Bank offers support to investors in failed £45m property scheme

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YORKSHIRE BANK is offering financial support to investors who lost £45m in a failed African property investment vehicle.

Arck LLP offered investors the chance to make very high returns from unregulated investments in property development schemes in Cape Verde with no risk to capital.

It raised £45m from 700 investors between 2006 and 2011, but the Nottingham company’s bank account was later found to contain just £25.87. Arck went into liquidation in 2012.

Yorkshire Bank provided banking facilities to Arck and received investors’ money into accounts in its name. There is no suggestion it was affiliated with or implicated in the investment schemes.

The Financial Conduct Authority said Yorkshire Bank is writing to some investors with offers of financial support.

The lender is offering to take the place of those investors as creditor. It made provisions for the support scheme in last year’s accounts, a spokesman said.

David Thorburn, chief executive of Yorkshire Bank, said: “Arck falsely represented our position; we could not have provided the protection they implied. But we believe it is right to support those who invested on the strength of our brand and the protection they believed they were getting.

“The approach we have agreed with the FCA is a positive step; providing an opportunity for a quicker resolution for many of the investors, while we seek to recover the funds through other avenues.”

Police have charged former Arck partners Kathryn Joy Clark and Richard Aston Clay with fraud and forgery offences.