Blackmore Bonds, which issues unregulated loan notes in its property development business, is a few days late in paying quarterly interest to some investors, according to reports in Money Marketing and the Telegraph.
According to Bond Review readers and The Telegraph, Blackmore's switchboard is jammed with worried investors and it is not answering emails.
A few days before it feel overdue with its annual accounts, Blackmore Bonds plc has used a loophole in the Companies Act to delay filing.
Blackmore Bond plc’s accounts for the year ending December 2018 would normally have become overdue on 30 June 2019. On 27 June Blackmore shortened its accounting period by a single day, giving it another three months before it legally becomes overdue.
Blackmore Bonds has removed all literature relating to its bonds from its website and replaced them with the following notice:
We have achieved our fundraising goals for this tax year and are not currently taking new investment.
We will be introducing our next offering in the following tax year, so please watch this space for future announcements.
If you are a current investor, you can log in below to manage your account.
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:
Blackmore Bonds has been making a number of changes to its website recently to improve its compliance with the FCA's "clear, fair and not misleading" rules.
Around a year ago, the top of Blackmore's website prominently featured the headings "Capital Protection" and "Income Certainty" below its interest rates. Immediately below this, in letters half the size, were the words "Capital at risk | Please read our risk section. Illiquid and non-transferable. Not FSCS".
By including risk warnings in text half the size of headlines saying "Capital Protection", this old version of the website put Blackmore potentially afoul of the FCA's regulations that "balancing statements" such as these must be displayed with equal prominence to be clear, fair and not misleading.
Blackmore's new version of its website is a considerable improvement in this regard, with the "Capital Protection" and "Income Certainty" headings gone, and a risk warning "The products on this site offer a high return on your investment, it is important to understand that as with all investments of this type your Capital is at Risk" displayed in 27-point font, the same size as its headlines.
Until the FCA shut down London Capital and Finance, one of its most important promoters was RPDigitalservices, the company behind the top-isa-rates.co.uk and best-savings-rates.co.uk.
Both websites formerly contained misleading advertisements that placed London Capital & Finance bonds on the top of a "comparison table" which compared London Capital & Finance's high-risk unregulated bonds to FSCS-protected deposit accounts. No disclosure of the immense difference in risk was provided by RPDigitalservice's websites.
RPDigitalservices is not authorised by the FCA to issue financial promotions to the public.
RPDigitalservices was one of the most important sources of investment for London Capital & Finance. At the time they were promoting LCF, analytics data from Alexa showed that half of visitors to LCF's websites came from RPDigitalservices.
You and Yours, BBC Radio 4’s consumer affairs programme, has just released its latest episode which partly deals with three investors who were encouraged to invest their money in unregulated investments.
The programme makes interesting and, at times, painful listening for anyone with an interest in unregulated investments.