04 June 2008

Land Banker in administration

The FSA has finally asked the High Court to wind one of the largest UK land banking operators. It has been granted an interim freezing and restraining order against UKLI Limited to protect its assets for creditors, including investors.

UK land Investments acquired mainly greenfield sites it claimed had development potential, it then divided these sites into smaller plots, then advertised and sold these plots of land to people by claiming that it could get planning permission for the land, which would increase in value and make investors a large profit once it was sold to a developer.

It is estimated that around 5000 plots have been sold to investors across the country and that around £69 million has been paid to UKLI for various sites where it is claimed that none of the land sold was ever granted planning permission.

As UKLI operated as a Collective Investment Scheme it should have been authorised by the FSA. As it was not regulated, UKLI Investors are not entitled to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service or to claim compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

It is quite surprising that it has taken the FSA this long to take action and when some action has finally been taken it seems a little too late for the many who have lost out.

A statement by the Administrators is on the UKLI website: http://www.ukli.com/
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