The Buy2Letcars group of companies, consisting of Buy 2 Let Cars Limited (which borrows money from investors promising returns of up to 11% per year), Wheels 4 Sure (which uses the money to lease cars) and Raedex Consortium Limited (parent holding company) have all filed their accounts for the year ending December 2019.
The accounts have been filed using small company exemptions and did not include profit and loss accounts, and were unaudited. They therefore contain limited information.
What little we do know includes that the overall group has continued to lose money (as it did in 2018 and 2017). Raedex Limited shows net liabilities expanding from £9.5 million in 2018 to £10.9 million in 2019, while the “retained profits” line fell from minus £14.1 million to minus £18.1 million (suggesting losses of around £4 million over the year).
The group would be even deeper in red ink if it hadn’t revalued “goodwill” upwards by £2.3 million, an increase of 80% on 2018. This “goodwill” represents “the expected future value of profits derived from existing contracts at the balance sheet date”.
Meanwhile Buy2letcars Limited now has £34.1 million of “other creditors” on its balance sheet, up from £29.5 million in 2018, suggesting that the company has taken in another £4.5 million odd of investor money.
Over the past few months Buy2letcars has exploited the Covid pandemic to promote itself to investors via its Facebook page. Its adverts say that investors can “over a 3 year period earn up to 27% ROI, whilst helping key and essential workers get into brand new vehicles”.
The pandemic isn’t mentioned explicitly in the adverts but we all know where they’re going with “key and essential workers”. From where I’m standing, leasing vehicles to key workers, charging them high enough interest to cover up to 11%pa returns to investors on top of Buy2letcars’ own costs, is a personal business transaction no different from selling a nurse a hamburger. They may need it but it’s not some kind of charitable activity.
Buy2letcars has taken to posting videos from key workers who thank Wheels4sure “and their investors” for leasing them vehicles. In one frankly bizarre example, a car-borrower sits in her car alternately speaking out of the window to the camera and looking down at the script in her lap, like someone who’s been strapped to a wall at a 90 degree angle to a tennis match.
Buy2letcars continues to misleadingly promote itself by comparing returns from its high risk unregulated investment scheme to minimal-risk cash interest rates. The company has run video adverts claiming “protection for every scenario” in voiceover.
In reality, while the information in its accounts is limited, its continuing losses and widening net liabilities demonstrate the inherent risk of investing in unregulated investment schemes, whether or not Buy2letcars goes on to turn itself around and repay investors’ capital and interest in full.
Raedex Consortium is an FCA-regulated company, as it has to be to run its vehicle leasing business. Its collective investment scheme is however unregulated.
Other news in Larry-Cole-land
Buy2letcars’ CEO Reginald Larry-Cole’s other business, “reverse auction” lottery Lifestyle Bids (aka Triple R Lifestyles Limited), shut its doors in April 2020 due to the Covid pandemic (no more luxury holiday prizes).
It’s not all bad news for Larry-Cole though in 2020. Since we last looked, his book “Compassionate Capitalism: How I Turned 150 Nos into 1 YES” has rocketed up the Amazon charts from 981,479th to the heady heights of 373,779th. The book is published by another one of Larry-Cole’s companies, Regnata Dreams Limited, which appears to have made around £100k in 2019 (again we’re relying on the movement in the “retained earnings” line due to the lack of a profit and loss account). Whether this is all book sales isn’t known.