RPDigitalservices, former chief promoter of London Capital & Finance, stops promoting unregulated investments

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Until the FCA shut down London Capital and Finance, one of its most important promoters was RPDigitalservices, the company behind the top-isa-rates.co.uk and best-savings-rates.co.uk websites.

Both websites formerly contained misleading advertisements that placed London Capital & Finance bonds on the top of a “comparison table” which compared London Capital & Finance’s high-risk unregulated bonds to FSCS-protected deposit accounts. RPDigitalservice’s websites failed to mention the immense difference in risk involved.

RPDigitalservices is not authorised by the FCA to issue financial promotions to the public.

RPDigitalservices was one of the most important sources of investment for London Capital & Finance. At the time they were promoting LCF, analytics data from Alexa showed that half of visitors to LCF’s websites had previously visited RPDigitalservices.

RPDigitalservices was until July 2018 controlled by Ronak Patel, after which Patel relinquished control to Paul Careless, head of Surge Group, LCF’s marketing agent and call centre operator. Careless has claimed that Surge and RPDigitalservices share staff (and directors, and owners) but operate separately.

After London Capital & Finance was shut down by the FCA, RPDigitalservices switched to promoting Blackmore Bond.

This coincided with Blackmore’s web traffic picking up dramatically. Alexa stats show a steady decline in traffic to Blackmore’s website until April 2018, at which point Blackmore fell out of the top 1 million websites and Alexa stopped tracking it entirely. However, since January 2019, Blackmore’s web traffic has surged (sorry), leaping back into the top 1 million websites and currently standing at around 520,000th at time of writing.

Alexa rank Feb19
Alexa traffic stats for blackmorebonds.co.uk, February 2019.

Alexa shows that at time of writing, approximately half of visitors to Blackmore’s website came from either best-interest-rates.co.uk or top-isa-rates.co.uk – just as it used to be for London Capital & Finance.

It should be emphasised that Blackmore Bonds has met all its debt obligations to date and is not subject to any regulatory action that we are aware of. Like London Capital & Finance’s bonds or any other unregulated bond, Blackmore bonds are an inherently high-risk investment with a risk of up to 100% loss.

RPDigitalservices has now dropped unregulated bonds from its comparison tables entirely. The results at the top of the page for top-isa-rates.co.uk are now two P2P platforms. These P2P platforms are, like all P2P, also high risk, but regulated by the FCA.

RPDigitalservices continues to fail to provide any disclosure of the wildly different risks involved in the products it compares.

2 thoughts on “RPDigitalservices, former chief promoter of London Capital & Finance, stops promoting unregulated investments

  1. Surge / RPDigital and their executives should be formally investigated by the FCA and SFO to see whether there are any grounds upon which to take action against them, including in relation to the potential of conspiracy, fraud and/or misrepresentation.

    Given the obscene levels of commissions paid to Surge / RPDigital questions should be asked as to whether those parties had carried out formal independent due diligence on the entities who benefited from the monies they were raising. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the levels of commissions they were taking allied to the returns they were marketing meant that it was unlikely that investors would get all their money back!

    If their websites or agents made any misleading statements or less than full and complete disclosure of the risks to investors then the authorities must pursue whatever avenues are open to it in order to ensure that Surge / RPDigital and their executives are also held accountable for any losses suffered by investors.

    As it stands, Surge has simply swapped selling LCF bonds to selling other bonds – and still charging 20% commissions. Commissions to IFAs were banned years ago – so why are these unregulated marketeers permitted to operate? How many other failed LCFs do Surge executives get rich on before the authorities take action?

    Should commissions for all those marketing financial products be capped?

  2. Pain has a way of twisting us up
    and making us think and do the unthinkable. A small percentage
    of the 10,000 bond holders must be feeling the same way. The wrong doers should ensure the bondholders are repaid in full
    for their own good.

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