Mis-sold Ethical Foresty Investments
Ethical Forestry Ltd, a Bournemouth based investment provider investing in a plantation of trees in Costa Rica, went into liquidation back in 2015. As a result of this, thousands of UK investors may have lost considerable sums of money they had earmarked for private pensions.
The investment model, based on the planting, cultivation and harvesting of Melina Hardwood over 12 years, was pitched to investors as a secure, high-yield and environmentally-friendly opportunity with a potential return of up to £104,000 at the end of the scheme. However, the investment was not as secure as it was billed to be, as the trees were still at risk from timber diseases, pests, natural disasters, bad weather, changing prices of timber and local political changes. The liquidation of the company and an investigation by the SFO (Serious Fraud Office) left investors unsure of the value of their investment, and difficulties were furthered by serious damage caused to the plantation following Hurricane Otto in 2016.
As Ethical Forestry Ltd investments were high risk, and illiquid, they weren’t suitable for ordinary investors looking to grow a pension pot. In these cases it is possible for customers to seek compensation and recoup some of their losses.