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Old 13.09.2010, 16:29
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BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

The BBC programme Panorama is to broadcast a programme about the crooked IFA`s we have heard about on this forum before, Naming No Names, but I understand the companies involved have Agents IN Basel, Geneva and Zurich, so watch out.


The BBC's flagship current affairs programme Panorama will feature the activities of offshore IFAs as part of an investigation into the fees and commissions taken by advisers for pension products and the sales tactics they use to earn them.
An episode due to be aired on BBC One next month will include a section on Cyprus-based Inter-Alliance Worldnet (IAW) which has been promoting Sipp business through UK subsidiary PCD Wealth Management.

Panorama will allege advisers from IAW were taking high commissions and fees which stripped out significant percentages of clients’ total pension pots for transferring into the Sipps..

PCD is not an FSA-registered firm and not licensed to advise on domestic UK pension business.

UK pension firm Hornbuckle Mitchell, which administered IAW's Sipp transfers, ceased accepting business from the firm when it emerged in June that the IFA was not authorised to give pensions advice.

Hornbuckle has since been criticised for failing to carry out sufficient due diligence on IAW.

Last month IAW gave an undertaking to the FSA to cease advising on UK pension business after accepting that its authorisation through the EU Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD) did not permit such activity.

Panorama’s expose’ on IAW forms part of a wider probe into the large sums financial services firms in the pension value chain – from advisers through to fund managers and insurance companies – take from people’s pensions savings in the UK. The programme is due to be broadcast on October 11th.

Last edited by Guest; 20.09.2010 at 12:58. Reason: One sentence removed for legal reasons.
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  #2  
Old 13.09.2010, 16:50
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Re: BBC Panorama investigates rip off pension IFA`s

So what is new; al these pension shemes and investment plans are a total waste of time and only make money for the sales representatives and the traders personally.
Some of you will be finding this out later.

Last edited by Guest; 20.09.2010 at 12:58. Reason: Removal of redundant quote (including a since removed sentence from original).
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Old 14.09.2010, 12:26
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Re: BBC Panorama investigates rip off pension IFA`s

Just found this article:
The murky world of the offshore IFA
Quote:
Imagine you are a hyena looking for prey in the African bush. Do you pick the strongest animal for a challenge? Or wait quietly until you see a baby that has lost its mother and pounce? This is exactly what offshore IFAs are doing when they phone around offices, or appear cruising clubs or business groups. ...The sort baby-like cry that will attract the attention of the roaming offshore IFA is any sign of financial weakness or most typically an irresponsible approach to investment.
'All I want is somebody to help me keep my money safe for a rainy day, but I don't have a clue about finance.' This is the type of statement that would send cash registers ringing in the mind of any offshore IFA worth his salt.
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Old 20.09.2010, 12:16
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BBC Panorama investigation

Panorama programme in October:
Offshore IFAs in Panorama investigation
Quote:
The BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Panorama will feature the activities of offshore IFAs as part of an investigation into the fees and commissions taken by advisers for pension products and the sales tactics they use to earn them.
Keep an eye on the BBC1 and BBC News schedules for October, if you're interested in this. Panorama airs on BBC1 on Mondays at 8.30 p.m. GMT and on BBC News on Thursdays at 4.30 a.m. GMT.

The subject-matter is relevant to certain companies/individuals operating in Switzerland.

Last edited by Reb77Br; 20.09.2010 at 14:58.
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Old 22.09.2010, 12:27
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

Are you a client/former client? Are you an adviser/former adviser?
Quote:
If there is a story you would like Panorama to investigate then you can e-mail or write to us...You can also contact us if you have fresh information that could assist a Panorama investigation... panorama.reply@bbc.co.uk
Panorama
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Old 04.10.2010, 10:07
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

Could be on tonight:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vcrtg

Quote:
We all know our pensions are in crisis - we aren't paying enough into them and we're living too long. But could there be another reason? Penny Haslam reveals the fees and commissions that take vast amounts from our pension pots. In some cases, more than two-thirds of the amount of money we pay into our pensions over the years is taken out in fees. Rather than heading for retirement with a golden parachute, some of us will be left holding a lead balloon.
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Old 04.10.2010, 12:31
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BBC Panorama Tonight

There is an interesting programme on BBC1 today if you can receive it, on the huge costs associated with taking out investments and pensions with IFA`s etc,

We all know our pensions are in crisis - we aren't paying enough into them and we're living too long. But could there be another reason? Penny Haslam reveals the fees and commissions that take vast amounts from our pension pots. In some cases, more than two-thirds of the amount of money we pay into our pensions over the years is taken out in fees. Rather than heading for retirement with a golden parachute, some of us will be left holding a lead balloon.

Knowing that some of these companies operate in Switzerland, it could be worth watching!
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Old 05.10.2010, 02:48
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

Great programme, if you managed to see it, in fact it did highlight one of the comapanies fleecing clients, who are are based in Zurich and operate in Zurich, Geneva and Basel, PM me if you want to know more.

I cannot name names here, but it justifies all previous threads that have been removed by the moderators due to threats of litigation by those named.

All I can say is if you are approached by a company offering you a pension or investment then check out the charges, get a second opinion, get a third opinion, but better than that choose to invest yourself, avoid all the charges and look after your own money, its really easy to do online, there are plenty of ways to do it, yourself, PM me if you need help. I really want to help people avoid getting ripped off.

P.S I dont charge anything, ever.
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Old 05.10.2010, 11:46
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

Panorama team's blog:
Who Took My Pension? Join in the debate
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Old 05.10.2010, 12:51
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

Saw the program, I thought it was a bit sensationalist. Trying to digg dirt and relabel stuff to make it worse.
We all know financial services make massive profits from charges, and complex products can have a few people taking their cut.

Bottom line was: Donít just go into any pension fund and not keep an eye on it. Like any purchase, make sure you are getting value for money.

Its not rocket science, the program seems to be worried that we are going away from communal pensions funds to individual private onesÖ.and individuals are having to think about their own pensions and futures instead of big brother hold their handsÖshock, horror!!
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Old 05.10.2010, 13:49
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

What I took from the programme was that many people are worried about their pensions, and do not know how to go about arranging a pension, then they receive maybe a cold call, from a Pensions or investment company and then they are mis-sold a whole of life policy that has enormous charges and is not at all suitable for them, this happens to many people, because people are confused about finances and pensions, and make lucrative targets for savvy salespeople mis-selling them investments that even the people selling them canot explain how the charges and commissions work.

On balance I found the programme thought provoking and very illuminating.
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Old 05.10.2010, 13:59
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

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What I took from the programme was that many people are worried about their pensions, and do not know how to go about arranging a pension, then they receive maybe a cold call, from a Pensions or investment company and then they are mis-sold a whole of life policy that has enormous charges and is not at all suitable for them,
Only in the last part of the program did they show some dodgy crook doing that to a few hundred people in the North East, yes this is criminal.

As for the rest, all of them where from normal providers, people went in voluntarily, they just didn’t keep an eye on their charges or performance.

The program tried to blur the two issues, they are very different.
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Old 05.10.2010, 15:32
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

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Only in the last part of the program did they show some dodgy crook doing that to a few hundred people in the North East, yes this is criminal.
Dodgy crooks don't always look that way. They can look respectable, sound convincing, operate out of a decent office, work for a registered company, recommend products from other registered companies. An IFA/financial consultant/wealth manager, etc. isn't an IFA/financial consultant/wealth manager, etc. just because he says he's one. People can be vulnerable when they think they're talking to an expert and are being given advice. Something else may be going on.

Quote:
As for the rest, all of them where from normal providers, people went in voluntarily, they just didn’t keep an eye on their charges or performance. The program tried to blur the two issues, they are very different.

People go into these investments voluntarily because they thought that the person who recommended it was an expert and was giving them advice on their finances. They thought that the charges, etc. had already been explained by this person who presented himself as an expert who knew everything about the investment. People feel secure talking to an expert and taking his advice. The two issues are blurred and some people know this and make a lot of money out of it.

It's like going to your doctor and he recommends a particular course of treatment, which he explains in great detail. But it turns out to be very expensive and not beneficial to your health. You complain to your doctor, and he tells you that you went in voluntarily and should have checked out the treatment yourself... Except that he wouldn't say this because he is an expert with your interests at heart.

Last edited by Reb77Br; 05.10.2010 at 16:21.
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Old 05.10.2010, 16:08
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

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It's like going to your doctor and he recommends a particular course of treatment, which turns out to be very expensive and not beneficial to your health. You complain to your doctor, and he tells you that you went in voluntarily and should have checked out the treatment yourself. Except that he wouldn't say this because he is an expert with your interests at heart.
These people never complained as on both examples on the show, they had no idea what they were being charged or the performance. Thatís just ignorance. After 10 years of paying into a fund, it doesnít take a genius (and a quick google) to find out if your fund is actually doing well.

There are plenty of good pension providers out there, you just need choose the correct one. This program seems to want to take the burden of the individual and to a collective.

I am sorry, but when you go buy a used car, you are careful and do a proper check, you donít just buy what ever the swamy sales guy says. Same with pensions.
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Old 05.10.2010, 16:31
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

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These people never complained as on both examples on the show, they had no idea what they were being charged or the performance. That’s just ignorance. After 10 years of paying into a fund, it doesn’t take a genius (and a quick google) to find out if your fund is actually doing well.
They'll have gone by what the so-called expert told them. They were ignorant about finance, so consulted an expert. The expert will have told them that he would give them updates on their investments, and if he did that, will have explained away any slow growth.

Quote:
I am sorry, but when you go buy a used car, you are careful and do a proper check, you don’t just buy what ever the swamy sales guy says. Same with pensions.
Absolutely. But the smarmy sales guy can be hard to recognise if he's dressed up as an expert.
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Old 05.10.2010, 23:06
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

The other thing is that once you have signed up and taken out a policy you cannot just change it, because of the huge penalties charged for switching, you are completely tied in, whether you like it or not, this is so the salesman gets his commissions , because almost all the monies paid out in the first 2 to 3 years are paid out as commissions, thats why these policy only break even after about year 7 or 8.

Most people are in a catch 22 position, they need to sort out a pension and go to a so called financial expert, but often find out they have been mis-sold the wrong policy which only served the greedy purposes of the financial 'IFA', the other option they have is to do nothing because they fear getting ripped off, then they dont get a pension sorted out.

In my opinion people are best learning to invest their hard earned money themselves, it is easy to do today on the internet and can be done very cheaply, without having to pay commissions at all, saving literally thousands of pounds which would otherewise go to the 'IFA' and fund managers. SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) is the way to go if you can do this in the UK, but I dont know about Swiss people etc.
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Old 05.10.2010, 23:48
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

IFA = independent financial advisors
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Old 06.10.2010, 10:36
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

IFA:
Quote:
The term is commonly used in the United Kingdom where IFAs are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and must meet strict qualification and competence requirements.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indepen...ancial_Adviser
British expats therefore think they know what IFA means. But someone who isn't regulated and authorised by the FSA as an IFA can work outside the UK and still call themselves an IFA.
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Old 06.10.2010, 11:46
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

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I am sorry, but when you go buy a used car, you are careful and do a proper check, you donít just buy what ever the swamy sales guy says. Same with pensions.
I'm sorry, but a LOT of people do exactly that!
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Old 06.10.2010, 17:05
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Re: BBC Panorama investigation into offshore IFAs

Are theses people safe? They seem to have many offices and were on Swiss TV yesterday.

http://www.vermoegenszentrum.ch/
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