West One Loans settles on fraud case

West One Loans has reached a settlement agreement with an investor that was suing it for not returning its investment of £235,000 made on a bridging loan.

Salkeld Investments, wholly owned by Nick Clarke, alleged West One Loans acted in breach of contract by failing to obtain security on a £235,000 investment made on a bridging loan and a fraud trial was scheduled in November 2012 for the first available date in the new year.

Clarke’s solicitors have released a statement confirming a mutual agreement has been reached between both parties.

It says: “Salkeld Investments Limited and West One Loans Limited have reached an agreement dated 1 February 2013 whereby the parties have resolved the dispute between them to their mutual satisfaction.”

Clarke’s investment partly funded a £570,000 loan advanced to an individual claiming to be Massimo Barbini in April 2011. Law firm Mishcon de Reya was appointed to pursue Clarke’s claim that West One Loan was supposed to receive a charge over a £950,000 property in Fulham as security on the loan.

Clarke agreed to a monthly net interest rate of 1 per cent and a repayment date on the original sum of 19 November 2011. It was alleged by Clarke that West One Loans agreed not to advanced any of the money before it had obtained valid security on the property.

West One Loans advanced the full amount to an individual who was not Barbini and who did not hold a claim to the Fulham property. HM Land Registry consequently refused West One’s attempts to register a charge over the property

The firm claims there was no absolute obligation to obtain security on the loan itself but that they secured Salked’s interest by way of a legal charge.

Clarke said: “As far as I was concerned, I was sold this investment on the basis that the loan would be secured. Had I thought that West One were not guaranteeing that this would be the case, I would never have invested.

“I am very disappointed with West One’s conduct as described above and felt I had no alternative but to pursue this matter through the courts.”