Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) manager Northern Provident Investments has gone into liquidation, leaving its 20 IFISA-eligible bonds in limbo.
The Belfast-based investment company officially entered creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 20 August 2021.
It was first authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in July 2015, and went on to gain approval from HMRC to act as an IFISA manager.
According to newly-released correspondence by the FCA, in February 2020, the regulator told Northern Provident Investments that it must cease approving financial promotions for issuers of mini-bonds. This followed the FCA’s temporary ban on the marketing of mini-bonds, which came into force on 1 January 2020.
Soon after, Northern Provident placed a message on its website telling users that it was no longer offering mini-bonds.
In August 2021, a message replaced the website, stating that “Northern Provident is ceasing to trade and will no longer perform any operations on behalf of its customers.”
At the point of liquidation, Northern Provident Investments acted as IFISA manager of 20 bonds. These included a litigation finance IFISA (Just ISA), a care home investment fund (Barbican ISA), and the Azurite ISA – an IFISA-eligible bond which funds property renovations in Monaco.
Northern Provident also acted as ISA manager on mini-bond provider Blackmore Bonds, which entered into administration in April 2020 amid claims that investors had not received repayments.
Other bonds under Northern Provident’s care included the Absolute ISA, the Acorn ISA Bond, the Choices ISA, Convivia Capital’s Convivia ISA, Fluid ISA, FREE Wind ISA, Knightsbridge Capital Bond, the Northbridge ISA, the property-backed Ziphouse IFISA, Access Commercial bonds, Astute Capital’s IFISA, and Satchi Holdings’ ISA-eligible bond.
It also managed IFISA-eligible bonds on behalf of the Haletone/Shetland Space Centre, Synthesis Analytics UK, Summit Resorts & Development Ltd, The Electric Vehicle Company, and Leonne International.
In a message on its website, Northern Provident told bond investors: “Your investment continues as before and is not affected by Northern Provident Investments ceasing to trade.
“Northern Provident Investments does not hold any of your funds or securities and you are not invested in Northern Provident Investments.
“The bond issuer with whom you are invested in continues to trade and your bonds continue to be active.”
It added: “Northern Provident Investments will cease to provide the ISA wrapper through which your investment has been made once in liquidation, but this does not mean you have lost your investment or indeed lost the ability to have your ISA provided by another manager.
“Your bond issuer…will seek to make arrangements to ensure that your ISA is taken over by another ISA manager.”
At the time of writing it was not clear whether new ISA manager arrangements had been made.
The FCA has warned consumers to be wary of scammers in the wake of the company’s liquidation.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is in the early stages of investigating whether there are any claims against Northern Provident Investment that meet the qualifying conditions for compensation.
Jason Baker and Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory Trading Limited have been appointed as liquidators.
Affected investors can contact the liquidators at northernprovidentinvestments@FRPadvisory.com.