Clone firm scams multiply – Bridgepoint/IBM, Aberdeen/BT, TPG/AirBNB, Blackstone

The scammers behind the Volkswagen / Charterhouse bond clone scam have set up a number of similar webpages. Not surprising as web ink is cheap.

All share a number of common elements: a well known financial services firm, a corporate bond offered by another well-known firm (not necessarily financial), and a nonsensical claim that the bond is "FCA - FSCS compliant". This and other specific terms unique to this scam probably identify the websites as run by the same scammers.

The websites usually quote an ISIN code for a corporate bond that actually exists, but naturally anyone who contacts the scammers and gives them their money will not be investing in the loan note; their money will be stolen.

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London Capital & Finance on Money Box: the FCA speaks and Blackmore claims returns of 54%

London Capital & Finance logo

The BBC's Money Box programme continued its investigation into London Capital & Finance on Saturday.

Following questions recently asked in Parliament, the actions and inactions of the Financial Conduct Authority continue to be scrutinised. The BBC interviews IFA Neil Liversidge, who was one of the first to warn the FCA about LCF in 2015. The FCA declined to send someone to appear on the programme, but did release a statement:

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Questions asked in Parliament over London Capital & Finance collapse

London Capital & Finance logo

As the fallout from the £230m collapse of London Capital & Finance continues, MPs have stood up in Parliament to ask angrily: where's my job paying £354 an hour?

Excuse me a moment, I've been drinking too many Old Cynics. *sound of herbal tea pouring* There we go.

The Evening Standard's Jim Armitage reveals today that the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Nicky Morgan, will formally write to the Financial Conduct Authority to ask why it did not act sooner over the repeated warnings it received from 2015 onwards, and what the circumstances were that made it finally take action.

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MJS Capital sells Tempus Magazine to private security specialist

MJS Capital and Colarb Capital logos

Tempus, the luxury lifestyle magazine, has relaunched after a five-month hiatus, after being sold by collapsed unregulated investment firm MJS Capital (now Colarb).

Tempus was effectively acquired by MJS Capital in March 2017, and used extensively to sell its unregulated bonds, with frequent double-page ads in the magazine and advertorial articles about MJS Capital itself, which misleadingly described the bonds as low risk.

The September 2018 issue, ironically named a "Wealth Edition", was the last under MJS Capital's ownership. The magazine then ceased to publish for several months.

At the end of January 2019, however, Tempus published a further issue under new ownership. The contents page identifies Vantage Media Limited or Vantage Media Group as the new owners.

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Braxton Knight disappears with investors’ money

I reviewed Braxton Knight in January 2018. Based on their claim to provide fixed returns of up to 80% per year, I concluded the company was running a Ponzi scheme.

The company has been subject to a litany of complaints on Trustpilot and my own blog over the year, and the website is now showing a 404 error, suggesting that Braxton Knight has taken the money and run. Braxton Knight Limited is overdue with its accounts and subject to a strike-off notice from Companies House.

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London Capital & Finance roundup: administrator fears 80% losses, and did the FSCS say that LCF is covered?

London Capital & Finance logo

Two months after London Capital and Finance was shut down, it has finally dawned on the big media players that over 10,000 people losing £200m in life savings in a scheme with links to minor politicians is big news.

Two recent episodes from the BBC have covered London Capital & Finance; a further episode from Radio 4's Money Box programme, and a regional news investigation from Inside Out South West.

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