15 Mar 2018
A warning from a financial regulator has alerted individuals to a scheme which involves investing in car parks across the UK.
The investment scheme, run and promoted by Park First Limited or related entities, initially offered six year leases on airport car parking spaces with projected returns of over 12% in years five and six.
According to the Financial Conduct Authority, these investments were classed as collective investment schemes, which only authorised firms or people can operate or promote. Park First is unregulated and not permitted to provide regulated financial services.
Park First agreed to stop running and promoting the original schemes and is now offering investors in the car parks, located at Gatwick and Glasgow, the choice of getting their investment back or moving into its new Lifetime Leaseback scheme.
However, the FCA has said that the Lifetime Leaseback scheme, which relates to the same car parks as the original scheme, is not a collective investment scheme and is not regulated by the FCA. It also said that it does not endorse the scheme or any other Park First investment. It added that it has not verified the factual accuracy of the promotional material for the Lifetime Leaseback scheme.
Allan Gardner, Financial Services Director at Aberdein Considine said that investors need to exercise caution when presented with any investment proposals which were unregulated adding: “ Investing in this type of scheme, which might suit a minimal number of individuals with very specific investment requirements is considered very high risk, especially with it being unregulated and therefore not protected by either the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service.
For the vast majority of those planning for their financial future it doesn’t provide the safety or comfort which regulated investments offer and individuals should always take independent financial advice before proceeding with this or in fact any type of investment.”
Aberdein Considine has already begun to receive enquiries from investors who used the scheme and are now looking to exit.
David Orr, Associate, Aberdein Considine said: “It’s important that all investors properly consider the merit of their continued participation in this kind of scheme. We’re happy to speak to anyone who is interested in securing the return of their investment in a quick and cost effective manner.”
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