnecessary, often have a lower success rate than direct complaints, and charge eye-watering fees. The FOS and FSCS process is slow but straightforward.

Otherwise the standard procedure is to write off the investment and treat any recovery as a bonus.

29 thoughts on “Westway Holdings collapses into administration

  1. The “Mark” that you refer to is Anthony Marks of Westway Holdings – he has changed his name from Mark Anthony McGovern. The reason for this, he went to jail in 2012 for VAT fraud money laundering and skipping bail.
    He went on the run to Spain was arrested in 2012 in France and went to jail for 3 or 4 years.
    If you search the BBC for Mark McGovern and fraud, the story is well documented.
    Tony Marks / Mark McGovern hangs out with ex footballers and lives a champagne lifestyle with houses on golf courses in Spain etc
    It’s reported he’s hiding out in Estonia- there’s a lot of information on Trustpilot if you search Westway Holdings in Administration…. it’s almost certainly scam and front for money laundering.

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  2. Why did the security trustee (a firm of accountants) not take action when the company defaulted on interest payments in the autumn of 2019? As they appear to have failed to use the floating debenture to protect investors, do they have professional liability insurance that can be used to make up the difference between what is owed to investors and the amount that willl be raised from a fire sale of Westway’s assets?

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  3. PI insurers insure against accountants cocking up their sums, they don’t guarantee unregulated investment schemes. The money is almost certainly gone.

    It is highly unlikely that calling in liquidators earlier would have made any difference. If any investor objected to the Security Trustee giving Westway more time, they were free to bypass them and take Westway to court – which is what happened.

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  4. A Westway Holdings victim who was sold the investment by Ipsum Invest has been cited by Surrey Police as a case study in its warning over investment fraud:

    https://www.surrey.police.uk/news/surrey/news/2020/06/be-wary-of-investment-fraud-scams-in-surrey/

    Ipsum Invest were acting as an Appointed Representative of MET Facilities LLP so anyone who was sold Westway Holdings bonds by Ipsum Invest could have a claim against MET Facilities using the FOS.

    Is anyone pursuing this route? I would be happy to help.

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  5. Was this pre November 2018 when Curzon were FCA authorised?

    When you say “sold by” do you mean someone from Curzon personally recommended Westway’s bonds?

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  6. Hi I was recomend by Cruzon capital to invest westway bonds on14/7/2016 I was advised it was a safe and fully insurance backed bond money for bond was sent to cruzon I still have a note of there banking details

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  7. Curzon was an FCA-regulated firm at the time. You need to write a formal complaint to Curzon, stating that 1) you were advised to invest in Westway bonds 2) the bonds were inappropriate for you due to their high risk nature.
    If Curzon fails to redress you within eight weeks of your complaint, you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman. If Curzon goes bust you can claim from the FSCS.
    This is a straightforward process and can be DIYed, unlike going to court. You should avoid claims management companies, as they will take a huge chunk of your compensation for nothing.

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  8. James – it looks to me like they were registered with the FCA at the time:
    https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDetailsPage?id=001b000000MfIFkAAN

    Any paperwork you can dig out saying they recommended this investment and the reasons why would be very useful.

    On the face of it (though we have few details) you have a valid claim which the FCA should back up, putting you in a much more fortunate position than most.

    If you run into opposition see the post by Mark Taber above offering to help. He is a well known campaigner who has had many successes.

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  9. Direct Property Investment is not FCA authorised so the FOS and FSCS are not available.

    Westway Holdings aren’t being pursued anymore, they’re in administration, and I strongly doubt that DPI had anything meaningful to do with that process. Why would they waste the money they took off you in commission?

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  10. Administrators were appointed by the court on 26 May. As I understand it they have 8 weeks to produce a report which should give us a good idea of how much money we could get back. They are the only ones privy to what the financial position of Westway Holdings really is. Anything else is just speculation.

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  11. I wonder whether anyone can assist?

    My late father-in-law was a Westway Holding mini-bond holder. The mini-bond formed part of his estate.

    We are not sure who advised him to invest. He certainly was not a ‘sophisticated investor’ nor a ‘high net worth individual’.

    He lived in Osset, West Yorkshire.

    Does anyone know of any firms in the area that have been involved in marketing Westway mini-bonds to their clients?

    Thanks.

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  12. You could try asking the administrator. Unless Westway’s records are completely kaput they should record who introduced your father-in-law. They knew who it was at some point in order to pay them commission.

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  13. Hi Brev,

    I found out that my investment with westway holdings fund, were deposited in HILBERT Investment Solutions Financial Services Register number 698380, HILBERT Investment Solutions still to date have the webportal available here https://westwayholdings.infinityaccount.co.uk and shows my investments.

    When I called HILBERT Investment Solutions, they told me that they cease dealing with westway holdings and did not want to comment on how or where to funds are.

    do I stand a chance for compensation from HILBERT Investment Solutions

    I appreciate in advance for your time in answering my question

    Thank you

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  14. Can anyone advise I had an investment with Westway in 2016 I made the cheque payable to Curzon and deposited the money in Curzon bank account and on the bond certificate was Curzon’s name? I wrote an email to Curzon and I received a reply from Curzon saying they have no responsibility for Westway business.

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  15. John – see the comments above, particularly Brev’s detailing the steps you need to take. The good news is Curzon were FCA regulated at the time, so if they sold you an unsuitable investment and refuse to compensate you then you can fall back on the Financial Ombudsman and the FSCS.

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  16. I also invested through an agent IAG (Jon Matthews) and put money into Westway Holdings. Been trying to get my money back since November 2019 and to be perfectly honest not sure where to go or what to do?

    Jon from IAG who kept in touch with me has now advised he has lost his job, but with a brother and parent passing away and my husband having numerous Cardiac Arrests it is really taking its toll on us all and I am at my wits end both emotionally and financially.

    Like most/all the investors we just assumed a couple of years at 8% and our money would be returned and until middle of last year we were receiving regular interest for our investment. I’m now not even bothered about the interest I just want/need my original investment back.

    A very angry & distressed investor.

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  17. Sorry Bonita but you should assume the money is gone for this investment, the other one you posted about, and any similar investments you have.

    If you invest with an unregulated company via an unregulated agent (check IAG’s exact name and then go to register.fca.org.uk to make sure) there is no safety net.

    The administrators will get hold of any remaining money and distribute it according to a pecking order, but based on all similar companies you should assume it will be nothing and if you get anything consider it a bonus.

    I wish I could give you better news but perhaps it will help the stress a little once you have accepted it and moved on.

    As agents have conned you into 2 investments I am concerned you may have invested in more. If you have any money in any other unregulated investments get it out straight away, paying any penalties for doing so.

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  18. Westway Holdings is already in the hands of administrators so there is little to do apart from wait for them to report. Standard practice is to write off the money and treat any recovery as a bonus.

    If “IAG” were an FCA-regulated adviser you would have recourse to the FOS and FSCS, but I’m not turning up any FCA regulated businesses by that name. You would also have recourse to the FOS and FSCS if you invested via an FCA-regulated SIPP provider without advice.

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  19. Don’t take any notice of those predicting “the money has gone”. They have no idea what the situation is. Only the Administrators are in a position to establish that.

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  20. The worrying thing here is you have someone with common sense who’s helped people avoid losses or complete capital loss telling you “write the money off” because that is very very likely indeed! And you still don’t believe it Peter.

    If …and it’s a very big if, anyone invested within Westway were to get as much as a £1 back for every £10 invested they should count themselves lucky at this stage.

    The quicker people wake up to the reality as harsh as it may be, the better.

    Any firm raising funds via introducers paying them 20% for the privilege whilst paying the loanee 10% or so for a few months , go into trouble or liquidation, all investors need to write off every penny invested.

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  21. The administrators reported last month that Westway holds about £1.5 million in freehold property (some of it abandoned and dilapidated) and cash in the bank. So that’s 6p in the pound to go around creditors owed £26 million. That’s before the administrators deduct their own costs, legal costs etc, which will be substantial. The report suggests £700k total admin and legal costs but it could be more if avenues for further investigation open up.

    On top of that you have shares in obscure unlisted companies which are listed as “uncertain” value. That doesn’t mean that they’re so valuable the administrators have difficulty putting a figure on it.

    3p in the pound as a starting point is little different from a total loss.

    If the money hadn’t run out Westway wouldn’t be in administration.

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  22. I am a creditor of Westway and have heard nothing from the Administrators. Please can you provide a link or reference to their report. Thanks in advance.

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