The Serious Fraud Office has announced that it has opened an investigation into individuals associated with London Capital & Finance, and that four individuals were arrested in the Kent and Sussex areas on 4 March 2019. All four were subsequently released pending further investigation.
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:
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.
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.
Smith & Williamson's Finbarr O'Connell, one of the administrators appointed by London Capital & Finance to clean up their mess, has been speaking to the Evening Standard's Jim Armitage in an article published yesterday.
O'Connell states that he is optimistic about making a "full recovery" of the £38m loaned to Independent Oil & Gas (an AIM-listed company) by London Oil & Gas (one of the companies in the LCF network linked to LCF itself).
O'Connell is less optimistic about the other £84 million loaned to London Oil & Gas, which went to another listed oil business, Atlantic Energy, and "numerous early stage businesses in artificial intelligence and energy". O'Connell states "a number of the debts are going to be challenging to recover".
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.
The administrators of London Capital & Finance, Smith & Williamson, released a further update to LCF investors on Thursday.
After a few initial gaffes which appeared to give far too much credence to the company that appointed them, the latest update is much less forgiving towards the way London Capital & Finance was run until its collapse.
The update is inevitably non-committal on the question on every investor's lips, whether they will get their money back. It states "It is too early for the Administrators to say how much money they will be able to return to Bondholders and when any payments will be made to them".
Smith & Williamson does however go on record that the high commissions (up to 25%) paid out by LCF from investors' money, plus other costs, make an extremely high rate of return necessary to return investors' capital and interest.