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UK fraud watchdog probes mini-bond firm

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office opened an investigation into individuals linked to London Capital & Finance PLC, which entered into administration in January after regulators restricted the company over concerns about the firm's marketing of so-called mini-bonds as fixed-rate individual savings accounts to investors.

The move followed a referral from the Financial Conduct Authority, which previously froze LCF's assets and banned it from any regulated activity. At the time, the FCA said LCF's marketing of the bonds was "misleading, not fair and unclear," and that the company used the bonds to lend to corporate borrowers.

The SFO said four individuals were arrested March 4 but were released pending further investigation.