The investigation established that Investment Building Bank of London Plc (“IBBL”), which for a time occupied prestigious offices in Knightsbridge, operated a website, ib-bank.com and ran adverts in a national newspaper promoting itself as “an international building and investment company” with alleged projects planned for the construction of residential and commercial property in London. IBBL also claimed to offer ‘an opportunity to invest’ in the company through the purchase of promissory notes which attracted generous rates of return.
Despite these grandiose claims, the investigation found no evidence to substantiate IBBL’s claimed investment projects or any evidence to support the claimed returns achievable through the purchase of its promissory notes. The Insolvency Service’s investigators were unable to make direct contact with the IBBL directors, Andrey Biba and Maxim Chernov, both of whom are described as Russian nationals, and who appear to be resident abroad.
The Insolvency Service Chief Executive, Stephen Speed, said:
“We will continue to crack down on the minority of rogue companies like these that seek to prosper by making false claims and by exploiting honest people looking to invest. The public should be on their guard against the activities of unscrupulous operators and this verdict sends a clear message that we will take action to close them down”.
The Insolvency Service’s investigation also found that IBBL, which was incorporated in April 2007, failed to file accounts and an annual return which were due on 9 May 2008 and 11 November 2008 respectively. Soon after the investigation began, IBBL abandoned its rented offices, leaving rent unpaid, and no information was available as to the present whereabouts of the Company.
The High Court found that it was expedient in the public interest that IBBL be wound up.
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