Charles Amaning, a director of Windward Capital Limited (WC), a company which sold alternative investments and was based at 50 Broadway, London SW1H 0RG has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills to be disqualified as a director for a period of 14 years for selling Rare Earth Metals (REMs) to members of the public as an investment.
The disqualification regime exists to protect the public and Mr Amaning’s disqualification from 28 March 2016, means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2030.
This disqualification follows investigation by the Official Receiver at the Public Interest Unit, a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced with the winding up of the company in the public interest, in the wake of an investigation by Company Investigations - also of the Insolvency Service - into the affairs of the company.
The Official Receiver’s investigation uncovered that between 2012 and 2014 WC made sales of approximately half a million pounds by cold calling members of the public to sell them REMs. The REMs sold by WC to members of the public were wholly unsuitable as an investment as there was no market for REMs without industry certification and in the quantities sold by NFA.
Commenting on this case Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:
Mr Amaning should have known that the rare earth metals the company was selling were wholly unsuitable as an investment particularly given the absence of a marketplace where investors could sell their rare earth metals.
The Insolvency Service will pursue delinquent directors who mislead honest members of the public so as to part them from their savings.
Notes to Editors
Windward Capital Limited (CRO number: 08029519) was incorporated on 13 April 2012. Its trading address was at 50 Broadway, London SW1H 0RG.
The petition to wind up the company was presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations and Skills in the public interest following an investigation conducted by Company Investigations (Live), another specialist unit within the Insolvency Service which uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 (as amended) to conduct confidential enquiries into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations & Skills (BIS). The winding up order against Windward Capital Limited was made on 4 February 2015.
On 1 March 2016, Charles Amaning signed a disqualification undertaking for a period of 14 years. The period of disqualification will commence on 28 March 2016.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
- act as a director of a company
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
- be a receiver of a company’s property
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.
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.
All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit (South), The Insolvency Service, 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London WC1B 3SS. Tel: 020 7637 6496 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Published: 24 March 2016
From: The Insolvency Service