INVESTORS in a bonds scheme – owed more than £30million by Darwen-based firms – are now being offered just seven pence in the pound on their nest-eggs.

Administrators had warned that those who had put money into Bolton outfit Harewood Associates could receive just 16 pence in the pound back.

But further investigations by Begbies Traynor have revealed the fall-out from the firm, run by Peter and David Kiely, was worse than expected.

The two largest outstanding sums for Harewood Associates were due from Sherwood Homes and Harewood Venture Capital, at £19.2million and £16.7million respectively.

However attempts to recoup the outstanding cash from the two entities, both owned by the Kielys vehicle Clifton Argyle, based in Dalton Court, Darwen, have proved to be unsuccessful.

Administrator Paul Stanley has confirmed Begbies has been able to recover an expected £2.8million from another of their Dalton Court firms, Lansdowne Investment Partnership

He says an initial payment of £500,000 has been received and £2.3million was due in phased instalments between this month and October 2020.

More than 880 Harewood creditors had been identified, as far back as June, with some investments topping £100,000 and one even reaching £250,000.

Investors had been lured into securing bonds, based on property schemes, offering returns on savings of around eight per cent.

Administrators also say a further £40,979 has been repaid by Walmer Homes Northern, a former Darwen property firm, with Peter Kiely as a director.

Mr Stanley also added: “The director Peter Kiely had an overdrawn director’s account. The sum of £14,600 was received from Mr Kiely.”

Another of the Kielys’ Darwen-registered offshoots, Southworth Construction, which owed £1million, was wound up by administrators last month.

The prospects of recouping a further £1.16million, under a Blackburn property investment involving another subsidiary, Equalscale, and Heron Homes, are said to be zero.

Mr Stanley added: “The revised best case estimate for dividend is seven pence in the pound. This is calculated based on the current estimated realisations, estimated costs and estimated creditor claims of circa £32million.”

The company will now be moved into creditors voluntary liquidation. Any likely returns would not affect any legal actions investors might take out.

The Financial Conduct Authority, amid a string of collapses involving similar mini-bond investment schemes, has announced a ban on marketing them to retail customers, which will come into force from January 1.

In the space of a year, Harewood Associates had gone from posting a £4m profit to a £4.3m loss.

Investors were first warned something might be awry when they were told not to expect promised dividends on June 1. Administrators were appointed a short time later.