View more on these topics

Secret probe sees DTI shut BTL schemes

A secret investigation has seen the Department of Trade and Industry seeking to shut six property investment companies which claimed to show investors how to get rich quick through buy-to-let portfolios.

The firms are Sterling Mansion (UK), Mansion Investments, SMI (Overseas), Turningpoint Seminars, Portfolios of Distinction and CM2.

Sterling Mansion (UK) and Mansion Investments claimed to offer the opportunity to build a 1m BTL property portfolio within a year for a fee of 30,000 while SMI Overseas claimed investors could build multi-million-pound property portfolios. Turningpoint Seminars ran courses costing 6,000 for prospective investors, claiming to show how BTL properties could be bought without a deposit. Portfolios of Distinction offered a scheme claiming to build a 1m property portfolio for a fee of up to 50,000.

CM2 Services offered an investment scheme to some members of these firms, claiming to invest in the purchase of uncollected debts with investors told they would get up to 100 per cent returns within 12 months.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents welcomes the DTI’s action to have the firms wound up by the High Court. Chief executive Adrian Turner says: “We can only hope that news of the DTI action gets around fast so no more people are promised the Earth at exorbitant prices but make informed decisions based on professional advice which is available to them free.”

The firms have been placed in the hands of the Official Receiver.

Recommended

IFAs won’t be hit by client money rules

IFAs will not be deemed to be holding client money when they rebate commission under a menu fee arrangement, the FSA has confirmed. Aifa director general David Severn raised concerns that the menu system could lead to IFAs effectively holding client money when they get commission from providers under fee arr-angements. This would place them […]

Multi purpose

Ninety-two per cent of IFAs say they intend to retain their independent status within the depolarised market. This is one of the main findings of The Exchange’s 2005 technology index, which surveyed 300 IFAs via the Exweb portal. The figure shows that the independent sector is here to stay.

Tax-free gains? That can’t be right, can it?

When he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne made several changes to the way in which income is taxed. Personal allowances were increased significantly above the rate of inflation; a starting rate band was introduced for savings income and, with effect from 6 April 2015, this was assessed at 0 per cent. In addition, […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment