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  #21  
Old 23.04.2010, 12:01
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

They're also pushing:
Multi-Index Autocallable Notes
Fixed returns linked to the performance of 3 equity indices.
From RBS. 5 year tem.

I read the prospectus, and it's not that clear what's going on.
The only thing which is certain are the charges, as per usual.

Maybe they are a good investment vehicle, maybe they are not.
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  #22  
Old 26.04.2010, 13:30
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

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I've currently got one of these financial advisors bombarding me with phone calls and emails... I think the name rhymes with Top Gear They seem to know a lot about me, which suggests someone I know referred me or they are scouring LinkedIn for leads. Glad I know its all a con, the lady I spoke to sounded very convincing and pally.
Which shows they are getting cleverer. They guy who was bombarding me obviously hadn't done his homework very well and didn't know some facts about me that he could easily have googled or read on Linked In. In fact he didn't even listen to the stuff I told him initially, while I still thought there might be something in it) as what he offered me later didn't match this at all. It seemed to me that all his arguments were pre-rehearsed speeches that he had memorised and would trigger off in response to my questions, regardless of whether they actually related to my questions or not. After a while they started repeating themselves and I noticed he used precisely the same sentences and expressions which suggests it was all learnt by heart.
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  #23  
Old 17.06.2010, 11:10
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

To quickly resurrect this - I was the recipient of a call from one of these charming organisations today. The guy on the end of the phone was very smooth, very polished, and clearly not based in Switzerland.

I would go so far as to say - never buy anything off anyone who cold calls you to sell something. If you wanted or needed the product/service - you would look for it.

Oh, and a side issue - what absolute guff they talk. It took me about 30 seconds to work out what the hell the guy was on about, and I work in Finance. Even then my initial reply was "Sorry, what on earth has this got to do with me?".

You have been warned.
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  #24  
Old 17.06.2010, 11:16
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

also had one of these calls a couple of days ago, guy wouldn't take no for an answer so ended up hanging up on him.
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  #25  
Old 17.06.2010, 11:17
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

Its not necessarily only the UK citizens who get targetted. I am Indian and two different companies have cold called me in the past year to advise me on an investment portfolio.
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  #26  
Old 17.06.2010, 11:30
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

Not here but elsewhere, I bited a retirement annuity once long time ago with monthly installments initially quite high but then I reduced it to 1/3 of the original value and (as OP stated above), the charges increased. If I could I would get rid of this policy but then the penalties will be accrued. As with all these similar long term money making schemes, you do not have access to your money until the age of 55 years old. The broker gets commission and he will always try to convince you to keep it going. Had I had a chance and wiser long ago, I would have gotten rid of it straightaway before it's not too late.
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  #27  
Old 18.06.2010, 16:49
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

Some time a ago I was also contacted by a guy offering financial services unsolicited. I'm non-Brit, so I don't think it has so much to do with nationality...He said that he is recommended by colleagues of mine...I asked who? but he couldn't or didn't want to name anyone. I'm pretty sure he found my details on LinkedIn and made the cold call from that...

Last edited by Piafia; 18.06.2010 at 16:50. Reason: word order...
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  #28  
Old 18.06.2010, 17:20
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

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Some time a ago I was also contacted by a guy offering financial services unsolicited. I'm non-Brit, so I don't think it has so much to do with nationality...He said that he is recommended by colleagues of mine...I asked who? but he couldn't or didn't want to name anyone. I'm pretty sure he found my details on LinkedIn and made the cold call from that...
In my company this guy frequently comes into the building to talks to people there. So he gets past security with his meeting invitation but rather than going out again when the meeting is over he wanders around corridors gleaning names off floor plans, signs etc and obviously homes in on the ones that sound as of they could be expats. I've observed this on two occasions. Once you have somebody's name it's quite easy to cold call them through the switchboard.
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  #29  
Old 24.06.2010, 13:13
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

I met a chap who had had some sort of interaction with 'our boys' recently, and was surprised he'd got involved considering the information available here and there.

Anyway, as a reminder to people of how they work, this is interesting:
http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2...e-explanation/

And as for expats investing in Bonds (which they push as safe) or Banking in the Chanel Islands, Isle of Man etc, the comments tell a different story to the article:
http://expatmoney.blogspot.com/2010/...e-pile-of.html

Looks like bondholders are at the bottom of the food chain when things go wrong.
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  #30  
Old 21.07.2010, 12:26
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

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Hello All,
I thought I'd start this one up again as before Christmas the very long thread on our favourite offshore financial advisers was pulled
This time however, please make sure no-one names names !

So, what is the scenario here?
You are an expat, usually from the UK, working in Switzerland.
You receive a call at work or home by a plausible character offering a free financial consultation. You show up, and are sold a tax efficient offshore savings plan that offers tax free growth and is a life assurance plan to boot!
Usually there will be a seemingly high interest paying bond with a bank paying 10% or more!
Also, you do not pay the advisor any direct commission at all!
Sounds too good to be true? Well, you are correct, it is too good to be true.

Basically you are sold a fixed term savings plan. They will use the phrases 'tax efficient wrapper' and 'tax free growth' when explaining that your investments are held under a fixed term life assurance policy (remeber endowments to pay your mortgage?) You are free to pick whatever investment funds offered by the life assurance company and are allowed to change between these funds as often as you like.

However, these policies are heavily front loaded with the charges and can take up to 8 years to break even or even longer.
Indeed, the first two years of payments to the assurance company goes to pay the commission to the salesmen who sold you the policy in the first place.
So after two years you do not have a penny banked. Then your money flows into the funds, and starts to 'grow'. However, the yearly admin charges are running at approx 5-6%, so even if your funds perform miracles and gets 8-9% return, your real return is 2 or 3%. This is why it takes so long to break even.

If you cancel your policy after any time, the provider will take all the commission that you contracted for. eg, you sign a 10 year policy, cancel after 6 years, the provider will take the missing 4 years of charges out of your fund and return what's left.
If you increase your monthly payments, the charges go up. If you reduce your payments, the charges stay at the higher level.
Payment holiday? No problem, but you pay those charges as if you were still paying in.

These salesmen are not qualified independent financial advisers. Indeed in Switzerland, they are not allowed to sell products to any Swiss citizen.
The salesmen are commission only, so no sell, no salary.

In effect, you are a temporary resident here, buying a foreign financial product product ( ie, non-Swiss) that is held in a further foreign country (usually the Channel Islands or Isle of Man, where the finance companies run the govt.), off an unregulated company. So you really have nowhere to go if you feel aggreived or ripped off.

The end result is a financial product with massive downsides and very little upside potential.
Remember, the charges are real and will happen, the predicted growth is only speculation.

So, this should get the thread going! I'm pretty sure there are many poor souls who have one of these policies.

As a final note, if anyone knows of anyone anywhere who has benefited from one of these plans then please let us know. I won't be holding my breath though.
There is no end to scams, nor to schemes that are not scams but which have oversize fees and commissions, many involving insurance and annuities. At one time there were real tax advantages (just as, in the days of 90% marginal income tax rates in the UK Lloyd's of London was tax effective; but when tax rates fell, Lloyd's became more or less a scam relying on its "reputation" to reel in middle-class investors who wound up reinsuring cheaply the risks held by the insiders).

The variable annuity business was part of this; but when returns fell following the market crash, the guaranteed returns turned out not to be so bad for many previous buyers. Those "guarantees" were soon abolished for new buyers, and some of the companies that marketed the schemes fell on hard times. There's an SEC warning now: http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/varannty.htm

A major risk to expats is that the UK government protections that apply to UK-resident investors may not protect them. Think of Barlow Clowes, whose UK investors had a remedy against the DTI, but offshore investors sold the same scheme (invest in gilts and get more than market returns -- hey, wasn't that similar to Madoff's pitch?) out of Gibraltar lost everything.
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  #31  
Old 31.08.2010, 17:27
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

Is the "company which must not be named" (CWMNBN) sprouting in all directions? Has it found a way to live on through "IFAs" who claim not to be associated with it?

It's possible that "IFAs" from the CWMNBN are now setting up mini financial advisory companies as offshoots of the CWMNBN. At least one former(?)CWMNBN "IFA" now has his own little "IFA" company, with its own name and website. There's no mention of the CWMNBN anywhere on the website. However, the names of the investment companies promoted by the CWMNBN are mentioned. This little company is also a member of an international "alliance" of so-called independent financial advisers, which an article from the Daily Telegraph shows is in fact owned by the CWMNBN.
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  #32  
Old 23.02.2011, 21:46
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

Mrs Mainwaring got a call today from the [company name removed after they threatened to sue] outfit. A quick check reveals they have an office address that is shared with 37 other companies
which doesn't inspire confidence.
Anyhow, just bumping this thread as it seems the sharks are still about, so they must be feeding on poor unsuspecting souls and the never ending influx of expats to CH.
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  #33  
Old 23.02.2011, 22:41
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

My husband received a phone-call from one of these 'gentlemen' only a day after he'd registered on another expat social website with a large Lake Geneva presence (I'm unsure if I should name it as we are not 100% sure it come from here) that had his place of work listed.

They called him on his work number and advised that he had been referred to them as suitable for their services. Initially my husband was ready to listen, but postponed their appointment as he had a work engagement. But after asking around it become very apparent that no-one he knew had referred him, the company had little to no web presence and no-one we knew had heard of them.

It all started to look exceedingly dodgy.My husband said that initially it sounded legitimate. We had so many appointments and meetings set up for us by the company and relocation agent during that time that he assumed this was just another. He called to inquire who had provided the referral and the gentleman refused to say. So my husband advised he was cancelling his meeting. The gentleman then got extremely agressive and advised that my husband was responsible for wasting his time, yelled at him and sent him an abusive email, all of which just confirmed that cancelling was the best thing to have done.
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  #34  
Old 23.02.2011, 22:58
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

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My husband received a phone-call from one of these 'gentlemen' only a day after he'd registered on another expat social website with a large Lake Geneva presence (I'm unsure if I should name it as we are not 100% sure it come from here) that had his place of work listed.

They called him on his work number and advised that he had been referred to them as suitable for their services. Initially my husband was ready to listen, but postponed their appointment as he had a work engagement. But after asking around it become very apparent that no-one he knew had referred him, the company had little to no web presence and no-one we knew had heard of them.

It all started to look exceedingly dodgy.My husband said that initially it sounded legitimate. We had so many appointments and meetings set up for us by the company and relocation agent during that time that he assumed this was just another. He called to inquire who had provided the referral and the gentleman refused to say. So my husband advised he was cancelling his meeting. The gentleman then got extremely agressive and advised that my husband was responsible for wasting his time, yelled at him and sent him an abusive email, all of which just confirmed that cancelling was the best thing to have done.
And the moral of this story is: as soon as you suspect something and hear an increasingly irrate tone in the sellers voice initiate a torrent of abuse!
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  #35  
Old 24.02.2011, 07:54
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

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And the moral of this story is: as soon as you suspect something and hear an increasingly irrate tone in the sellers voice initiate a torrent of abuse!
Or in my husbands case, let him continue the diatribe to the dial tone (hence the email )
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  #36  
Old 07.03.2011, 21:20
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

Had another call from an other outfit of cold callers, name rhymes with "Face Belgrade", based in Zurich.
A quick check reveals trading for about 18 months, the office address is multi occupancy, which also holds a rent by the hour/secretarial company.

Anyhow, the website looks plush, with a picture of a super yacht on it.

Has anyone got any info on these guys? and has anyone made enough from their investments with them to buy the yacht yet?
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Old 07.03.2011, 21:29
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

I've even taught my kids that cold calls are NEVER to be accepted, rather, just put down the phone without hanging up.

Sorry, but even if legit, they should write me first and request an appointment. If they don't, they can FO. This is the case even for some of my work colleagues!

Tom
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  #38  
Old 08.03.2011, 08:28
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

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they should write me first and request an appointment. If they don't, they can FO.
I'm the same with my mum.
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  #39  
Old 08.03.2011, 10:22
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

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has anyone made enough from their investments with them to buy the yacht yet?
for the Shutterstock version maybe?
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  #40  
Old 08.03.2011, 13:08
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Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats

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for the Shutterstock version maybe?
Well, as no-one has ever come forward to say that they have actually turned a profit out of a product sold by one of these companies, you may well be correct.

Or is there someone out there who has ?????
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