N&P loans to help worried investors
INVESTORS have been handed a lifeline by a city building society as they continue to wait to find out if their investments are safe.
Norwich & Peterborough Building Society (N&P) is offering an interest-free loan to its 1,600 customers who bought income-generated products from Keydata Investment Services, which has since fallen into administration.
The loan is available as a lump sum to help cover income payments which have not been made to customers by Keydata since January.
If taken up, the loan would not need to be repaid if the customers do not receive a return on their investment before the end of the loan term on December 31.
The move comes after N&P’s independent financial advice arm sold a range of products from Keydata Investment Services to around 3,500 people.
In June 2009 Keydata was placed into administration and an investigation was launched a month later by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Despite Keydata’s problems, investors were still receiving in comegenerated payments until they dried up in January 2010.
Since then N&P, based at Peter- borough Business Park, in Lynch Wood, has come under criticism from its customers, who feel they are in the dark over the future of their investments.
N&P’s chief executive Matthew Bullock said: “It’s disappointing there has not been more significant progress.
“In the meantime, we are well aware some of our customers who chose to invest in Keydata products for income are facing income difficulties following the suspension of their income payments.
“I shall be writing to our Keydata customers this week whose income has ceased, inviting applications for an interest-free loan to help cover the income payments they should have received this year.”
But the 1,900 people who bought capital investments in Keydata through N&P cannot apply for the loan and they still face an anxious wait to find out if they will receive a return on their investment.
And Mr Bullock stressed that the loan offer does not mean that N&P are taking legal liability for the difficulties suffered by Keydata invest- ments.
He said: “If the relevant Keydata investors decide to apply for the loan, it will not affect their rights to pursue any complaint they may have in relation to their Keydata investment.
“If they wish to complain about N&P’s actions then they should let us have details so that we can ensure their complaint is properly investigated.
“We continue to work with the Financial Services Authority and the administrators of Keydata to seek an early resolution to this issue and we have informed them of this initiative.”
N&P has also issued a call reassuring its other 500,000 customers, who remain unaffected by the issue, that their money is safe.
A spokesperson for N&P added: “The society is still strong and safe and whatever the outcome, we are confident we can cover it.”
Investor Tony Hunt, from Downham Market, who has set up the pressure group Norwich & Peterborough Victims, has welcomed the building society’s move.
He said: “It is good news for people who are in a desperate situation.
“People had felt alone and confused, but this is a help.”
LIFELINE: N&P chief executive Matthew Bullock.