Land bank firm shut down by the FCA has appeal rejected by Court – Financial Conduct Authority

Asset Land L.I. was a land banking firm, run by Banner-Eve and his associates, selling plots of land as investments in Stansted, Harrogate, Lutterworth, Newbury, Liphook and South Godstone.

The judgment makes clear that the law around collective investment schemes (CIS), which require Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation, does apply to these types of scheme and that any effort to avoid authorisation on technical legal points will be unlikely to succeed.

The decision paves the way for some money to be returned to investors, but it is unlikely to be the full amount.

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said:

“Winning this case sets an important legal precedent in the fight against unauthorised business. Firms trying to exploit loopholes to claim that they are not running collective investment schemes should be clear – it simply will not work.

“This is a clear warning to any firm selling dubious investments and I reiterate it today: we will come after you, we will shut you down, and we will do whatever we can to ensure money you have taken, no matter how much – or little – is left, is used to reimburse your victims.

“We constantly see new variations on these schemes. If someone is contacted out of the blue with an offer that is too good to be true – it probably is. Put down the phone and keep your money.”

via Land bank firm shut down by the FCA has appeal rejected by Court – Financial Conduct Authority.


Barclays Bank Overdraft Fees

Barclays Bank are bringing in a new charging structure for overdraft usage from 16th June. That’s eight and a half weeks to switch if you think the new structure will be disastrous for your overdraft costs.

Kate Briscoe, co-owner of LegalBeagles discussed the new charges with Paul Lewis on Radio 4′s MoneyBox earlier today – you can listen to the programme again here or


The headline change is the scrapping of interest charges of any kind. Sounds good? Many of us find interest calculations confusing, so this could make it easier to calculate what your overdraft is costing you?

The new daily fees are staggered at 75p daily for an arranged overdraft up to £1000, £1.50 daily for £1001 – £2000 and £3.00 for £2001 and higher.

This means that if you exist perpetually in your overdraft, you’ll be hit very hard by these new fees. Under the old interest led system, staying at £2001 overdrawn for a year would have cost you £386, but with the new system you’ll pay an eye-watering £1095 per year!
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Another WONGA Advert banned by the ASA

Four issues were investigated, all of which were Upheld

The ASA received 31 complaints.

1. Most complainants challenged whether the ad was misleading, because it confused as to the interest rate applied to a Wonga loan

2. Some challenged whether the ad was misleading, because it implied that the representative APR (RAPR) was irrelevant to a short-term loan.

3. Some challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it encouraged viewers to disregard the RAPR and thereby trivialised the decision to take out a short-term loan.

4. A few challenged whether the ad breached the Code, because the RAPR was not sufficiently prominent.

via ASA Adjudication on WDFC UK Ltd – Advertising Standards Authority.


Brighthouse – a necessary evil?

When you have a very small income and your fridge breaks down, what do you do ? Lenders such as Brighthouse can fill a gap for essential white goods, reminiscent of the old Radio Rentals / HP.  Consumers on low incomes may find it easier to budget a weekly amount for such things, with the protection of breakdown cover and replacement if things go wrong. But are they paying too high a price?

Alternatives might be to use your local credit union for a small loan to enable you to purchase essentials such as fridges/washing machine without paying the sky high interest rates of the credit stores.

The Charity Shops, particularly British Heart Foundation, have large electrical departments in many towns, although their prices have risen massively in recent years.

Second hand stores, ebay, freecycle and facebook swap groups are other alternatives.




New employment tribunal laws come into force

Stressed office worker
Employers face fines if they have poor workplace practices

New rules aimed at reducing the number of employment tribunals have come into force.

Staff wanting bring a case of unfair dismissal or discrimination now have to first notify the conciliation service Acas to see if the dispute can be resolved.

Another change sees employers facing fines if they lose a case at tribunal.

Ministers said the changes would help avoid “stress, time delays and excessive costs”.