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Peer2Peer Finance News | June 22, 2017

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Wellesley & Co narrowly avoids being struck off

Wellesley & Co narrowly avoids being struck off
Kathryn Gaw

PEER-TO-PEER lender Wellesley & Co has avoided being struck off the Companies House register after filing its late accounts at the eleventh hour.

Last week, the firm received a First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off from Companies’ House, giving it two months to file its accounts before being struck off the register and dissolved.

However, a statement on Companies House on Wednesday said: “Compulsory strike-off action has been discontinued. This document is being processed and will be available in five days.”

A representative for Wellesley told Peer-to-Peer Finance News that the filing delay was down to a number of factors, all of which have now been resolved.

Firstly, the firm wanted to give the new chief financial officer Alasdair Lenman time to review company procedures and implement the transition to IFRS accounting standards. Secondly, Wellesley was in the process of fundraising from current shareholders and management in September 2016, although this has now been completed. And finally, the firm was taking time to prepare an annual review for publication alongside the financial statements.

Read more: Wellesley stops offering longer-term P2P loans to investors

The representative added that the audited financial statements for the 18-month period to 31 December 2015 and annual review will be publicly available “imminently”, with the review said to “provide further transparency on Wellesley’s business model, market opportunity and strategy”. The company last filed accounts with Companies House in June 2014.

Wellesley & Co was founded in 2013 by Graham Wellesley, 8th Earl Cowley. He remains the company’s chief executive officer and largest shareholder, contributing £2.35m of the £2.525m which was raised in September’s fundraising round. This investment was partially supported by a 12-month loan through the platform at a 10 per cent rate of interest and will be repaid through the sale of a property which is owned by the hereditary peer.

The company recently started a new fundraising campaign on crowdfunding site Seedrs, in which it aims to raise at least £1.5m.