Goodbye

Regular readers will probably have noticed that the output of Bond Review has continued to drop recently.

In the first year of Bond Review I reviewed over 60 investment schemes that were being promoted to the public; in the past 12 months I’ve reviewed a third of that number.

Although there are still far too many high risk investment schemes being promoted with impunity to the general public by search engines and social media, there are signs that the tide has lessened somewhat. When Bond Review was founded, there was a constant stream of people signing up for consumer finance forums asking whether London Capital and Finance was a safe investment. That is no longer the case, at least not to nearly the same extent.

In 2017 minibonds were mostly ignored by the press other than very occasional articles warning investors of the risks (and sometimes promoting them). They were also, as covered here extensively, completely ignored by the FCA. That is certainly no longer the case, with the collapse of London Capital and Finance (along with lesser schemes) hitting the mainstream press and the subject of Parliamentary enquiries.

But the main reason I am bringing the blog to a close is that I simply don’t have the time any more. Maintaining the trickle of bi-weekly articles (with regular lapses) has often meant staying up past midnight (and drinking too much wine) simply because it was the only hour in the day available. I have a full-time job, a family, a sports club to get back up off the ground after being shut down during the pandemic, and the blog. Something has to give.

I remain proud of what Bond Review has achieved. I know for a fact that as a result of my reviews, millions of pounds whose owners could not afford to lose them have been saved from high-risk investment schemes which subsequently collapsed. I know this because the people that ran them told me so in the course of their legal threats.

All I have done for three and a half years is to post the facts, and nothing but the facts, about the risks of unregulated investments, so that investors can make their own minds up. At times this meant my coverage was open to charges of being “anodyne” or “mealy-mouthed”, but it was sticking to what was verifiable and in the public domain that allowed me to stand behind my coverage for this long.

I considered going public with my identity but have nothing to gain from doing so. At least three different people have been identified as Brev by various idiots posting spam online. None of them are me.

I originally called this article “Indefinite hiatus” but then I remembered how annoying it was when I was reading webcomics twenty years ago and authors would forever be going on “hiatuses” (hiati?) that left you forever wondering whether they’d come back. So no hiatus, just an unambiguous goodbye, and an end to three and a half years that has often been stressful, draining, fascinating, heartbreaking and (emotionally) rewarding in equal measure.

Thanks to all the readers who have read this far. In the early weeks of writing Bond Review I got excited whenever my pageview count went up by 1 (and even more excited when it wasn’t from me). For many weeks posting articles felt like shouting at the bins. The stats, comments and messages of support all helped keep me going for as long as I have.

A special thanks to everyone who donated. If anyone feels they have been shortchanged by the sudden cancellation, get in touch via the Contact link above and I will happily refund any previous donations to their source. The handful of recurring donations to Bond Review have been cancelled at my end.

A final credit goes to Oz, the writer behind the website BehindMLM.com, which was a huge inspiration for Bond Review. If there are any readers of both they will have noticed a few similarities of style which are partly homage and partly lack of imagination on my part. It showed that it was possible to shine a light on an under-covered part of the financial world and keep it going in the teeth of concerted and relentless opposition. How Oz has kept it going for a decade (with a much higher output than I ever had) is beyond me.

Comments on all articles will be closed in a week on June 1st. I will continue to pay the hosting bill to keep Bond Review up for another year. It will then close for good on 25 May 2022.

I can continue to be contacted via the contact link above.

Have you thrown in the towel due to legal action?

When I started Bond Review I knew I needed to be prepared to stand up for myself in court, or there was no point in writing articles on this subject in the first place. A total of 13 different investment schemes have made legal threats to me. None of them have gone to court. Until today I had (unless memory fails me) withdrawn one solitary article from publication: a report on Blackmore Bonds‘ brief sponsorship of the Kent Police rugby team.

So any suggestion that I have been intimidated into shutting down the blog is a perfectly reasonable guess but incorrect.

Nor have I been paid off. I have never (despite offers) accepted money to remove any article from Bond Review, and never will.

A number of articles have been pulled from view today because keeping them up for another year is not worth the time and money it would require. This should not be misinterpreted as an admission that anything in them was false. I cannot comment further. There are special circumstances and anyone who thinks I might be persuaded to pull other articles for no reason (before the website closes) should save their breath.

25 thoughts on “Goodbye

  1. What a great shame, but entirely understandable. There will be quite a few, not very nice people, who will be breathing a little easier because of your departure which does make me nauseous! Thank you for all your efforts, they are appreciated. You have made the world a little better and nothing more should be expected! All the best for the future.

  2. A big thank you,for all your efforts in exposing unregulated scams.
    Apart from saving many people, thousands of pounds in these scams,you have also given the laymen amongst,a great deal of legal and financial information.
    It is a shame,that such an invaluable forum will close,but I understand that it is very time consuming.
    You have been brave enough to stand up to the likes of [removed],in the pursuit of truth.
    Many are now more wise to these unregulated “Bet Sids”(to paraphrase Allanson on his litigation scheme),as a result of your time consuming research and articles.
    Thank you,Brev.

  3. Thanks for your diligence and persistence all these years. You have been helpful in many ways. All the best for the future.

  4. You’ve provided a fantastic public service. It’s just a shame that our, all too well paid, public servants spend their time pontificating, rather than doing.

    And, wouldn’t it be great if children (and adults) received a bit more financial education?

    Enjoy the sports!

    Andy

  5. Thank you for all your efforts; you have been absolutely invaluable. Good luck with your business.

  6. I am so sorry to hear it has come to an end. I think you have done an invaluable service. There are far too few people like you who were willing to make a stand, and you even managed to inject humour into a dry, complicated, serious business. Many thanks for all your efforts. I hope you enjoy your new found leisure time. And if the scammers return in force one day and you should find yourself with more time on your hands…. never say never!

  7. I only came across your articles recently and wish I had known about them years ago.
    They have been a real public service warning people about dodgy firms. So I don’t
    know if you warned about Dolphin/Red Rock or Magna Global.
    Re: the new £120m tax payer scheme – I understood refunds from Government were
    paid from funds paid by firms regulated by the FCA and not from taxpayers.?
    Now I have found you obviously I wish you were not finishing the articles but you
    certainly deserve the break from all your research and I wish you all the best. Eileen.

  8. Thanks everyone for your kind words, as always.

    So I don’t
    know if you warned about Dolphin/Red Rock or Magna Global.

    Dolphin itself was never reviewed here, mainly because its heyday pre-dated the blog. Although an aborted offshoot called Grounds was.

    Magna was reviewed here in 2018.

    Re: the new £120m tax payer scheme – I understood refunds from Government were
    paid from funds paid by firms regulated by the FCA and not from taxpayers.?

    Compensation payments made to LCF bondholders by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme are funded by a levy on FCA-regulated firms. Which in turn comes from the charges and interest paid by everyone who uses regulated financial services, i.e. everyone.

    A handful of people are being compensated by the Financial Conduct Authority for being told by FCA staff that LCF was safe and FSCS-protected; the FCA is funded in the same way as the FSCS.

    The new £120m compensation scheme to cover those not covered by the FSCS is funded by the Treasury, i.e. the taxpayer.

    That’s a distinction without a difference. People who use financial services = people who pay taxes = the general public.

  9. Whoever you are, thank you most sincerely for all you have done to keep us informed. Your hard work is much appreciated and we are so sorry to see you go.

  10. People like you help make the internet a ‘good thing’. Many thanks.

  11. Your work has been invaluable. Congratulations on such a fine blog over the years Brev and good luck for your future endeavours.

  12. Thank you for your support throughout the LCF saga – you have been a wonderful sounding board and giver of hope with your in-depth knowledge and hard-hitting style.

    Good luck

  13. Gutted to hear about the end of this blog. It was my favourite website without a shadow of doubt.

    Brev, your incisive and witty writing highlighted quite a few dubious schemes and must have saved hard-working Brits tens of millions of pounds over the years.

    The comments were also invaluable, in that they drew attention to what was going on with many a loan note etc.

    The crooks will be delighted of course.

    I understand you will be keeping the website live for a year. I appreciate you will have hosting fees to pay for, but hope you may be able to consider keeping the website online for longer. You rank highly in Google for quite a number of scams and scamsters, and if the site goes down and you no longer appear in search rankings for search terms related to those scams, people will be less able to find out the real deal about crooks and their crooked loan notes.

    I respect the fact that you are averse to advertising, but maybe having prominently-placed Google Adsense ads on the site will enable you to earn a revenue to contribute towards webhosting costs and thereby keep the site online for longer even though it will no longer be updated.

    Thank you for everything Brev. You are and always will be a legend in my eyes.

  14. You should indeed be very proud of Bond Review. You are an absolute legend. I really enjoyed your writing style and cutting reviews of those scumbag thieves.

  15. Thanks for your efforts. If it wasn’t for Bond Review I may not have spotted a couple of movers and operators trying scam my clients.

    All the best for the future etc. Don’t work too hard.

  16. Thank you Brev, thanks for alerting me regarding Bentley Global, Mr Alan Bentley & Co who are a worrying MOB from Liverpool….
    I cannot wait until the forensic accountants, along with the police, catch these thieving crooks….

  17. Thank you Brev. I have always found your content insightful, honest and extremely valuable. I have learned a great deal from it and will be sorry to see you go. I wish I had known about the site at the time of LCF as it would would have proved that I was not just a lone voice in the wilderness

  18. I am very sorry to hear you are going, Brev. I say a big THANK YOU for everything you have done, and wish you the best of luck in your other activities. Your website has been my favourite on the internet, combining your efforts to bring to light scams and poor investments, and giving every day investors a forum to voice their experiences and opinions. You can be very proud of what you have accomplished with Bond Review, and forever know that you have helped many people. Such a wonderful legacy.

    I hope the website can stay up. There is so much value hidden in these pages.

  19. An IFA friend of mine said I should offer to take over this blog as I serve on the Secretariat of the APPG on Pension Scams, am a Professional Trustee without one toxic investment on my books, try to help Dolphin Trust/GPG investors with claims, try to help Resort Group investors out and regularly call out scam investments on my facebook page. I said I don’t have the time. He said but you do have the knowledge. I think you have done a remarkable job.

  20. There is a vital need for someone to help the hapless and helpless (and sometimes hopeless). Perhaps the work could be lessened by introducing a “warning star” system covering things like Directors, previous experience, history of company, ccjs, security trustee experience, regulation etc.
    Obviously no-one is expecting financial advice, but helpful and accurate issues being laid bare would get round the heavy handed and relentless sales talk.

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