Secured Energy Bonds administrator seeks £5.6 million from the ashes of Independent Portfolio Managers

The administrators of Secured Energy Bonds have posted their latest six monthly update, which can be read in full on Companies House.

So far the administration has realised £288,579 in assets, of which £272,905 has been paid out in administration costs, predominantly the administrators' own fees and the fees of their legal advisors (and VAT). According to a schedule in Appendix B, a further £169,842 has been incurred in legal fees to date but not yet paid out. Bondholders' claims stand at £7.5 million.

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Independent Portfolio Managers goes into liquidation

Independent Portfolio Managers logo

Independent Portfolio Managers, the minibond promoter which was hit by a slew of Ombudsman complaints for its role in the collapse of Secured Energy Bonds and Providence Bonds, has gone into liquidation.

When I last reported on the company in late October I overlooked that a creditor had already petitioned to wind up the company. This petition was heard two weeks ago, and the winding up commenced on 14 November.

Interestingly, the creditor who brought the petition against Independent Portfolio Managers was the administrator of Secured Energy Bonds.

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Independent Portfolio Managers gets last-minute reprieve, status of compensation payments still unknown

Independent Portfolio Managers logo

Four days before it was due to be dissolved over its failure to file annual accounts with Companies House, Independent Portfolio Managers has had the strike-off action against it suspended.

The reason the action has been suspended is not known for certain, but the most likely reason is an objection by a creditor. If IPM had been dissolved, all its assets (if any) would have become property of the UK Government.

As I previously covered, in July and August IPM was ordered by the Financial Ombudsman to compensate three investors in Secured Energy Bonds for its failings in producing Secured Energy Bonds' literature, and for giving a false impression that Secured Energy Bonds were more secure than other unregulated corporate loan notes.

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Is the FSCS about to make all unregulated investments risk-free?

Independent Portfolio Managers logo

As I noted earlier this week, in July and August Independent Portfolio Managers had what is bound to be the first of many Financial Ombudsman complaints awarded against it, for its role in approving the literature for the collapsed Secured Energy Bond investment.

It looks highly likely that similar awards against it will follow for its role in Providence Bonds.

In June 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority cancelled IPM's permissions over an unpaid regulatory fee of £1,660 and 23 pence. The chance of IPM being able to meet the slew of claims against it, which could run into the millions, appears minimal.

Secured Energy investors still however appear confident that they'll get their money back - on the basis that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will pay up when/if IPM goes bankrupt.

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Ombudsman orders Independent Portfolio Managers to compensate for unregulated bond collapses – will they pay up?

Independent Portfolio Managers logo

Independent Portfolio Managers played a crucial role in the collapse of two unregulated bonds, Secured Energy Bonds and Providence Bonds.

Independent Portfolio Managers was an FCA-regulated company that issued financial promotions on behalf of Secured Energy and Providence. Without those FCA-regulated promotions, Secured Energy and Providence could not have been promoted to UK investors.

After those two bonds collapsed with total losses, investors in both Secured Energy and Providence made formal complaints to first Independent Portfolio Managers and then the Financial Ombudsman.

Just over a year and a quarter since it accepted the cases, The Financial Ombudsman has now began issuing rulings.

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Secured Energy Bonds administration continues to drag on – no funds recovered for investors

In 2013 Secured Energy Bonds raised £7.5 million from investors promising returns of 6.5% per annum. In 2015 the company went bust and administrators were appointed.

The administrators published their latest progress report on 3rd January 2018.

The report makes it clear that it is extremely unlikely that investors will see a penny of their money back. In total, the administrators have recovered £109,000 net from Secured Energy Bonds plc, after legal and other costs. The administrators' costs currently stand at £561,000, none of which has yet been paid.

This means that as it stands, the costs of the administrator (who always stands first in the queue) will swallow up all of the money recovered from Secured Energy Bonds, and the investors will receive nothing.

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