In October 2018 I reviewed The Capital Bridge’s IFISA bonds paying 9% per year. The Capital Bridge, whose full name was initially Capital Bridge Bondco 1 and then First Northbridge (it looks unlikely there’ll ever be a sequel) loaned investors’ money to Capital Bridging Finance Solutions Limited.
CBFS went into administration in April and The Capital Bridge inevitably followed it into administration in June. [Hat tip to reader Alex Wright who brought the collapse to my attention.]
The administrators of First Northbridge have now released their initial report. A total of £2.3 million was raised by First Northbridge. Prospects for any recovery are described as uncertain.
Capital Bridge’s ultra-high-risk unregulated bonds were promoted by Google Ads alongside FSCS-protected Cash ISAs.
In April 2019 Capital Bridge belatedly disclosed that up to 20% of investor’s money would be paid to introducers as commission.
The next time Capital Bridge’s name cropped up was when Bury FC’s unregulated car parking investment scheme collapsed (along with the footy club), along with other schemes run by its former owner.
Capital Bridging Finance Solutions loaned £2.3 million to Bury FC. Up to 40% of this was paid as yet more commission to unknown parties in exchange for arranging the loan.
Capital Bridge Bondco investors therefore join the long list of retail investors left counting their losses after the collapse of Bury FC.
Hundreds of people have lost money on student units they bought in blocks which have not been completed. Marcus Levine, a Leeds-based artist and investor in a Huddersfield scheme, said fellow investors include one terminally ill man, and another who invested the lump sum he received on early retirement. Another, Muhammad Rafiq, said he had invested his life savings of £30,000: “I have worked since I was 16, and I followed my parents’ advice to put my money into safe investments like property,” he said.
There was no mention of loaning to lower-league football clubs in The Capital Bridge’s brochure, which claimed that CBFS would “lend to hand-picked property developers in the UK” and “ensure that strict criteria are adhered to and only onward lend to borrowers who can satisfy these requirements”.