Dear Bondholders and readers,
Resignations are in the air today, so I’m not alone.
I’m afraid my health has recently taken a further downward spiral, resulting in my spending most of the Bank Holiday weekend in Hospital, plus some 12 hours yesterday. This has necessitated my reviewing my plans for the foreseeable future.
I’m pleased to report that I’m up to doing a little Update today, although it has to be said there is no ARM news I can give you. Last week Ian put up the latest contribution from David Ince of Arm Investors Help regarding their fight to get the FSCS to recognise the role Rockingham Retirement played, however unintentionally, in the disaster that cost us all so much. Many bondholders have a vested interest in the outcome of this as should they be successful this would open the way to further claims on the FSCS and a reduction of the holders uncompensated losses.
This weeks update will be delayed, but should be available to view by Sunday. This is totally due to technical problems.
Thanks for your patience.
Due to ill health, Bob has been unable to do an Update this week. Hopefully he will be fit enough to put together an Update for next week.
Bob sends his apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Bob’s Weekly Update
It’s ground hog day again! Ian’s incredibly expensive Apple Mac is still back at the repair shop, which I think is disgraceful customer service, and I’m still laid low with my chest and not up to doing much.
I cough sounds so bad, that on Monday on the phone to the AHC meeting, I could hear members reaching for their face masks every time I spoke. As usual it was a long and productive meeting of which I can tell you nothing. It’s a bit like I imagine serving in the Politburo must have been during the Soviet era.
Today I want to commend to you the work being undertaken by the ARM Investors Help group led by David Ince. His Bulletin No 4 is out, so I have asked Ian to get it up on the website. If their isn’t a link attached to this note, please go straight to our website.
Hopefully, next week both myself and the Apple Mac will be restored to health and I will be able to write something fuller for you.
Have a good weekend one and all.
Due to technical difficulties Item 4 appears below.
The good news is that a few more ARM investors have indicated their support for possible extra funding, should we need it! This brings the total to 52.
Further Discussions with the FSCS
Please find below the main content of an email I received from the FSCS solicitor after my conversation on Monday 13th April:
“Further to our conversation this morning, I write to confirm our discussion. Our external advisers are reviewing the additional information you provided in respect of xxxxxx’s case. We need to meet with them to discuss their review and to discuss the Rockingham cases generally in light of the information we possess. As mentioned, depending on their views, it might be necessary for us to consider whether we need to seek expert opinion on the modelling of the ARM products.”
I am sorry that there is no more to report but felt that “no news is good news” i.e. the FSCS have not discounted our argument and have not ‘put up a brick wall’ like it has done previously. Jenna confirmed that other Rockingham (non-ARM related) clients had been granted compensation and this was one reason why it was going to review its initial decision against Rockingham. I explained that many of us felt that it is unfair and inconsistent for other Rockingham clients to have been awarded compensation and not ourselves – it was as though the FSCS was “hiding behind the legal issue of causation” so that the compensation bill would be less! The solicitor took this implied criticism well and explained that our “new information/evidence” was also affecting its current approach. The irony was not lost on me when she mentioned that she may need to engage the services of an expert regarding the ARM Business Model! Think positively – at least we don’t have to foot the bill for a Financial Planning Actuarial Consultant!! Also, this approach does confirm that the FSCS is taking our argument seriously.
Some people think that the Business Model was viable if it had been allowed to run its full course. Looking at this in pure actuarial/financial terms then I agree. However, we are looking at humans and individual investors with their own attitudes to risk and not some computer-simulated model. I believe that the success of the Business Model relied on RR (and possibly others!) making a conscious decision NOT to tell potential investors all the relevant facts about the model, especially the “high risk” liquidity risks. Would any reasonable person think that any ordinary, “low risk” retail investor would have put all their pension into one investment had they known that their money was being used to:
pay coupons to themselves
pay coupons to other investors
as well as to purchase life policies and administer the business? I think not!
The fact that RR publically stated that they had undertaken “extensive” due diligence on the Business Model and that they knew about the positive cash-flow “tipping point” in 2015 proves that they made a conscious decision not to tell potential investors relevant facts which were needed to make an informed decision. In doing this RR acted negligently and breached their legal responsibility of “duty of care” to their clients.
We agreed that I would call her in a few weeks’ time for some feedback on her planned meetings / discussions.
Hopefully the iMac problem will have been resolved.
We trust you all had a good Easter break.
I’m afraid I have another attack of chest problems and am confined to the house during the current pollution levels.
Needless to say I’m rather lacking in energy so there won’t be a BWU again this week. There is an AHC meeting scheduled for next Monday, which I will attend by phone. Being on the Underground in these conditions is something I would rather not contemplate.
I may be away next week, health permitting, for a few days for the break my wife and I intended to take over Easter. There is no internet or phone signal at the cottage, so I’m afraid next week may be a ‘no show’ as well. The last time we were there I found it necessary to leave the cottage and walk 100yds to the end of the lane before I got a signal. Wonderful in some ways, but what does one do in an emergency?
Hopefully normal service will be resumed in the not too distant future.
Enjoy the nice weather while thee may….
BDO UPDATE LINK: http://www.bdo.co.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/1326010/The-Provisional-Liquidators-Update-Report-for-the-period-from-7-February-2015-to-2-April-2015.pdf
This week we have little to report so we are taking a well earned rest. My iMac is also still not too well. After several visits to Apple where they have tried to discover why the screen blacks out, and still not rectified it has gone back to Apple to try a discover this intermittent failure. Hopefully, I will have it back next week.
Both Bob and I would like to wish you all a Happy and Restful Easter
Last week I wrote “This is one of those funny weeks were there is not a great deal of news about, except for the Budget.” Well this week you can replace the word Budget with the ghastly prospect of even more interviews which the media, filled with their overly large view of their own importance, will foist upon us. I walked to the supermarket this morning, and found the streets nearly empty of vehicles and Sainsbury’s was quiet. I am beginning to wonder if a lot of folk have gone into hiding until May 8th.
However…. I do have some ‘Regulatory’ comment for you.
This is one of those funny weeks were there is not a great deal of news about, except for the Budget. I think there are some good pensions things in it, although they are rather late in the day for most of us. The flexible ISA is one thing that a lot of us may be able to take advantage of, we will see.