UK Deaths from Covid19 Coronavirus ONS

The latest ONS (Office for National Statistics) data on UK deaths has been released today and paints a worrying picture about the increase in fatalities since the Coronavirus pandemic struck. As mentioned in my previous post these numbers lag the official daily Coronavirus deaths as they are based on registered deaths across the country not just those that happened in hospital.

The numbers have shown a significant jump compared to the average for the last 5 years and for the first months of 2020.

While the official UK numbers of Coronavirus deaths was reported as 14576 up to 17th April 2020 the numbers using the ONS data are significantly high, in fact they are almost double the numbers recorded. It's important to note that these can also include deaths where the person didn't get medical treatment for another condition but a large majority of these excess deaths are likely to be Covid-19 related.

Using this ONS data it shows there were over 26,000 excess deaths compared to th…

LCF Collapse - Spotlight on Robert Sedgwick of Buss Murton Solicitors

There are a number of people who have been in the news over the £237 million failure of London Capital & Finance including the famous five who have been arrested by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigating the collapse of the company.

In addition to the main players there were a number of other people who helped the directors of London Capital Finance to carry out there activities. One of those was Robert Mannering Sedgwick from Buss Murton Law a firm of solicitors based in Wellington Gate, 7-9 Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. His name and their details appear on many of the documents produced to support the loans taken out between companies and he was also director of a number of the LCF related companies at different times including Global Security Trustees that was meant to protect bondholder interests. In fact he is still currently the only director of CV Resorts Ltd that borrowed £4.7 million from London Capital and Finance.

Robery Sedgwick has an interesting past desp…

Blackmore Bond Administration Finally Happens

It's taken almost a month from my previous post suggesting the administration for Blackmore Bond seemed to be inevitable and it's finally happened. Investors have not received their interest payments and now are looking at possible capital losses although the amount of recovery is yet to be determined.

Oak Trustees has appointed Duff & Phelps as administrators to manage the company and in their notice of doing so there are a couple of points for investors that are rather worrying.

1) Blackmore Bond have failed to be transparent with the trustees (no surprises there as Blackmore have still failed to file their 2019 accounts or to produce the accountant's report of the situation repeatedly promised)

2) It appears that Blackmore have taken out loans against properties in the last couple of months.

In the Trustee’s letter to Bondholders dated 16 April 2020 the Trustee noted (a…

Coronavirus True UK Death Rate Numbers from Covid-19

It's been suggested for some time that the official UK statistics for Covid-19 deaths are under reporting the actual number of fatalities because they only include the deaths happening in hospital where the patient has been tested positive for Coronavirus.

Other numbers that may shed some light on the true mortality rate for Coronavirus in the UK have a time lag compared to the daily numbers published by Public Health England but the latest ONS (Office for National Statistics) weekly updates on deaths from all causes are due tomorrow (21st April)

If they are anything like the numbers from last week they will show a massive jump in the number of UK deaths over this time period. It's important to note that this increase in deaths is compared to the average for the last 5 years and not all may be directly attributed to Covid-19. Some may be as an indirect result such as patients not getting treatment for other conditions or may not have been officially recorded as Covid because n…

Are Symtomax Bonds a Genuine Investment?

An unregulated investment scheme called Symtomax was featured on the Bond Review site back in 2019. It appears that Symtomax Bonds weren't very happy about some of the comments made about the investment despite the facts being that it is an unregulated high risk bond that could lose an investor all of their money. Whether that happens or not depends entirely on the performance of the company but as shown by companies such as London Capital and Finance it is possible for unregulated bonds to fail and lose investors money. There is no suggestion that Symtomax is a scam or ponzi scheme like LCF where new investor money was used to pay back existing bondholders.

Anyone considering investment into Symtomax bonds might do well to read this article about the people behind the company including the CEO Minette Compson/Coetzee who according to the article has been struck off from working in financial services as a result of land deal in Scotland that netted her significant commission.


Coronavirus Covid-19 Updates on Latest Statistics

There is a huge amount of info out there about the spread of Corona Virus / Covid-18 across the world. Who would have imagined that in less than 2 months it went from something that was a curiosity in a small part of China to being a worldwide issue with a large proportion of the population under lockdown to prevent spread.

There are some particularly good sources of information that I've found about the virus statistics. In terms of raw data and numbers the Worldometer site has constantly updated information. It's updates so frequently I think the "yesterday" tab tends to be better as you are looking at data that is now static and doesn't constantly change.

As well as the headline numbers it also drills down into country by country details showing infection rates which can be useful to work out how a country is managing the pandemic.
As well as the raw data there are some excellent sites giving explanations and commentar…

Basset & Gold Enters Administration - How Much will Investors Get?

Basset & Gold was a company featured on this blog last year warning of the risks that weren't adequately being explained in my view and this was highlighted in my review of Basset & Gold ISA. As of today it has been placed in administration as per the message below on their website.

According to the FAQ section on the B&G website there were around 1800 bondholders that invested a total of £36 million in B&G, giving an average of around £20,000 per investor although this is likely to mask bondholders that invested much higher or lower amounts when the minimum was £1000.

I doubt people investing in their bonds were fully aware of the risks to their capital that they were taking. According to the FAQ the administrators expect many bondholders to be covered by the FSCS so hopefully the return of capital will be higher than for other mini bond companies that have gone bust where investors have received from nothing up to 25%.

If this is the case and FSCS has protected …