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-   -   Financial Mis-selling to expats (https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxation/71732-financial-mis-selling-expats.html)

17clarence 09.01.2010 14:35

Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
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 :mad:
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. ;)

Goldtop 09.01.2010 16:35

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 17clarence (Post 663885)
...These salesmen are not qualified independent financial advisers. Indeed in Switzerland, they are not allowed to sell products to any Swiss citizen. . ;)

Are you saying that the agents are prohibited from selling to Swiss citizens but permitted selling to Swiss residents?

17clarence 09.01.2010 16:43

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Goldtop (Post 663974)
Are you saying that the agents are prohibited from selling to Swiss citizens but permitted selling to Swiss residents?

I'm pretty sure of that, but have no way of confirming it, except that on the project I'm working on, with peaks of over 200 people, only the Brit expats ever get called.
I've also had this feedback from people at Novartis who also did an 'awareness' shout, and found the same thing, Swissies and other foreigners never get called. Maybe it's just a language thing.

However, that's moving away from the point of the post. Also, I know some of these salesmen are EF members, so maybe they'd care to explain who and why?

readysteadygo 09.01.2010 17:49

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 17clarence (Post 663978)
I know some of these salesmen are EF members, so maybe they'd care to explain who and why?

Doubt they will out themselves, given these inclement times.
If you know them, do at least ask them if they feel they are doing a good job!?
It's one thing to be an annoying "tele-marketeer", easily rebuffed, but knowing that lining your own pocket may also result in someone elses downfall, needs to be re-evaluated. You may also ask them if they would invest in their own product.
Would they? Not likely. That they can do this, plain stinks to me.

rdonohew 14.01.2010 19:29

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Insurance products almost never make good investment vehicles anyway. Just get a cheap term life insurance policy and invest all your money separately.
There was a very good article by the way in the Wall Street Journal about what to look for in a financial advisor. Somewhat US-centric, but a lot of the points apply generally.
http://guides.wsj.com/personal-finan...ncial-planner/

amogles 14.01.2010 19:41

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 17clarence (Post 663978)
I'm pretty sure of that, but have no way of confirming it, except that on the project I'm working on, with peaks of over 200 people, only the Brit expats ever get called.
I've also had this feedback from people at Novartis who also did an 'awareness' shout, and found the same thing, Swissies and other foreigners never get called. Maybe it's just a language thing.

However, that's moving away from the point of the post. Also, I know some of these salesmen are EF members, so maybe they'd care to explain who and why?

I did phone the FINMA about a certain company which we aren't allowed to name on this forum, and I was told this company has the licence to sell products to certified investors but not to members of the public.

manouche 29.01.2010 16:47

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Its good to see a thread on this subject again, however it is important not to name names as they are ruthless in getting threads shut down,

I can confirm, that most of the advisers are not from a financial background and are recruited as salesmen and women, and it is their ability to sell, that gets them the commission only job, they fly in from the UK, and have to pay their own air fare and find their own apartment, and then have to get some deals going to make some money, if they don't they can't afford to stay, so they are under real pressure, and this often is why they apply high pressure techniques to get you to sign up, they will appear to be your best buddy, even though they dont really know you.

Think of a Time Share salesman in Tenerife or somewhere and thats the type of guy youll be dealing with.

The investments themselves are loaded with heavy fees up front, that's why they have usually a two year or more term in which you are unable to cancel, because the first two years of premiums are basically most of the fees, if you manage to get a look at a projection of the investment you will often see that they do not break even until year 7 or 8, depending on the amount and length of the investment,

Also you have to consider not only the charges but also the service you will be receiving, they will tell you that they will be there for you, wherever you are in the world, but often people in this business last a year or two at best and then realise its not for them, or they get found out and lose their clients, then what will you do?, will they be there to advise you when the policy matures in 10 to 20 years? , I doubt it, no way.

They will often say they are independent and can look at the whole market and give you a tailor made bespoke investment which perfectly fits your requirements, when in fact they use two or three insurance wrapper type, whole of life policies, with high commissions and little flexibility.

An important crucial part of such a policy is who is going to allocate the money you put into it each month, in other words where will the premiums be invested, which funds will be used in the wrapper?, dont worry, they say, we can do this for you.

But most of them are not financially qualified to do this, and they end up picking the same funds each time, without consideration of whether the fund is growing or losing money, they don't care once they have your commission, they have been paid, and so all they care about is the next client they can snare.

Ask them about the funds, who is the fund manager?, what do they invest in?, why have you put me into this? Do they research each fund?, No, they simply look at a list of funds and put you into a couple of medium risk funds, one low risk and a high risk, depending on your attitude to risk which they will ask you about.

Bottom line is though, they don't care, because they have been paid by then, and have moved on.

Beware, Beware, Beware, the Independant Financial Adviser, who cold calls you at work,

You have Been warned.

amogles 29.01.2010 16:58

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
About their ruthless lawyers who go around shutting down threads who do as much as mention their name:

When I was considering buying into this junk, I did google them and that's what made me play it carefully.

If a company has been around for some time (as they claim) and has a broad customer base (as they claim) you would expect some commentary and indeed some negative comments among that. You can't please everybody so somebody is bound to be unhappy. It wss the complete inability of Google to find anything but the cofficial website that was my first warning.

So if any of these guys ever get to read this, remember that next time you thank your lawyers.

jaudi 29.01.2010 17:19

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
This scheme sounds so much like the endowment policy i took out with a highly reputable 'big name' company in the UK in 1996 - still on the verge of break even after 13 years of monthly contributions....

Mark GMAS 21.02.2010 17:20

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
I have also been approached by a similar organisation that mis-represented an investment product that I sunk some money into. I am obviously looking for opportunities to claw back some funds.

My question relates to whether the person who sold a product to a person in Switzerland (B-permit) must be licensed in Switzerland in order to sell such a product. The person I purchased the product from was operating under a French licensed company.

If you know of other options for breaking these agreements, legal or otherwise, I would be happy to hear.
Thanks

TalkingHorse 04.03.2010 18:31

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Hello all,
I am an adviser working for a fully independent fee based practice here in London. I am working on my full set of investment qualifications and take my job seriously.
I am quite realistic that a huge number of people in my line of work are commission driven and will sell you crap. I am also realistic that this has led to a, fully understandable and justifiable, view that many advisers are crooks. Some of the people I have come across I would not trust to work out how to split a restaurant bill let alone have a go at proper financial planning.

My wife is Swiss and we are moving after our baby appears in August. I am considering setting u my own practice in CH when we arrive and would base it on a fee model. The long winded question is do other users of this site think it would be a real option in CH??

All views and opinions will be taken seriously. Many Thanks.

04.03.2010 18:41

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Depends what sort of product it was. However the answer can be, no they don't need to be regulated in Switzerland to recommend a product. Having said that, if they lied about the product, that's a crime. Need some more specifics about exactly what went down.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark GMAS (Post 712342)
I have also been approached by a similar organisation that mis-represented an investment product that I sunk some money into. I am obviously looking for opportunities to claw back some funds.

My question relates to whether the person who sold a product to a person in Switzerland (B-permit) must be licensed in Switzerland in order to sell such a product. The person I purchased the product from was operating under a French licensed company.

If you know of other options for breaking these agreements, legal or otherwise, I would be happy to hear.
Thanks


Guest 04.03.2010 18:43

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TalkingHorse (Post 726606)
Hello all,
I am an adviser working for a fully independent fee based practice here in London. I am working on my full set of investment qualifications and take my job seriously.
I am quite realistic that a huge number of people in my line of work are commission driven and will sell you crap. I am also realistic that this has led to a, fully understandable and justifiable, view that many advisers are crooks. Some of the people I have come across I would not trust to work out how to split a restaurant bill let alone have a go at proper financial planning.

My wife is Swiss and we are moving after our baby appears in August. I am considering setting u my own practice in CH when we arrive and would base it on a fee model. The long winded question is do other users of this site think it would be a real option in CH??

All views and opinions will be taken seriously. Many Thanks.

Guess it depends on what guarantees and track record you can offer but they'll need to be in very fine form i would think

amogles 04.03.2010 18:49

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TalkingHorse (Post 726606)
Hello all,
I am an adviser working for a fully independent fee based practice here in London. I am working on my full set of investment qualifications and take my job seriously.
I am quite realistic that a huge number of people in my line of work are commission driven and will sell you crap. I am also realistic that this has led to a, fully understandable and justifiable, view that many advisers are crooks. Some of the people I have come across I would not trust to work out how to split a restaurant bill let alone have a go at proper financial planning.

My wife is Swiss and we are moving after our baby appears in August. I am considering setting u my own practice in CH when we arrive and would base it on a fee model. The long winded question is do other users of this site think it would be a real option in CH??

All views and opinions will be taken seriously. Many Thanks.

I don't know what your experinece of Switzerland is or how well you understand the system here. But before you do anything else I'd consider getting some legal advice to find out what you can and cannot do.

TalkingHorse 04.03.2010 18:51

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
I have someone I know who is a friend of my wife's who s Swiss and has been explaining it to me. On the legal side does anyone have any recommendations for starting a firm or operating in this market?

swisscrewed 07.03.2010 14:07

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
I would be extremely interested in getting elaborated accounts of the techniques and especially products marketed by these individuals.
I am not sure why we can't name names on this forum. But it is true that there are laws protecting crooks, especially in Switzerland.
If you d' like to give more publicity to your story , please PM me with more detail.




TalkingHorse:

The Swiss market is largely unregulated compared to the UK (whose stringent regulation I feel still does not protect the public adequately while imposing all sorts of barriers to entry into the profession). Switzerland has none of the sorts, and is a jungle in that respect, you can set up business in no time.
If you actually manage money , you need to register with one of the self regulatory body (annual fee, need to be sponsored and accepted) or the FINMA (one time registration fee ), the former being professional associations (cartels) of asset managers/advisors . There are however thousands of "advisors" in the country, they are either small independent advisors , running managed accounts for clients at bigger local banks (where they usually started their career) or when the firm is bigger they offer the whole gamut of traditional private banking services . It's fair to say that mid size and large private banks and the big Swiss banks have a strong hold over the market. Products are quite different than those offered in the UK , the pension system and of course the tax system are different. PM me if I can help.

Castro 22.04.2010 17:43

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
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.

Guest 22.04.2010 18:52

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Castro (Post 786595)
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.

It's the ghost of Bernie Cornfeld. Quickest way out is to say that you're a "US person". In principle (if not in fact) he goes to jail if he persists with you. And if you were a US person (i.e., taxpayer) the tax consequences of buying would be catastrophic. http://www.aca.ch/joomla/images/pdfs/agefi8.pdf

As for expat Brits, just think back to Barlow Clowes (if you've forgotten, then Google it). Or the Lloyd's of London scam. Either way, like Madoff, the promise of just a "little bit more than gilts" lulled the target victims into thinking that the investments were "safe".

Another example: US variable annuities. Very profitable for the salesperson, not so much for the buyer (although in fact some lucked out with the anomalies of the latest market crash).

23.04.2010 00:19

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
We cannot even name the companies:confused:

mirfield 23.04.2010 01:30

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by axsixas (Post 786880)
We cannot even name the companies:confused:

Well you can, but your post would be deleted quicker than you could say C*******l or D* ***e.

And just avoid the word "p*rtners" generally.

17clarence 23.04.2010 12:01

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.

amogles 26.04.2010 13:30

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Castro (Post 786595)
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.

Stu&Kara 17.06.2010 11:10

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.

bigblue2 17.06.2010 11:16

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.

pregny 17.06.2010 11:17

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.

jacek 17.06.2010 11:30

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.

Piafia 18.06.2010 16:49

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...

amogles 18.06.2010 17:20

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Piafia (Post 851059)
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.

17clarence 24.06.2010 13:13

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.

Guest 21.07.2010 12:26

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 17clarence (Post 663885)
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 :mad:
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.

Reb77Br 31.08.2010 17:27

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.

17clarence 23.02.2011 21:46

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 :msnsarcastic:
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.

nic80 23.02.2011 22:41

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.

23.02.2011 22:58

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nic80 (Post 1114585)
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!

nic80 24.02.2011 07:54

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by transition (Post 1114600)
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 ;))

17clarence 07.03.2011 21:20

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?

st2lemans 07.03.2011 21:29

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! :eek:

Tom

mirfield 08.03.2011 08:28

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 1127610)
they should write me first and request an appointment. If they don't, they can FO.

I'm the same with my mum.

amogles 08.03.2011 10:22

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 17clarence (Post 1127591)
has anyone made enough from their investments with them to buy the yacht yet?

for the Shutterstock version maybe?

17clarence 08.03.2011 13:08

Re: Financial Mis-selling to expats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 1127992)
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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