The CEO of short term secured lender West One Loans has hit back at allegations made by an investor that it acted in breach of contract after an ID fraudster targeted the lender and its investors. West One Loans has this morning reacted to several press releases that the investor, Nick Clarke, has distributed over the course of the year.
In a statement released to the press today, Mark Abrahams, CEO of West One Loans said:
“This was a sophisticated identity fraud of which the investors in this loan – including the directors of West One Loans in a personal capacity – were victims.
We always use the latest electronic identification software and will never proceed unless the borrowers’ identity has been verified by the company and a solicitor. West One Loans advanced the full amount of the loan to an individual whose passport and identity had been subject to a full ID fraud check.
Mr Clarke was introduced to West One Loans by his accountant who was fully aware of West One Loans’ lending criteria, having himself funded many previous loans and having introduced many other investors to West One Loans.
Mr Clarke says, “I had no alternative but to pursue this matter through the courts.” On the contrary, Nick Clarke had many other alternatives and refused repeated requests to meet with West One Loans. Rather, he took the decision to litigate unlike all the other investors in the loan who have worked very closely with us to date. Nick Clarke’s attempts to paint a one-sided picture in the press will have no bearing on the outcome of the case.
We can confirm that no investor has ever lost capital or interest on investments with West One Loans in over four years of lending. West One Loans has made in excess of 530 loans and lent more than £170 million. We have over 180 private investors who have formed a strong ongoing relationship with West One Loans over the years. With regards to this particular loan, while West One Loans does not guarantee loans, we are taking active steps to seek to recover investors’ funds through a number of channels.
The other individuals who have been affected by this fraud have worked closely with West One Loans and continue to fund new loans through West One Loans. This is, of course, the biggest vote of confidence the company could wish for from its investors.