The administrators of collapsed minibond firm Asset Life plc released their latest quarterly update in February.
Asset Life plc raised £9 million from investors from 2014 onwards. It ran out of money and stopped paying investors in November 2018, and collapsed into administration shortly after.
Its Chairman, Martin Binks, was briefly a director of London Capital and Finance from October 2015 to August 2016. Binks is also a director of Anglo Wealth, a firm described as an "elegantly packaged scam" by a Crown Court judge. Binks has not been accused of any wrongdoing in relation to his work at LCF or Anglo Wealth.
At the time of its collapse Asset Life plc held two investments, a Kyrgyzstani gold exploration company and an Armenian iron ore extraction company. The administrators have not been able to find buyers for either investment and the only realistic prospect of selling the shares is to the other shareholders or connected parties.
The administrators of Asset Life have released their initial report.
Asset Life plc, reviewed here in January 2018, raised £8.9 million from investors in three unregulated minibond issues (A, B and C). At the time of my review they were offering 8.75% per year for a three year term.
Series A and B investors were defaulted on when the return of their capital fell due. Asset Life plc asked them to give 12 months' grace, which some gave, but others refused. Asset Life was unable to repay those investors who insisted on getting their money back. Interest payments stopped in November 2018.
In May 2019, the FCA issued a warning (five years after Asset Life plc began operation) that Asset Life might be conducting regulated activities without authorisation.
Asset Life went into administration three months later in August 2019.
Asset Life plc, which raised £8 million from investors in its bonds, has gone into administration, according to reports. Confirmation of the administration was filed with Companies House on Wednedsay.
We reviewed Asset Life plc's bonds in January 2018.
Asset Life plc claimed to have an insurance policy in place which provided "Security of the Capital". Exactly what this insurance covers is yet to be made clear, but investment offering 8.75% per year to the public is fully insured against the risk of loss, and investors would be wise to manage their expectations.
The FCA has issued a warning over Asset Life plc. The warning begins:
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
Asset Life plc offers unregulated fixed-interest bonds paying 8.75%pa for a three year term. Continue reading for a review of Asset Life plc's bonds.