The FCA dramatically announced yesterday that it would ban minibonds from being marketed to retail investors for a period of 12 months, starting on 1 January.
In addition, all marketing material approved by an authorised firm will have to declare any commissions paid to third parties (something we've already seen from Blackmore and The Capital Bridge in recent months).
During the temporary 12 month ban, the FCA will consult on more permanent measures.
What exactly this is supposed to achieve is difficult to see, until you remember that a decision on who will replace Mark Carney as the UK's top economic panjandrum is expected any day now. Former bookies' favourite Andrew Bailey is badly in need of something that makes it look like he has a grip. This is something.
Allansons investors watching Companies House hoping for some clue as to where £20 million of their money went will have to wait a bit longer, as Allansons LLP again used the one-day-trick to avoid filing accounts within the deadline.
The Companies Act requires private companies to file accounts within nine months of their accounting year ending, but due to a loophole in UK company law, you can extend the deadline by shortening your accounting period by a single day, which gives you an extra three months.
Allansons deployed this trick in August and now again on 18 November, meaning its last published accounts are now almost two years old.
A crucial court date looms on Monday 25th as stricken Park First investors decide whether to appoint Park First's own choice of administrators, Smith & Williamson, or rivals Quantuma LLP, proposed by an investor group.
A reminder of where we stand at the moment:
Back when the FCA shut down Park First as an illegal collective investment scheme, £33m of assets were ringfenced by the FCA to meet repayments to investors.
Smith & Williamson claimed that this sum would only be available to investors if they voted to appoint Smith & Williamson, otherwise Park First would withdraw it, and investors would risk getting nothing.
#TeamQuantuma claimed that this was false, and that the FCA had confirmed to Quantuma that the £33m was still ringfenced for investors regardless of which administrator they appointed.
Collapsed care home investment scheme Carlauren continues to resemble Wile E Coyote after running off the edge of the canyon, somehow still moving simply by refusing to acknowledge standing on thin air.
The demise of Carlauren was prematurely reported in July after the company wrote to investors to told them it had "instructed" administrators. In reality, it had only spoken to administrators, not appointed them.
Administrators Quantuma LLP have since been appointed by investors to some Carlauren subsidiaries, but have not yet established control over the group as a whole. Carlauren is trying to block Quantuma's appointment and have its own choice, CVR Global LLP, appointed instead. A court hearing has been set for 26th November.
The website quantumgroupfunds.com claims to represent "Quantum Group of Funds", a subsidiary of Soros Fund Management.
Representatives of Quantum are cold-calling investors claiming to be offering shares in AirBNB (currently privately owned by its founders and venture capital firms).
Quantum Group of Funds does exist, but the website quantumgroupfunds.com is nothing to do with it. It was only registered in February 2019, despite the real Quantum being in existence for 45 years.
A Professional Adviser article reveals that Exmount Commercial Developments, which disappeared with investors' money in the summer of 2019, has continued to scam investors even after disappearing.
The couple had invested their life savings with Exmount in 2018, after they were promised between 9.12% and 10.35% annual returns on their investment with three- or five-year bonds. The couple began investing a small amount of money, but over the course of a year took out five mini-bonds with Exmount for a total of £45,000.
The pair tried to redeem the unregulated bonds in early August 2019. According to Chan, a company representative asked the couple to pay a £606 exit fee. The pair paid, thinking they could get their capital back, but were then told there had been an error, and were asked to send an additional £606.
When I opened my morning paper and read that staff at the Financial Conduct Authority HQ had been condemned by their Chief Operating Officer for leaving liquor bottles in sanitary bins, abusing the cleaners, and defaecating on toilet floors, my first thought was:
"I'm not going to write an article about this. It's a trivial employee discipline issue, and Bond Review is better than that."
Then I came to my senses, mixed myself a glass of Old Cynic, and started mashing keys.