Thursday, 4 February 2016

Crowdcube must be held accountable for Rebus

The Rebus debacle just keeps going.

It turns out that Crowdcube published the pitch with one of the key members of the team listed as Richard Rhys.

He is described in the pitch  -

Working for the board helping the business launch to the market. Richard has been one of the driving forces behind Rebus. He started his career in the British Army as a mechanical engineer, before moving to the world of Financial Services where he applied his skills in a number of areas including complex products and structured debt solutions.

In 2012 Rhys was banned by the then FSA -  full prohibition ban for his part in the failure of MNFA. The FSA ruling included the following - 

On the basis of the facts and matters summarised below, and set out in more detail in section 4 of this notice, the FSA has concluded that the EBP Scheme was promoted in a way that risked it being mis-sold to the investors and Mr Rhys was directly responsible for this. In particular, the FSA has concluded that Mr Rhys:

(1) made statements in order to promote the EBP Scheme that obviously risked misleading investors (and did in fact mislead them), without applying his mind to that risk; 

(2) caused MNFA to promote the EBP Scheme without conducting proper due diligence and without complying with the regulatory standards, including the required statutory and regulatory promotional requirements for an unregulated collective investment scheme; Page 3 of 26 

(3) failed to inform himself of and understand the relevant UCIS requirements; and (4) failed to take any steps to ensure MNFA assessed the suitability of its advice to customers.

So you have to ask the Crowdcube out to lunch department what was on the menu the day they did their robust Due Diligence on Rebus - the DD that allowed a banned individual to be part of a front for the promotion of a £800k plus equity sale to the public. 

Quite simply why was this information missed out of the Rebus Prospectus?

We'd like to say we told you so but that wouldn't help. Crowdcube must be held to account.


  1. Technically Crowdcube are liable if this is on the pitch detail. Play with fire without a fire extinguisher and get burnt!

  2. Just searching on the net and reading this "employs banned adviser" would have seen the alarm bells go off for any "switched on" investor:

    "Ucis claims firm Rebus withdraws misleading advert
    By Samuel Dale 16th August 2012 10:19 am
    FSA Sky 480

    Ucis claims firm Rebus Investment Solutions has withdrawn misleading advertising on its website following complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

    Money Marketing today revealed that Rebus employs banned adviser Richard Rhys, who was struck off by the FSA for Ucis misselling."

    He's linkedin profile says this:


    Currently open to reviewing opportunities
    January 2016 – Present (2 months)"

    1. Well Gordo Q is why were Crowdcube not aware of it. Of course they have done their usual and this is all now being ignored.

  3. Caveat emptor again. At the end of the day crowdcube have a duty to an extent but if I am going to invest in a company I would do my own due diligence...

    1. Caveat emptor only works if the platforms disclose information. It is often difficult or impossible to get accurate information as a member of the public - CH is notorious for being full of false accounts and AR01s. Oddly in this case the stuff was there on the internet but people still invested - ?? The Crowdcube published accounts for the previous year are not aligned with the ones filed at CH but I suspect the Co, which had 3 bits, shuffled stuff around to create a good picture.