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Following up last week’s report, The Sunday Times reveals that more than 2,000 business owners are in debt to a loans firm accused of high-pressure sales tactics that families claim have cost them their homes.
The firm that offered these deals, Nationwide Corporate Finance, is run by two brothers: Kevin and Martin Robbins.
They are, or have been, listed as directors of NCF and its associated companies, including the lender Bluerock Secured Finance, previously known as Blackrock Secured Finance and before that, Alfandari Private Equities.
All these companies are ultimately owned by Goldmore Asset Management and run out of the same address — a business park in Olney, near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire.
Next, hundreds of underperforming funds are having to reveal whether they really offer value for money. Fund bosses now have to assess their entire UK-based range and some European funds too, then publish a warts-and-all report to help ordinary investors determine which offer good value — and which don’t.
Crucially, the FCA rules require the reports to be concise and jargon-free.
Talking about the FCA, the paper also reports that the watchdog has had only a handful of meetings or calls with Google in two years about online scams, despite the internet giant making millions from fraudsters buying ads on its services.
There’s also news that a £550m deal to rescue a portfolio of Neil Woodford’s stakes in biotech start-ups has collapsed — a development that is likely to deal another blow to investors in his failed fund and lead to a fire sale of 20 promising companies.
It also appears that financial advisers are avoiding recommending investment trusts to clients despite changes to fees that should have made them more popular, a study suggests.
An investigation by Research in Finance found that many leading advice firms did not offer investment trusts to their customers, even though they routinely outperform unit trusts.
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