Carbon Credits investment schemes
Carbon Credits is a generic term relating to permits allowing businesses or countries to produce certain levels of CO2 emissions, which can be traded if the permitted allowance is not fully used.
There are a number of unregulated investment schemes (UCIS) relating to Carbon Credits held in various forms as pension investments with Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) providers such as Pointon York. In 2012, they announced an industry first with their partnership with the now dissolved Carbon Advice Group and the launch of their “flexible, low-cost, technology enabled tax wrapper that provides an ethical investment solution for their clients.”
A complex web of companies
One of the biggest players in the Carbon Credits investment marketplace was Gavin Manerowski and his company MH Carbon Limited. They were one of a number of companies who bought Carbon Credits from Eco-Synergies Ltd before selling them on as trusted investments to the public at nearly 900 times the original price.
MH Carbon was wound up in May 2014 but not before Manerowski raked in over £14 million from investors on false promises that certificates would increase in value and could be on-sold for a profit. In reality, the business was nothing but a shambles, no accurate company records were held and investors lost a huge amount of money.
The scam involved a complex web of companies including:
- Eco-Synergies Nominees Limited
- Alternative Capital Limited
- Beta Commodities Limited
- Capital Acquisitions Limited
- City Asset Partnership Limited
- Cleartrade Limited
- C T Carbon Limited
- New Frontier Advisory Limited
- Wealth Capital Limited
- World Commodity Trading Limited
- Worldwide Commodity Partners
However, in 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning against investing in schemes relating to Carbon Credits due to a number of concerns with this type of investment.
Firstly, despite promises to the contrary, there simply wasn’t a secondary market to allow Carbon Credit investments to be traded. They were also sold at hugely inflated prices, with large introducer commissions changing hands
Secondly, as with similar failed Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) investments, pension holders often receive unsolicited contact from introducers employing high pressure sales tactics and making big promises of the “next big thing” in commodity trading. Two of the many companies involved in this kind of questionable activity were Sipp-Able and Henderson Carter. Both offered potential investors the opportunity to get a piece of the action via either a £5k SIPP investment or £3k in cash.
The unethical behaviour is not just limited to third party introducers. It has come to light that the SIPP provider Liberty Sipp have wrongly allowed their customers to place their pension savings into failed unregulated overseas carbon credits schemes from organisations such as Carbonex and Aston Lloyd. A move that has cost hundreds of pension-holders several million pounds in losses.
Do you have a claim?
If you invested in a Carbon Credits scheme or had dealings with any of the companies above and lost money, you may be entitled to compensation. The experts at Beat the Banks can analyse your case to establish if you have grounds to make a claim and guide you through the claims process. Call us on 0800 193 1234 for honest, reliable advice about how we can help you.