FCA issues warnings over Hanover Merchant Capital and Liberty House Capital

On Monday the FCA issued a scam warning about the activities of Hanover Merchant Capital and its reboot scam Liberty House Capital.

We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.

Hanover Merchant Capital claimed to provide “annuity type income” returns of over 20% per year from investing in bottled water from New Zealand. I reviewed the investment in June 2018. In November 2018 the company did a runner, closing its website and ceasing to communicate with investors.

In March 2019 Hanover’s Swiss entity was dissolved after the Swiss liquidators found no assets. In the same month its UK entity was put into liquidation.

Liberty House Capital popped up a few months after, offering an almost identically nonsensical spiel with New Zealand bottled water replaced with Australian water.

The FCA’s warning over Hanover is clearly pointless, as it shut down almost a year ago, but appears to have been issued in tandem with a warning about its reboot scam, Liberty House Capital. Liberty House Capital’s website is still up at time of writing.

Since it ran off with everyone’s money, Hanover investors have been strung along by its director, Bruce Rowan (or someone claiming to be him), continually promising jam-tomorrow returns on an increasingly fluid future date.

No official news has emerged from the Official Receiver about the winding up of Hanover Merchant Capital’s UK entity since the court order was granted in March.

How do I get my money back from Hanover Merchant Capital or Liberty House Capital?

Your money has been stolen by scammers and the chance of recovery is minimal.

Investors who fell for this scam should change their contact details as they are likely to be targeted by – and fall for – similar scams in the future.

If anyone contacts you claiming they can recover your money, it is almost certain to be another scam. They will ask you for “legal fees” or similar which you will never see again.

If you were advised to invest in either company by an FCA-authorised adviser, you may have a claim against them which would be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. However it appears unlikely that even a corrupt FCA-authorised adviser would have recommended either.

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