High Street Group loses rooftop showdown with creditor, subsidiary put into administration

A High Street Group subsidiary has been put into administration following a battle with a creditor in the High Court on 30 September. (Hat tip to an anonymous reader who pointed me to the case report.)

For clarity, I will emphasise that neither High Street Commercial Finance Limited, which issues the loans covered in my 2018 review, nor the holding company High Street Grp Limited are in administration. The company which is in administration, High Street Rooftop Holdings Limited, is another subsidiary of High Street Grp.

The story goes as follows: Strategic Advantage SPC is a company in the Cayman Islands which invests on behalf of “Korean blue-chip investors”.

Strategic Advantage employed Hypa Asset Management Limited and its two directors Simon Welsh and Marc Hounsell. Through Hypa, Strategic Advantage invested £26 million into rooftop projects run by High Street Rooftop Holdings in 2018. High Street Rooftop promised an interest rate of 16.5% in return, with the loans to be repaid in 18 months, being December 2019 and January 2020.

January came and went without High Street Rooftop paying the money back.

High Street Rooftop promised to repay according to a specified schedule and undertook to provide audited and group accounts by March 2020. Neither of these conditions were met.

(As regular readers will know, High Street Group has failed to file legally-required accounts not just for High Street Rooftop but the parent company High Street Grp and High Street Commercial Finance. The latter two companies are a whole year overdue.)

Strategic Advantage had had enough and applied to put High Street Rooftop into administration. High Street Rooftop claimed that the payment dates had been varied such that it wasn’t overdue, and the original loan agreement could no longer be enforced.

High Street Group owner Gary Forrest claimed in court that a few weeks after borrowing the money, in July 2018, “it became clear that the rooftop developments would not proceed to completion quickly enough for the Company to meet its repayment obligation due to delays in obtaining planning permission“.

High Street Group owner Gary Forrest

In Forrest’s version, he proposed to Hounsell that £20 million of Strategic Advantage’s money should be redeployed to other High Street Group projects, known as the PRS Developments, which were due to complete on various dates between October 2020 and February 2023. Forrest claimed that Hounsell agreed – and in doing so accepted that Strategic Advantage would have to wait until the projects completed for its money, voiding the original early 2020 repayment date.

In support of his version of events, Forrest cites an exchange of text messages which no longer exists.

Mr Forrest says that he believes this exchange with Mr Hounsell took place over text message but he no longer has access to his texts.

In the words of the judge, “Mr Hounsell’s account of his dealings with Mr Forrest is very different.” Hounsell denies ever agreeing to allow Strategic Advantage’s money to be moved to other HSG projects.

Among the evidence cited by Hounsell is:

  • a letter written by Forrest in July 2018 confirming the originally agreed repayment dates and containing no reference to using the money for other HSG projects with considerably longer timescales
  • an email exchange in August 2018 in which Forrest agreed to meet with a Strategic Advantage investor, to present the merits of the PRS Developments as a new project – which Hounsell submits made no sense if Strategic Advantage knew that their money had already been redeployed to PRS

High Street Rooftop argued that Forrest and Hounsell should be cross-examined and that other witnesses should be called to determine who was telling the truth. Judge Andrew Sutcliffe QC rejected this argument on the basis that HSG and Strategic Advantage had agreed that the loan agreement should only be varied in writing, and there was no evidence in writing to support High Street Rooftop’s contention that Strategic Advantage had agreed to wait longer for its money, among other more technical arguments.

The judge therefore rejected High Street Rooftop’s argument that Strategic Advantage could not enforce its loans, even though High Street Rooftop had not only failed to meet the original repayment dates but a renegotiated payment schedule and an agreement to provide audited accounts.

High Street Rooftop also argued that it should not be put into administration on the grounds that the purpose of an administration could not be fulfilled.

This argument was essentially a legalistic version of that old chestnut ‘everything will be fine as long as you don’t ask for the money back’.

[High Street Rooftop] state that the Company’s assets (namely the funding received under the [Strategic Advantage] facility) have been invested in the PRS Developments which will not realise any genuine commercial value until such time as those developments are completed. They say that the likelihood of the PRS Developments being completed on time and in a manner that achieves any realisation for the Company will be significantly impacted if an administration order is made.

High Street Rooftop stated that enforcing the loan and putting them into administration will not only prevent them seeing the PRS Developments through to completion, but impact the wider High Street Group as well.

They also say that the Company has spoken to BLME and Topland Jupiter Ltd (Topland), the secured creditors of Group companies carrying out two of the PRS Developments, namely, Olympius Developments Ltd (Olympius) and Rodus Developments Ltd (Rodus), who have indicated that if an administration order is made in respect of the Company, they will exercise their enforcement rights in respect of their security and appoint receivers over the PRS Developments managed by those companies, being Hadrian’s Tower in Newcastle and Middlewood Plaza in Salford.

The aspiring administrators, for their part, explained to the court why putting High Street Rooftop into administration should proceed.

Following the granting of an administration order, the Administrators would be in a position to investigate the ultimate destination/flow of the funds borrowed by High Street Rooftop and in turn lent to group companies. In order to maximise the position for creditors, the Administrators would seek to take steps to recover the funds from across the group on the basis these represent inter-company debtor balances.

The high-pitched sound you can hear is the squeaking of bums belonging to other High Street Group investors.

As described above, at the time of the hearing High Street Rooftop had still failed to file accounts for December 2018 or meet its promise to provide Strategic Advantage with audited group accounts.

Instead, HSG Finance Director Joanne Bell made a witness statement and provided various documents:

  • a letter from HSG’s “external accountants” Stokoe Rodger LLP (Ms Bell stated that PwC, who are supposedly compiling HSG’s long-awaited statutory accounts, could not provide anything to the court for “reasons connected with workload and Covid-19” (at least she didn’t blame Brexit)
  • draft 2019 statutory accounts and 2020 management accounts for High Street Rooftop
  • management accounts for Rodus, one of the PRS projects
  • a cashflow analysis and up to date values for the PRS developments
  • a financial forecast for High Street Rooftop

High Street Rooftop claimed that these documents showed it to be solvent and that Strategic Advantage would get its money back.

Strategic Advantage responded that

  • High Street Rooftop had failed to take into account the interest it owed
  • “The further evidence raises more questions than it answers” – specifically, by including £9.7 million of “prepayments” and causing a liability for “inter-company payables” to disappear, the 2020 balance sheet had “been inflated” from £25k to £9.8 million “without any satisfactory explanation as to how this has happened”.

The judge accepted Strategic Advantage’s first point and stated that “On the basis that very substantial interest liabilities have already accrued and will continue to accrue and it is not explained how the Company could meet this obligation to pay interest… the inevitable concusion is that High Street Rooftop is already insolvent or likely to become insolvent”.

The judge also agreed that “it is regrettable that no explanation has been provided” for the alleged balance sheet inflation, and the failure of High Street Rooftop to provide an adequate explanation “raises further questions as to the reliability of [High Street Rooftop’s] financial information”.

High Street Rooftop’s argument that it shouldn’t be put into administration because Strategic Advantage was going to get its money back eventually was therefore rejected.

Dodge this.

High Street Rooftop’s last resort was to get the onion out.

Mr Brown’s evidence is that the making of an administration order over the
Company could have a hugely detrimental impact across the Group, with the
potential loss of hundreds of jobs and the cessation of building of thousands of
new homes as well as hotels and commercial properties. […] Mr Forrest says that an insolvency event for one of the companies in the Group is likely to have wide ranging and serious implications for the rest of the Group which could be catastrophic for the individuals concerned, with some 300 full-time employees and 1,000 subcontractors being affected.

The judge confirmed he was “acutely conscious” of these potential consequences, but that they did not override Strategic Advantage’s right to enforce its debt.

In my judgment, a return to secured creditors is more likely to be achieved if licensed insolvency practitioners (rather than the existing management) are in control of the Company who can seek to ascertain full information regarding the financial position of the Company and take informed commercial decisions about safeguarding the Company’s assets and achieving a return to secured creditors.

Strategic Advantage’s application to put High Street Rooftop into administration was therefore granted.

What effect this has on the wider High Street Group, as feared by Gary Forrest, and the investors in its loan notes, remains to be seen.

113 thoughts on “High Street Group loses rooftop showdown with creditor, subsidiary put into administration

  1. Unfortunately this is a ponzi scheme paying brokers 25 to 30 per cent upfront and paying peoples interest from new money. They can’t pay people therefore looking to illegally extend contracts on projects blaming covid.


  2. he only way that high street group adjust its attitude and snobness, is for the serious crime investigation agency to step in, bans all its employee from leaving the country. cancel all their passports, freeze their assets(UK & overseas) pending full investigation.

    Allowing high street group to go into administration, is the perfect way for all its directors to play the system and get away. Administrators are only interested in justifying their expenses by claiming a huge slice of any company assets ( legal fees etc) and telling investor caput we have nil money left for you , hahaha

    Let’s also not forget that the introducers should also be included, as they have lied to the public by misleading them to invest using sophisticated means

    I know there had been details complained raised with FCA, which FCA simply told the complaints to go away we do not deal with unregulated investment, as well as financial ombusmant

    It is a hard evidence that the UK is a stateless country, when it comes to big boys.

    I bet if one failed pay council tax for 3 – 6 months, you’ll either end up in jail in an express lane or a hefty fine and CC records, which would be taken against by the very institutions you paid taxes for !!!!!!!

    what a shame !


  3. Oh my God , this is awful , is this company worth lot of meny, surely their asset could cover investors money

    so sad to see that ponzi scheme are common skills in our economy


  4. I have been deceived countless times, by Gary O’Hara, Chris Duncan, Paul Buzzeo, Gary Forrest. My investment matured on 22nd January 2020 and the maturity date continues to be indefinitely be deferred. They talk about payment plan but the payment plan is never organised.

    I invested in High Street GRP Limited the group company.

    I do not know whether I should pursue a lawsuit but I fear that they will file for insolvency thus losing my hefty court fees.

    I do not know what to do, I am sooo hopeless.


  5. Hi Mr Amin

    I have invested well over 50k and have not been paid yet, if you don’t mind me asking how much did you invest , it doesn’t have to be the exact figure.

    have you had any advise on how to pursue this!!!


  6. Hi Scott,

    I have invested £80K and have not yet been paid a single penny.

    The county court money claim service but I am afraid that the company High Street GRP Limited will default thus further losing my court fees of approximately £7 k.


  7. Hi Amin

    Thank you for sharing, I think high street group should consider to ask for Government help , if it collapses it will hurt so many people & cause mayhem to all other companies


  8. Thank you for sharing, I think high street group should consider to ask for Government help , if it collapses it will hurt so many people & cause mayhem to all other companies

    I sympathise with anyone who loses their job, especially in a recession, but the loss of 300 jobs won’t cause a ripple even in High Street Group’s local area, let alone the wider UK.

    The Government is not going to bail out an unregulated investment scheme which offered up to 22%pa returns to investors.

    As the collapse of High Street Rooftop shows, if an unregulated investment scheme owes you money and hasn’t paid it back on time, your options boil down to either 1) enforce your debt in court (risking throwing good money after bad) or 2) write the money off and treating any recovery as a bonus. Option 3, wait and cross your fingers, is just a more stressful version of either 1 or 2.

    Strategic Advantage played the wait-and-cross-your-fingers game for a while, and then when High Street Rooftop defaulted on the renegotiated payment schedule, they had to fight High Street Rooftop in the High Court – draining further funds from what was left, to pay High Street Rooftop’s legal costs – to enforce a debt on which High Street Rooftop had defaulted not once but twice (original maturity date, then renegotiated payment schedule).


  9. Hi Brev and Scott,

    Scott what are you going to do? Are you still going to wait or are you going to take legal action? Do you want to connect on facebook? if so, please provide your name so we can message on this same subject and support each other.

    Brev, you mention Strategic Advantage played the wait and cross your fingers game for a while, but I too have been waiting since January 2020. High Street GRP Limited failed to pay me on maturity date then renegotiated payment schedule was agreed but gain failed to commitment and did not carry pay me as per payment schedule. Thus, I have no option other than taking legal action as they have also defaulted twice (Original Maturity and the Renegotiated payment schedule).


  10. Hi Mr Amin,

    I have requested help from local MP to see Government Agencies into this , rather than going to court, hopefully we can , Brev has explained that we will be just burning our money if we take them to court

    but I do believe I do have the advantage of element of suprise

    Brev any advise !!


  11. Hi Scott,

    I have contacted FCA, Property Ombudsman, I have contacted the companies house all of which have declined to help.

    I have also contacted The Insolvency Service but they have not got back to me even though I contacted them a 3 weeks ago.

    Only you have an advantage of surprise?


  12. Hi Amin,

    Same with me, I have on another case with West holding investment provided evidence to FCA and financial Ombudsman, that the company that introduce me to the investment used misleading information that West holding investment is FCA regulated, they all declined to help or advise what to do next.


  13. Hi Scott,

    I assume you raised a complaint with West Holding Investment then after 8 weeks passed you went to FCA/Financial Ombudsman?

    Do you want to connect on Facebook?


  14. Hi Brev,

    Would high street group be subjected to the Serious Fraud Office investigation . if investors report this to them, the aim is impose criminal charges on all the directors & introducers who have knowingly lied to us , deceived us.


  15. [Scot:] Brev has explained that we will be just burning our money if we take them to court

    For avoidance of doubt, I haven’t said this. I have no insight into HSG’s internal finances or the likelihood of any repayment to creditors if creditors take HSG to court.

    There is however an inherent risk that paying court fees to take a delinquent debtor to court ends up being throwing good money after bad, if you never recover the money or the fees.

    Would high street group be subjected to the Serious Fraud Office investigation . if investors report this to them, the aim is impose criminal charges on all the directors & introducers who have knowingly lied to us , deceived us.

    You’d need some evidence of fraud first, otherwise the SFO is unlikely to take action. Defaulting on debts is not fraud. I appreciate that from the perspective of upset and angry investors in HSG, that sounds like defending them. If so, try to see it from my perspective. HSG has made multiple legal threats against me and I’m not going to be drawn into discussing unsubstantiated allegations.


  16. Hi Brev

    I wish I had found your site before investing, I appreciate your help & dedication in educating me about the issues surrounding unregulated investments.

    Thank you


  17. Hi Brev

    Are you insinuating that HSG are going to go pop?

    If not, what is the purpose of this article if nothing but to scaremonger?

    Do you get anything from frightening people?


  18. Are you insinuating that HSG are going to go pop?

    Nope. I have stated clearly that I have no insight into the finances of the wider HSG group, partly due to their failure to file legally-required accounts for over a year.

    Are you?

    If not, what is the purpose of this article if nothing but to scaremonger?

    To report on the outcome of a recent court case involving an unregulated investment scheme.

    Do you get anything from frightening people?

    Nope. Do you gain anything from telling people that when subsidiaries go into administration after a protracted and ultimately pointless attempt to weasel out of honoring the original repayment date on their loans, and the administrators indicate they will seek recoveries from the wider group, it’s all tickety-boo and not to worry?

    And any further stealing of other people’s names gets your posts automatically binned.


  19. Not sure who you are ,defending HSG , I have investments of very large amount, all have defaulted without a single exception. not a single payment had been met.

    stop sending your investors extension letter and pay up, only then we can have trust you.

    Every investor is worried now from the news above , unfortunately HSG did not do much, all its broker ( introducers) still to this date promoting HSG investments, where is the money going ?, paying for your & HSG directors lifestyle.

    Investors are not only scared, those I spoke to have had personal problems causing mayhem in their family because of this.

    Until HSG pays its due, I won’t let you off the hock


  20. HSG do not have any money all been used to pay Hunter Jones and Direct Property and other agents commissions. Can only pay you if new money comes in. Definition=Ponzi


  21. Hello anonymous,

    In that case investors should consider legal action against the like of Hunter Jones and Direct Property , they must have known


  22. [Edited: Ok, I’ve read this comment from you enough times. Any further comments that add nothing except victim-blaming will be binned. And turn your caps lock off. -Brev]


  23. Graham

    And you’re a wise man who never made a single mistake in his life , Mr outstanding , Brev has done his bit.

    Where are our institutions? what are they doing ? FCA, FCSC , HMRC, COMPANY HOUSE, POLICE , SERIOUS FRAUD INVESTIGATION

    Rather than landing the blame on all of us ( investors) , do you not agree that we ought to be protected by the very institutions we all pay taxes for , HSG got away with nil account return for ages ( HMRC, COMPANY HOUSE) silent,

    Corruption is the word you did not dare to list, because you damn know this what is about


  24. Amin & Scott

    I was in a very similar situation as you currently are a few months ago – 6 months default on payment, further delays, payment programmes, share options et etc

    I now have all my money back and am out. How did I achieve this?

    Constant daily phone calls to O’Hara, Buzzeo etc etc. Take meticulous notes of your phone calls as they all eventually contradict themselves because it is one lie after another. Demand to know exactly where your money is. They don’t know but easiest way to catch them out. Once they know you know they are lying tell the, you are contacting the local press and your MP. Anybody who might stick their nose into their business etc etc

    Make yourself such a bloody nuisance and threat that they pay you to get you off their back

    It is a world of who makes the most noise get heard. It will become very unpleasant for you but worked for me in the end

    Good luck


  25. Dear Dooksman,

    I have already taken that approach but unfortunately it is not working for me.

    Maybe your invested amount was not as large as 100k in total inclusive of interest?

    Kind regards,



  26. Dear Dookman,

    Approximately when did they pay you, like which month also was it a full payment or was it as a payment plan?

    Kind regards



  27. If HSG offers a payment plan then do you recommend we take that offer or make them stick to the lump sum?

    The lump sum may never come whereas there may be a chance of them making a regular payment via a payment plan.


  28. The lump sum may never come whereas there may be a chance of them making a regular payment via a payment plan.

    Ask Strategic Advantage how that worked out for them (see article above).


  29. I received it in September. Personally I would stick with the lump sum otherwise you are then chasing multiple payments instead of one. I suppose it depends on how much we are talking about and how realistic it is to get it in one go and what potential ‘losses’ you are prepared to risk by letting HSG drag it out. Not an easy one I’m afraid


  30. Staged payments are another delaying tactic. You need to go to a solicitor and get them to write to high street group demanding payment. This is going bankrupt sooner or later the question is will they have repaid you by then. Also contact the agent and threaten to expose them. How can they still be selling the bonds of High Street when they are not paying clients. Madness


  31. Scott,

    How delayed is your payment? And which project did you invest in? I.e. was it the 7 yr loan note or a particular 12 mth loan note with an extension clause?



  32. It’s all a bit confusing.

    High Street Group is mentioning their development on twitter but struggling to find a penny to pay investors. Either their asset bank is large with low liquidity and they are just waiting for an institution to forward fund them or they are portraying themselves as stable so that someone gives them the money. Time will tell.


  33. Would you say that HSG has a significant property portfolio which if sold can repay all their creditors?

    The problem is that they haven’t submitted their accounts because PWC is auditing them! But even if they did what use would 2019 accounts be now?

    Looking at the way things are going and that they have all people working in the offices would imply everything is normal. This is all too confusing to me.

    On the other hand at least people know that Magna is in trouble since their owners are apparently working on a resolution plan.


  34. Scott I would proceed with your action because delaying tactics will start soon.
    May be give them one last ultimatum money in the bank by close of play tomorrow otherwise start proceedings on Monday. Good luck you are going to need it.


  35. Ijaz

    Would you say that HSG has a significant property portfolio which if sold can repay all their creditors?

    I’m not an expert in this , but again Administrators are after making money, please state any case where Administrators return all investors money and I will concur


  36. Scott

    I don’t know. I’ve never experienced investment in a company which has defaulted. I’m sure what you are saying is true…the administrators would eat as much as they can!

    What I find confusing is that HSG is posting pictures of projects they are working on. They must have funds (either themselves or from a forward sale) to progress projects? I don’t know, I’m just asking you/others who are more knowledgeable. They also have all staff still working for them. But I’ve heard that they are in talks with someone to take over part (or maybe all) of their business.

    Do you have the 7 year loan note or a 12 month project specific loan note? I think there is probably a higher likelihood of HSG paying back project specific loan notes than a 7 year loan note where that capital could be deployed anywhere in the business.


  37. Ijaz

    Capital cannot be deployed without Investors consent( breach of contract), some of my investment have passed 6 month, HSG did not pay a penny.

    it would be mice if they can pay me before Christmas, got a long shopping list, 7 years or 1 year I don’t see the difference as no payment has been made


  38. Scott

    I hope they pay your due amount back asap. As far as I know, they just can’t forward sell their projects to make the payment to the loan note holders.

    Do you mind me asking if this is the 1st anniversary of your loan note? If it is then I know for a fact that they won’t pay it back until the end of two years at least. I know their prospectus would not say this but that is what they do.

    Have you spoken to the investment team? Do they give you a timeframe for payment?

    I sincerely hope they do well just for the sake of all loan note holders.


  39. Do not give them a millimetre because they will take a mile. If your money is overdue then just keeping ringing to demand repayment. If no luck with investment team then move onto Paul Buzzeo in legal. You have to make it crystal clear that you demand your money. They do weekly payrolls so it is entirely reasonable to expect your money within a maximum 2 weeks. I suspect they wait for unsuspecting new investors money before churning out late payments to people who they owe. The payments will go to those making the most amount of noise. I have no doubt this is how I got all of my money out, once I got hold of some personal mobile phone numbers. I was a bloody nuisance who would not stop ringing them, hassling them and ultimately been paid out to stop me causing them ear ache.


  40. Hi I am reading this with interest.

    I have a large investment and it matured about 6 months ago and despite promises to repay including a schedule it hasn’t happened. Obviously business conditions are challenging with lockdown and completion of projects delayed. This does not excuse non payment and broken promises.

    I was told that payments would be forthcoming in January after completion of certain projects inc. Hadrians Tower this month. I have also received email correspondence from Gary Forest regarding investment redemption on 28/10 which stated payments would be forthcoming in December. Also attached to this email was a long awaited financial update which showed healthy P&L figures. Did anyone else receive this?

    Keen to get my money money back, I am happy to join up with others regarding joint efforts whether it be legal or other methods to get funds returned.


  41. Also attached to this email was a long awaited financial update which showed healthy P&L figures. Did anyone else receive this?

    Without having seen a copy myself, being an external party, multiple thoughts immediately spring to mind:

    1) Were these figures audited by PWC, as per the long trailed promise by HSG that audited accounts were on their way?

    2) Debt interest is a line item in the profit and loss account. Producing “healthy” profit and loss accounts while defaulting on investor debts does not compute.

    3) How did HSG manage to produce a – presumably recent – financial update for investor consumption when they are now a year and a month overdue with their legally-required accounts for December 2018? That strikes me as a failure of time management. What grounds are there for confidence in this financial update when they can’t produce legally-required audited accounts to Companies House?


  42. Hi Brev

    On the delay in submitting returns, I was told that they can delay as long as they want as long as PWC are auditing their accounts. I don’t know and don’t have enough knowledge to know whether this is reasonable. You will know more, what do you think?

    Jenos – I also have a large amount invested (at least it is large amount for me). My funds are not due yet but I’m very concerned due to existing conditions. Are you invested in the 7 year loan note?


  43. On the delay in submitting returns, I was told that they can delay as long as they want as long as PWC are auditing their accounts.

    Depends what you mean by “can”.

    High Street Commercial Finance and High Street Grp have been committing a criminal offence since September 2019 when they overran the deadline to file their December 2018 accounts.

    The nine months they had between December 2018 and September 2019 should have been sufficient time to hire auditors and get them to sign off the accounts. (Not my opinion, that’s the basis on which the Companies Act was written.)

    There is no provision in the Companies Act that says you can overrun the deadline providing an accountant is in the process of auditing the accounts. You get nine months after the year end, the auditing is supposed to be over and done with before that deadline. (Six months if you’re a PLC, and the deadlines were temporarily extended by three months due to Covid – not relevant to HSG as they had already overran.)

    However, enforcement of the Companies Act is patchy to say the least and is often left up to private stakeholders.

    So if the question is “Can you legally ignore the deadline for filing accounts if you’re in the process of getting the accounts is audited”, the answer is no. There is no such provision in the Companies Act.

    If the question is “Can you get away with it” the answer appears to be yes. Companies House normally files strike-off notices against companies if they miss their filing deadlines, but has not done so against HSCF or HSGrp for whatever reason.

    Anyway, my question was less “why hasn’t HSG filed its legally-required accounts” but more “what value do its (unaudited?) supposedly healthy financial statements have when it can’t file legally-required accounts”.


  44. Great work Mr Brambles.

    Your HSG Group Creditors Action Group website looks great. We need to take action urgently, as HSG has been playing games with not paying loan note lenders for years.

    I was desperately hoping HSG would not end up being like other loan note borrowers in this country. But I was a fool.

    The sector is replete with charlatans and crooks, with no ethics whatsoever. The lenders themselves have to take responsibility for their actions, of course, and, believe me, I am berating myself every single day and night for having loaned my money to HSG and others of their ilk, but I still find it surprising that, even when they are proven to have broken the law time and again, not one of these borrowers ends up in prison.

    I was on a Zoom call with lenders of another loan note that turned out to have blatantly misled investors and the lenders from east Asia were expressing dismay that the UK, which they thought had some law and order, is the wild west when it comes to these loans. They said they will never invest into the UK again.

    The HSG and their agents are proving to be dodgier and more unethical than anyone else. They don’t reply to emails or return phone calls.

    While their Chairman Gary Forrest and his lackeys are living the high life and paying themselves extremely handsome guaranteed salaries, they are not paying loan note lenders or lenders on P2P platforms etc.

    Shame on anyone who has any involvement with the HSG for being party to such an unethical and immoral enterprise.


  45. Mr brambles I think your Website and facebook page are excellent. We need to organise ourselves accordingly to give ourselves the best chance of getting our money back. Still waiting for payment of my loan notes after various calls with these people


  46. High Street Group eases fears over its future [from Clive’s article immediately above]

    That appears to be over-egging it given that all HSG has done to “ease fears” is to say that everything’s fine. Can we have a show of hands on how many High Street Group investors feel their fears have been eased?

    The journalist swallows HSG figures wholesale while failing to press HSG on why they are a year and a month overdue with their legally-required accounts. There’s only so much mileage you can get out of “PWC are working on it, something something Covid”. I was told by HSG’s own lawyers that PWC were “finalising” the accounts over two months ago.

    The assertion that High Street Rooftop only made up 2% of the business would appear to rest on HSG’s claim to have £1.2 billion of “fully funded” developments in the pipeline. In the absence of audited accounts, that is unverified.


  47. We are devastated and are sure we have lost our money. We were conned by a saleswoman called Trish at Direct Property. We are retired and cannot to lose any money however she told us she used to work for a bank and this was as safe investment as you get whilst counting all the commission she would be getting from us. Once she found out we had no money she has never called us or updated us or help try to get our money back. I hope she can sleep at night. We are distraught and yet we were still getting emails asking us to invest in High Street. Disgusting we would like to join the Facebook group and go after the agents and High Street Group.


  48. I recently found out agents get paid more than 25 per cent commission. No wonder they are desperate to sell these Ponzi schemes. Still waiting over 6 months for my money. I want to join the Facebook group


  49. Retired and broke – have you tried ringing their investment department and speaking to the investment team? Forget the brokers, I don’t think you can rely on brokers…the fact is that they have got their commission and are not an interested party anymore.

    I really recommend you speak to their investment department. The other thing is that it depends on what type of product you invested in. Is it the 7 year loan note or the shorter term investment? If so how long ago did you invest in this. I believe they will not pay at the first anniversary even if you provide notice. The only possibility of them paying is after the 2nd anniversary.

    I also have an investment with HSG, but if you are saying that you can’t afford to lose the investment then to be v v fair the investment brochure did mention “Capital at risk” and references to the possibility of losing all the funds. So it seems that this was not suitable for you in the first place.


  50. Thanks Ijaz have spoken to numerous people and they just fob you off. We got the impression that the company has no money except to pay employees and greedy agents. In hindsight we should have recorded the phone calls as we were definitely missold and could have taken them to court. We spoke to a lawyer and he agrees we should not have been sold this as we are not wealthy or sophisticated. We are really disappointed we would expect this from a call centre in India. Any other ideas guys we will join the Facebook group shortly.


  51. Retired and broke – I am very sorry to hear that. I really hope that they do pay you back. They do have a few things going on atm so I wouldn’t totally lose all hope yet. I think they are facing liquidity issues but at the same time they are partnering up with some contractors to progress some of their projects…I don’t really know how this all links up as they must have to pay the contractors. I do think that you need to get in touch with someone higher up in the management team and speak to them.

    Do you have the 7 year loan note? And when did you invest? If you do have the 7 year loan note then it’s all probably delayed to the end of next yr!


  52. Ijaz you sound like you work for High Street Group? I don’t think you are genuine. People have lost a lot of money and all you are interested in is getting details and saying there is hope. The more I read the more I am convinced investors have lost all of their money myself included.


  53. John T – lol, no I don’t work for HSG and if anyone loses money here so do I …and what’s worse I’m also invested with Magna who are definitely going bust..so don’t just go round on me and say that I am not genuine etc etc….who the hell are you to claim that and I also, like others, am dreading that I’ve lost thousands of my hard earned money! So don’t mess around here to say I’m not genuine.

    All I’m doing is trying to say to one person to call them like some of us have been trying to do to get them to pay up…and the reason I go on about the 7 year loan note is because I wasn’t paid when I requested the redemption a few years back but was paid a year later but I stupidly invested again.

    And yes the reason I said I wouldn’t totally lose hope is because they do seem to have something on social media about a contractor deal on st James and Birmingham…how true that is, I don’t know.

    I will fight to the end to get my hard earned money back…and as far as me even having the thought of getting my money back, call it idiotic or whatever, I would hope that HSG turn it around for their investors sake..unlike other people with no vested interests who are just sitting there waiting for them to go bust.

    John T – u sound like an inconsiderate person. You have to turn around and have the balls to say that I work for HSG etc etc…when I’m actually having sleepless nights thinking of the cash I might lose! All I said was that they did have a disclaimer of capital at risk – what’s wrong in saying that? They actually did…but people, including myself, don’t take that seriously until something goes wrong…


  54. The reason I mentioned to this person to call their investment dept….like I have actually been doing…is because they seemed to have been wanting to be in touch with their broker….lol the broker is gone after taking their commission.

    I personally have to speak to their team to know what the hell is happening with my investment. They suggest all is going well to me but I have no evidence to think that it will be ok when so many people are struggling to get their funds back. I also sometimes feel that they are getting to know me and purposely ignoring my calls for a couple of days in between!!


  55. Ijaz apologies. I have come to realise we are dealing with dishonest scum and as such I would not put it past High Street Group to have their own person commenting. We are all extremely worried and concerned. I also do not get contacted by my agent let’s work together to get our money back.


  56. It saddens me to see so many people who are being put in such stressful situations by High Street Group and their agents.

    I, too, am suffering sleepless nights like Ijaz and feel like a complete mug for having loaned the money I grafted for years to earn to HSG.

    High Street Group are continuing their spin in various places, but the evidence and facts speak differently.

    The FACT is they don’t respond to emails, telephone calls and letters.

    The FACT is they don’t repay loan note investors and keep extending their loan notes forever.

    They are invariably using the Coronavirus as an excuse, but they have been giving lenders the runaround with their repayments for YEARS, well before anybody had ever heard of COVID-19.

    On the Peer to Peer lending platform, Assetz Capital, for example, the loan HSG have taken (these people have no sense of shame whatsoever and will borrow money from every source possible to continue to earn their incredibly hefty salaries and generous perks) is selling at a bigger discount to par than any other of the hundreds of loans on the platform! That’s how low HSG’s reputation has sunk and how desperate lenders are to jump off their sinking ship.

    High Street Group’s staff should be dragged infront of a judge for how they have taken loan note lenders for a ride and how they break the law by illegally extending loan notes again and again and again and again.

    They should stop wasting loan note lenders’ money on flashy videos and PR gimmicks hyping up charitable ventures to make themselves look good and **give them their money back**.

    HSG have been failing to pay debts back on time for YEARS. It proves how conniving they are.

    Everything else other than HSG paying back their long overdue debts is irrelevant.


  57. Dear Sirs

    It is not our usual practice to comment on blogs such as this however we are concerned that people are claiming to be owed money on investments with HSG.

    We have checked all our records and cannot trace any of the following as investors


    Mr Amin

    Russell Holmes

    David Escobar




    Ray Palmer

    John T


    In the circumstances if any of the posters have a genuine investment we urge you to contact us directly on Investors@thehighstreetgroup.com using reference REV/001 and we will look to resolve the matter accordingly.

    Mr Brambles, we emailed you directly at hsgcreditors@gmail.com requesting you to provide your details in order that we can identify your investment and we have yet to receive a response.

    Yours faithfully
    The High Street Group


  58. I do not have to identify myself to the High Street Group but I was a genuine investor. I have luckily got all of my money out of HSG in spite of the fact that my payout was 6 months late and HSG tried to push it further down the road. It was an almighty battle to get my money given the totally unprofessional conduct of the managers at HSG. My comments have been guidance to other investors who are currently in a similar situation that I was in a few months ago and strategies to help them get their money out of what is clearly a massive Ponzi scheme.

    This response is yet another passive aggressive ploy by HSG to intimidate investors to keep quiet and wait for their money which is at risk of never coming back. I would urge all investors to keep pushing for their legitimate return of funds from HSG.

    I had a very interesting discussion with a local journalist who’s article was linked into this thread during the week. I would urge all investor to email him with their particular circumstances. HSG do not want to be exposed for who they are and will be trying to keep a lid on this but if you want your money back you need to get ‘into the trenches’ and fight for it. It’s survival of the fittest (loudest)


  59. John T – I apologise too that I used harsh words. It’s just I’m genuinely worried.

    The High Street Group

    Please, please don’t make up things. You are looking for investors name by the Name inserted on this forum and may not match up to the investor names on the application that you received.

    Your own investment department mentioned that the sales to institutional investors haven’t happened with a buyer backing out last minute earlier in the year putting pressure on your liquidity.

    Let’s say for a second that we are all fake investors (I can almost certainly say most of us are not)….what about all the negative reviews on your own web page, be it Student 52 or the loan note investors?

    Lots of loan noteholders are saying that they haven’t received their payments, in some cases for over a year. Can you please assure here that you expect to make payments to the loan note holders? If you say yes then maybe it releases some stress for an old person who is having a miserable time just because they believe their lifelong savings have been lost? I’m sure you can just say that much on here?



  60. The post above from some anonymous representative from the HSG is one of the most preposterous things I’ve seen in a long time. For him to suggest that ALL the posters on this site are fake and refer instead to those with a “genuine investment” beggars belief.

    Are all the reviews about High Street Group on Google Reviews fake too?

    Is the court case that Brev brilliantly sheds light on above, and which has been written about in various newspapers, in which HSG failed to pay yet another debt also just a fake construction?

    Is the fact that your loan on AssetzCapital is selling at a lower rate to par than any other of the hundreds of loans on the entire platform, which everybody with an account can see, also false?

    Have the pictures and videos on social media of HSG’s staff living the high life while they refuse to pay HSG’s debts also figments of our imaginations?

    This representative from High Street Group reminds me of the Iraqi Information Minister, Comical Ali, who refused to acknowledge facts even when they were staring him in the face, and kept insisting that he was right and the facts were not true ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC5UTUAxgpE ).

    Instead of further insulting lenders by asking them to contact you, when you will make up excuses to not pay them – something you’ve had vast practice with for years – and try to dupe them with various well-versed strategies, do the right thing and pay back your loan note holders.

    Everything other than paying back loan note lenders when you have been treating them like dirt for the whole of 2020 is smoke and mirrors and continuing to making fools out of them.


  61. The High Street Group is a big ponzi. They can’t pay their investors and are mortgages to the hilt even though they are selling property off plan which is also generating funds. People myself included are too embarrassed to identify themselves as we feel foolish to have been scammed. If their were no issues the accounts would have been published and they would be paying clients their capital back.


  62. I find it astounding that someone (claiming) to be a representative of The High Street Group could have the audacity to post on this thread. But, while we have their attention, perhaps they can respond to at least one of the following questions:

    1. For the sake of transparency, please confirm to all the loan note holders that the rate of commission paid to introducers was 35%, before paying loan note holders an additional 12% interest? (such has led to ‘master agents’ such as Thomas Williams having accumulated wealth in the millions of GBP).

    2. What is the actual GBP amount of loan notes outstanding, and do they intend to release any information detailing this (whether it be from the significantly overdue accounts, the claimed PWC audit, or if it has to be the administrators report from the skirmish with Strategic Advantage)?

    3. Will you admit in a public forum that the aforementioned legal case (which was lost) against Strategic Advantage has crippled the liquidity situation of the group, and that the administrative process will result in a total loss to all senior and junior debt holders (of which loan note creditors fall into the latter category)?

    Borrowing further funds to pay off earlier investors is the definition of the namesake scheme masterminded by Charles Ponzi in 1920. It just so happens that this particular scheme happened to enrichen the pockets of a few, unregulated, unscrupulous introducers such as the individual mentioned above. I am shocked and disappointed that such malpractice can go unfettered at a time when regulatory scrutiny is at an all time high.


  63. Thomas Williams is a scoundrel he was the senior figure with Park First selling bogus Airport Parking Spaces.


  64. That Gary Forrest has a wife called Hazel who was the director of the firm in the article, and there’s also a Hazel Forrest who is a 5% shareholder of High Street Grp. So if they’re not the same people it’s a remarkable coincidence.

    I’m having trouble tracking down the Companies House records for “Credit Issues” which would prove it one way or another due to their age. I’ll give it another go later when I’m not on a mobile.


  65. It is definitely the same guy. The article refers to Forrest as aged 41 in June 2010; HSG’s Gary Forrest was born in October 1968 which matches. I tracked down the announcement of Forrest’s 2009 bankruptcy in the Gazette which uses his middle name of Ronald.

    Turns out HSG was originally a spin-off of Forrest’s sub-prime loan business. From sub-prime loans to a failed business which attempted to get consumers’ debts written off after taking upfront fees, to an unregulated property investment scheme. Quite a history.

    The High Street Group, based in Newcastle upon Tyne and founded in 2008, is a spin-off from High Street Home Loans, a specialist Mortgage Lender launched in 2003, which by 2007 was lending pounds 1billion per annum.

    It was sold to GMAC-RFC, the huge financial services arm of General Motors.

    The company was originally launched to provide Debt Management advice and Financial Mis-selling Claims to the Consumer.

    -2012 (?) High Street Group press release


  66. Frankly, this country is stateless, what a shamble! a bankrupt crook allowed to scam innocent at will?

    I thought of reporting to the police, but past experience showed the true blue color what it means!, police are here to protect the rich, keep the poor out, and enforce the law on the poor.

    Rich crooks are welcomed to abuse as much as they please, then if HSG fails into admin , Administrators would take a large stake of what is left, decimate any criminal evidence to save the directors!!

    Really, this is a country we ought to be proud of !! We are in it together!!!


  67. High Street group cannot pay its debt. This is a snippet from its recent court case. We need to join together to stop this White collar fraud.

    Join our group


    The judgement:

    I am acutely conscious of these potential consequences of making an
    administration order. Nevertheless, it seems to me that it would be wrong to deny
    the Applicant its right to enforce the terms of the Debenture in circumstances
    where I consider that the Company’s debt is far from sufficiently secured and on
    the balance of probabilities the Company is presently insolvent. The Company is
    not even able to demonstrate that it is in a position to meet its interest obligations,
    let alone its obligation to repay the substantial capital sums of £17,885,000 and
    £9,033,909.36 which became due for repayment on, respectively, 12 December
    2019 and 30 January 2020. The Company’s response is that it will in due course
    over the next 2 or 3 years receive monies from the other Group companies
    undertaking the PRS Developments which will be distributed to the Applicant as a
    secured creditor. In my judgment, a return to secured creditors is more likely to be
    achieved if licensed insolvency practitioners (rather than the existing
    management) are in control of the Company who can seek to ascertain full
    information regarding the financial position of the Company and take informed
    commercial decisions about safeguarding the Company’s assets and achieving a
    return to secured creditors. I am therefore not persuaded that it would be right to
    exercise my discretion by refusing to make an administration order


  68. Totally agree we need to stop them as they continue to take peoples money to fund their lifestyle. Also the dodgy agents who continuecto sell the products knowing full well clients will never get their money back.


  69. The filing history of HIGH STREET FINANCIAL CLAIMS LIMITED makes for interesting reading. Some familiar names as shareholders and a big deficit for creditors.


  70. The situation looks bad.

    Mr Brambles – HSG’s comment here was asking for information from investors which I provided to them. They also addressed you and asked for information. I’m wondering whether you did get back to them and curious to know what they said in return.


  71. Ijaz,

    why The situation looks bad.!, could you elaborate , do you work for HSG ? why did you voluntary provided them with investors names?

    Unless otherwise, they need to pay all investors and that would be it


  72. Wow wow wow…just stop there Mr.

    I am an investor in HSG. I believe HSG is not in a good position based on comments on this site which sound v convincing to me. Who said I provided them with investors names? I don’t even know investors names. Have a look above, HSG commented above and also called me out as a non-investor. In that comment from HSG they asked Mr Brambles to get in touch with them. I was asking Mr Brambles whether he heard back from them. Like all investors I want my investment back and want to know if they said anything useful to him. They didn’t say anything useful to me. Get your facts straight before jumping on other people and a word of advice to keep your mouth shut.


  73. Your v clever David…questioning a person like me who rightfully talks against HSG’s immoral actions would work for them. I’m amazed at your intelligence.


  74. “ljaz”, and your true colours are really showing now aren’t they!!!!!
    Some of us know exactly who you are and what your real motive for being here is “Ijaz” .
    It is suggested that you stop with this crusade “Ijaz”, you will achieve NOTHING….NADA…..ZERO….ZILCH
    [Edited: Silly veiled threats removed. Any further posts that do not contribute to the thread will go straight to spam. -Brev]


  75. Ok thanks Albert guy….you are just stupid. I’m an investor in HSG, you want to believe it then do so otherwise who the fuck cares. I’m interested in getting my money back and thought this was a half decent forum to do that.

    Brev – seriously please get these idiots out of your site. I thought it was meant for serious people to talk about stuff.


  76. So Ijaz how much have you lostings excatly????.

    Have you been to offices to protestings in persons and demandings money owings back??

    What steps have you taking for recoverey?


  77. Hi Ranjit

    I have more than £90k investment in their loan notes over 2 years. They should have paid me around £45k in interest and capital so far and the other amount should strictly have been paid too.

    No I haven’t been to their offices. I don’t know what I can do outside their offices waiving my hands at them? What do you think I should do? Have other investors been to their building, including this “Albert” guy?

    I have spoken to their investment dept/ team who have made various excuses over time over not paying back at least one of my investment. The others they say I can’t get back until the next anniversary which is now 10 months away.

    What else should I do?


  78. “Albert”‘s true colours. We all know who the fuck you are…you work for the HSG scamming people.

    We all know your real motive. You will get nothing…no more free money, hard earned by others. Find a job you kid!


  79. I’m from Spain. They got my money and now no money no interests nothing!! They ar going to be a big scam all aroind the world not just in England! Introducers say to me “They very serious hard working people don’t worry!” my money lost! I think England was more serious than Spain sorry


  80. I’ve also invested in 12 month and 7 year loan notes and have had the same experience as everyone above.

    Please let’s get together for a legal action case against HSG.


  81. I have also invested 15 month ago as a loan note and got my repayment extended twice without any notice as when my first extension date in Dec finished I called them and they said its been extended again due to project I invested is not yet finished. I m also very worried about loosing my money and please advice what can be done legally to sue this company for cheating investor in the form of loan note.



    This is David, I put a question above to find out if HSG project are real or a fob off, have you by any chance being given any proof that such projects that you invested in , are taking shape or not.

    I pressurizing both HSG & my introducer, as if this turn up to be false, it would amount to a criminal investigation


  83. Hi David,

    No I have not been provided any proof by HSG about the project I invested apart from the email which I received along side the loan note which both parties signed back in Aug 2019 for 12 month, since than my repayment been extended to 3 month upto Dec 2020 but when I called end of Dec I found out they again extended my repayment unto Q1 2021 without any date or notice gicen to me.

    Please advice me if they dont return my capital and investment, can I able to complaint for them into police for a criminal investigation.


  84. The only way to get funds back is to expose these crooks the agents and the people at High Street Group. Contact the press. Daily Mail have covered these sorts of stories before. Contact the FCA and whilst they may say it is a unregulated bond we can still argue that the bonds were missold and their marketing literature is full of lies. I think there is a 15 per cent chance to get our money back but all investors need to act as numbers of complaints is the key to closing down agents and the High Street Group.


  85. Thanks Anon and David for ylur kind advice. I will try contacting action fruad team, FCA and Press to see if something can be done against Direct property investment and High Street Group who is steeling money for investors hard earn money. I will not give up and fight till end until I get my money back or expose these people so they can’t fool anyone else in future.


  86. I would not delay any further in waiting for your money back. Every arm of their company has debentures/loans which are defaulting on repaying.

    I don’t know which particular investments you have, but they may have a Security Trustee, you can find this out against the paperwork you have, or the charge against the company on companies house. It may be Cargil Management.

    I would advise you all to collectively call for a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation, this could force their hand. Call for a Creditors Meeting, and on the agenda put the liquidation.

    Do you have evidence that PwC are their auditors? I doubt it is very much. I would put my money on Jeffry Henry, who are corrupt.

    I would just email every member of their staff, of every one of their subsidiaries, every day.

    Steven Brown, Gary Forrest, Joanne Bell, Phill Brumwell, and Gavin Fraser, should be the ones you email. The ends of their emails will change depending on which subsidiary they work at.

    Another potential method would be, were you miss-sold? Did you fit the criteria to be allowed to invest in this? Who contacted you to invest in this? Go for a claim against them for miss-selling.

    The FSCS has paid out on miss-selling claims against their bonds, I know this for a fact.


  87. Some of you will have noted that a few weeks ago creditors attempted to group together to take action. Unfortunately, following a threatening letter from HSG lawyers we felt we had no choice but to temporarily shut down the website. Since then we have taken advice the result of which is that we are satisfied that we are within our rights to continue collaborating together collectively. The website has been relaunched: https://www.thehighstreetgroup-creditors.com/
    Those that registered when the site was previously live are still on our database. We haven’t lost anybody but would welcome that others that want to join us do so.


  88. Welcome back and let’s join together to put some real pressure on HSG to return our funds. Tired of all the delays and excuses it is increasingly clear that there is little motivation to return investor funds despite investors abiding by all of the terms such as notice periods etc.

    Bravo for not yielding to the threats!


  89. An excellent comment from HushHush. I urge everyone to review their loan documents as Castle Trust (who I believe are the security trustee) oversee collateral in the form of intergroup guarantees and second charges against land and property.

    The situation will not improve and not acting now will result in a total loss for ‘loan note’ holders by the time that administrators are appointed to find buyers for unfinished building sites. Gary Forrest will continue bleed out all of the cash from the existing and newly formed companies (of which there are many – a simple companies house search shows you this) and no doubt be hiding under the ruse of bankruptcy proceedings before the year is out.

    I fully agree that it is worth pursuing the network of ‘introducers’ who created this crooked scheme. This should fall within the ‘fin prom’ regulations of the FCA – a loan note sounds like a financial product to me. The lucrative 35% introduction fees taken by Thomas Williams and his merry band of brothers are being whittled away, but there is clearly enough money left as has just reportedly purchased a £2.65m house at 20 Fairmile Avenue, Cobham, KT11 2JB.


  90. Thank you for setting up the group website. I also wish to join this group to pursue getting my investment and interest back from HSG. I believe their new offer of shares in the newly formed HSG Plc is just a trick to keep investors locked in and that these shares will prove to be worthless. The company/person that ‘introduced’ me to the HSG loan note investment is no longer get in business though. Also I see today that HS GRP Ltd Accounts for 2018 have finally been submitted to companies house and available to read.


  91. Hmmmmm


    Even a layman without experience can work out exactly what is going to happen here!!!!!!

    Reading through the late filed accounts and reading every single word makes for very interesting reading indeed, especially the notes from the “auditors”.

    According to said document, PWC who should have originally audited the very,very late accounts “resigned” their position due to “Not completing the accounts” – Really —– We think it is plainly obvious why they resigned, all you have to do is read the accounts, it all becomes clear.

    One can see how people are taken in by all this, the excellent websites, the very good marketing across various mediums and via various brokers who incidentally will say anything to get you to sign on the dotted line, just to snatch away their commision!.

    I will bet anyone $50,000 that this sill all come crashing down, despite all the “positive” publicity, of course, i won’t be paying out the $50,000 as the pack of cards will 100% collapse.


  92. The auditors have given an “Adverse Opinion”. That is the worst possible of the 4 types of view an auditor can take.

    They say the financial statements “do not give a true and fair view of the state of the group’s affairs”
    and they
    “have not been properly prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006”

    That is as damming as it gets.


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