We would like to make our VCT shareholders aware of the frauds that are attempted against investors, where more information can be found about such frauds and what to do if a fraud is attempted against you.
The misuse of the Albion Capital Group LLP (Albion Capital) name by third parties who claim to have a connection in some way with us is quite common, unfortunately. They may say that they work with us on investment matters, that they have produced some research on our VCTs, or claim to be making a financial offer for a VCT, but none is true.
Albion Capital will never pass your details on to a third party without advising you first and then only with your permission.
We will never contact you by telephone unless you have requested us to do so, nor will Computershare which keeps the share registers. These callers take your details from the VCTs’ Registers of Shareholders which are public records kept by all companies. Companies are obliged under the UK Companies Act to provide a copy of the Register when requested and have limited legal rights to refuse to provide a copy. We monitor all requests for copies of the VCTs’ share registers that are received by Computershare and have not authorised any request without knowing who has requested the copy and for what purpose.
Types of shareholder fraud
The most common types of attempted shareholder fraud are either:
- someone offering to buy your shares at an inflated price; or
- someone offering to send you investment research, again with a view to you buying shares recommended by them.
The attempts are usually by telephone using a company name that sounds trustworthy. Most calls are from offices outside the UK, even though a UK address may be quoted and a UK telephone number provided. Any mail goes to an accommodation address and the telephone calls are routed overseas. Fraudsters may persuade you to transfer funds to them to set up a 'bond' as a preliminary step to supposedly purchasing your VCT shares or to settle an advance tax payment before you can be sent sale proceeds. Or they may attempt to get you to invest in other fictitious companies with no value.
These people are not authorised in any way to conduct investment business in the UK or in any other jurisdiction. Thus, if you do lose any money by investing with them then there is little the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, can do to help you get your money back.
What you can do to help
You can avoid becoming a victim of share fraud by:
- Hanging up the telephone if you get an ‘out of the blue’ call offering to buy your shares;
- Checking that anyone offering to sell you shares is registered with the FCA;
- Calling the company back using the details in the FCA register to verify their authorisation; and
- Reporting any company that cold calls you to sell shares, as below.
If someone does call you then you can report the matter:
To Action Fraud by telephone on 0300123 2040 or through the website at www.actionfraud.police.uk/
You can also call Albion Capital on 020 7601 1850 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to check whether any claims made are genuine.
For more information
If you want more information on the frauds that take place or to check whether the caller is genuine or not then you may go to:
- The FCA Register on the FCA website to see if a firm or caller is registered in the UK to carry out investment business;
- The FCA Consumer Information section on the FCA website for more information on scams and swindles;
- To check to see if the caller or the firm are on the FCA list of Unauthorised Firms and Individuals
- The www.actionfraud.police.uk/ website for more information on fraud generally
The information on these pages relating to VCTs managed by Albion Capital Group LLP (Albion) is directed at United Kingdom residents only. Shares in venture capital trusts ("VCTs") referred to on this website will not be offered to non-residents.
No reliance is to be placed on the information contained on this website in making an application to subscribe for shares in VCTs managed by Albion.
Any such application may only be made on the basis of the relevant prospectus and/or offer document, which can be downloaded from this website or obtained from: Albion Capital Group LLP, 1 Benjamin Street, London EC1M 5QL (0207 601 1850). Prospective investors should ensure that they read the risk warnings set out in the prospectus and/or offer document. We also advise you to read the Key Information Documents. Albion does not provide financial advice and nothing on these web pages should be construed as investment or tax advice. An investment in a VCT should be considered a long-term investment and the tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each investor and may be subject to change in the future.
Under current legislation shares must be held for a minimum of five years for maximum tax benefits and may be affected by future legislation. If certain criteria are not met, for example if the investment is not held for five years or if the VCT does not invest 80% of its funds in qualifying investments, the tax breaks will be withdrawn and you may be required to repay any tax relief which you have received upfront. No VCT can guarantee that its investors will qualify for tax relief. You should not invest in a VCT simply for the tax benefits. The market price of VCT shares may not reflect the full underlying net asset value ("NAV") of shares and shareholders may have difficulty in selling their shares and any sale is likely to be at a discount to the NAV. Potential investors in VCTs managed by Albion should consult their financial advisers.
The value of shares in a VCT and the income from them may fluctuate and investors may not get back the amount they invested. The market price of VCT shares is unlikely fully to reflect their underlying net asset value. It is possible that there may not be a liquid market in the shares of VCTs and shareholders may have difficulty in selling their shares. Any sale is likely to be at a discount to net asset value.
VCTs invest in a portfolio of small companies, which by their nature carry greater risk than larger, quoted companies.
The tax reliefs available to investors in a VCT are dependent on it maintaining HM Revenue & Customs approval. A failure to meet the qualifying requirements could result in adverse tax consequences to investors, including a requirement to repay the income tax relief obtained. Investors must retain their VCT shares for the minimum period required to retain their initial tax relief. The tax rules and regulations governing VCTs are subject to change.
The past performance of Albion Capital Group LLP as a fund manager is no guide to the future performance of its VCTs.