Press release

Carbon credits and gold investment company which targeted the elderly and vulnerable is wound up in the public interest

Kendrick Zale Ltd, a broking company which sold carbon credits and gold mining partnerships as investment opportunities was wound up in the public interest by the High Court on 16 July 2014 for making false claims about investment returns.

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The closure follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The investigation found that Kendrick Zale had traded from a rented office at 70 Mary Axe in the City of London until September 2013, engaging 20 people at its peak. The company mainly sold carbon credits to members of the public, as investment opportunities, making unsubstantiated claims as to likely investment returns, including that customers would expect to see the price of carbon credits they had purchased at £3 rise to £7.80 to & £8 within 18 months. Up to the date it ceased trading, the company had taken over £1.1 million from members of the public for the sale of carbon credits. The company targeted vulnerable and unsuspecting individuals, typically those over 60 years of age and in a number of instances, those over 80, using high pressure sales tactics.

Welcoming the court’s decision to wind-up the company, David Hill, a Chief Investigator with the Insolvency Service, said:

In spite of their grand claims, this company’s services, were simply designed to fleece vulnerable investors

I would urge anyone cold-called and pressured to invest in any kind of investment to simply end the call as genuine investments are not likely to be sold in such a manner.

No one should be left in any doubt that the Insolvency Service will continue to take robust action whenever serious failings are discovered and in particular against contemptible companies as in this case, preying on vulnerable investors.

The company failed to even provide ownership rights to those customers who had purchased carbon credits, instead those customers purchases were held in sub accounts in third party names.

The Financial Conduct Authority and Environment Agency have issued warnings concerning the viability of carbon credits as investment products, stating that carbon credits, both Voluntary Emission Reduction and Certified Emission Reduction types, are not suitable as investment products for members of the public.

Notes to Editors

Kendrick Zale Ltd was incorporated on 20 March 2013. Its registered office is 2 Woodberry Grove, Finchley, N12 0DR, the address of a company formation agent. The sole recorded director is Manjeet Matharu.

The petition to wind up the company was presented in the High Court on 15 May 2014 under the provisions of section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 following confidential enquiries by Company Investigations under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985, as amended.

Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Further information about live company investigations can be found on our website at https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-a-limited-company

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice. Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service

By virtue of the winding up order all public enquiries concerning the affairs of the companies should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT. Telephone: 0207 637 1110 Email: piu.or@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

Media enquiries only should be directed to: Kathryn Montague, Media & Campaigns Manager on 0207 674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Media Manager on 0207 596 6187.

You can now subscribe to get e-mail alerts from the Insolvency Service. To subscribe, go to our website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service and you will see a button to “sign up for email alerts and newsletters”, or click on the following link: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKIS/subscriber/new

The Insolvency Service is now on twitter, you can follow us at @insolvencygovuk.

Published 12 August 2014