Derivatives from "company-that-must-not-be-named"

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Dear regular TTers and interested others and guest!

 

I am still collecting evidence about the wrongdoings certain companies who target Expats in Germany (and elswhere) commit here in Germany to put this to the German finance regulation authorities in order to put a stopper on their malpractice and snake-oil-sales-methods.

 

What is well established is that they use illegal cold-calling as their main means of contacting new victims, err, clients. There we have ample facts but anyone who receved cold-calls recently offering financial advice from ANY company offering offshore pension plans, offhosre investments, QROPS pension plans for transfers out of the UK etc is asked kindly to step forward and let us know (please send PM or click on the disclosure link below) so that we can get you to sign sworn affidavits to this regards in order to help battle the annyoing and strictly illegal cold-calling.

 

What is also mostly well established is that neither the company nor its advisors - who are legally speaking free agents/Handelsvertreter and as such liable to have their own license for that as well - have a German license to offer insurance products in Germany. There is some smokescreen as to being allowed to "passport" into Germany with a Belgium license, but what they do here and how they do it is not covered by pasporting rules.

Since the most common offshore pension product they offer, the Generali Vision plan (find some juicy info about the cost structure and "initial period" here, which also disqualifies it under German laws nowadays: just google these words and you'll have the link:pissed consumers generali vision ), is legally a life insurance plan wrapped around an investment portfolio which offers certain life insurance paramteres as well as for instance criticall illness coverage, it would require them to have a license under § 34 D GewO in Germany in order to offer insurance products. Which they don't have, neither the company nor the single advisor/salesmen.

There is already a complaint going on in Belgium about said company-that-must-not-be-named abusing passporting rights from Belgium to this regards and and at the German BAFIN as well and we are trying to collect more evidence to support this. If anyone has had signed up with a GENERALI VISION plan thru the "company-that-must-not-be-named" or any other offshore pension plan, we would appreciate you stepping forward and contacting us: we need copies of any info and advice given to you (emails, quotes, fact-sheets) and of the contracts you signed. We might be able to help you then later to get some or most of your money back.

 

What is relatively NEW and where I specially like to draw your attention towards is the fact that they offer, within QROPS schemes or just as investments at their plattforms, so-called "autocallable notes". These are derivatives where you bet on the markets going in one direction or the other, with certain inherent safeguards but still high-risk in the end.

Generally speaking, as a financial advisor I am not a big fan of "Zertifikate" as they are called in Germany or any other form of derivates except in very few circumstances when they are used to protect an existing investment portfolio against heavy losses on the markets (Going short or long, depending on your goals). However, appart from the facts and professional doubts about these products offered to the average investor without serious financial training and experience: if you offer these in Germany you can only do so if you have a license like a bank under § 32 KWG (Kreditwesengesetz). They do not - and thus their selling autocallable notes from Royal Bank Of Scotland, Morgan Stanley, Nomura is clearly in breach of German laws and therefore I would like to bring this, too, to the attention of the German federal finance authorities BAFIN (also in order to help current investors claim money back if they want to exit without losses and to prevent others from falling for these products).

 

Therefore I would appreciate if anyone who has in last 1-2 years been sold on "autocallable notes" etc by financial advisors from either "the-company-that-must-not-be-named" or similar entities poaching in the same market for Expats. I am particularily interested in all evidence about the advice per se (emails, notes, quotes) and the actual purchase orders signed and confirmed as well as ongoing statements about these investments.

 

Help us to procect Expats from those who stalk them to take advantage of them not being aware of their tricks and scams.

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Is there anyone who was advised since 2009 until now to invest in "Autocallable notes" by some financial adivsors catering to Expats who work here in Germany? I would really appreciate if you'd step forward and let me know as I am preparing action against these illegal activities (which also are quite risky for the investor, at least much more so than the average investor usually knows)....

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Why must the company not be named? I think I know who the company is and people need to be aware of their very murky practices.

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The problem is that this particular company has used and is still using their lawyers to put pressure on website to remove the information... even if the information is true, the owners of these websites neither want nor have the funds/money to fight such an uphill battle and this is why the company you do indeed know well enough (and I am getting back to you soon with regards to planned our meeting at the consumer protection agency in Frankfurt ) has so little "bad press" on the internet and thus continuous to do the same mosty illegal shit.

 

Only one they could not shut down sofar is the US website "Pissed Consumer", they even lost a law suit against them - so everyone here who has had bad experience should use this plattform to report about it in order to add to the one source that is still open for others to find out about the malpractice and illegal activities of this company. Just google the company name and "pissed consumers" and you'll get there...

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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http://www.pissedconsumer.com/

 

wow, I thought they were bad but after yet another call yesterday followed up with Linkedin contact http://de.linkedin.com/pub/dale-vine-acsi-cii/21/5b1/93a, they have been especially active recently. The person who called me yesterday said he was based in the UK and after being asked about his awareness of the German cold calling laws, the line went dead before he gave me his name.

 

Lesson learned, by me was to get the details first, Duh!

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Yes, it is interesting to note that Pissed Consumer seems to be getting right up their nose. Additionally interesting that any google search with their company name brings up so many pissed consumer hits - which must be hurting them a bit in this market.

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Had a call from one last week - different company name but the exact same line i.e. "We are already talking to some people at your company" this is BS, of course, as I'm the only expat here.

 

The second time I told him cold calling is illegal he hung up. I probably should have taken a note of the company name but I get one of these calls about once a month and I thought no more of it.

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Only one they could not shut down sofar is the US website "Pissed Consumer", they even lost a law suit against them...

A CEO's response:

 

 

'Gripe site' phenomenon

 

...has vowed to continue to fight back against what it calls “the misinformation contained on such sites”. ...

...the case against Opinion Corp was “the first court case of many that we intend to pursue as we seek to fight back, on behalf of major corporations and ‘real’ consumers around the world, against the misinformation that is contained on such sites”.

 

“If believed, the ‘content’ on such ‘gripe sites’, which is generally just totally unfounded allegations, could potentially damage the good will and reputation of firms that go out of their way to provide a good service to their clients,”...

 

Like others whose companies have been targeted by the gripe sites, this executive noted that his and other financial advisory companies are in good company when they appear on gripe sites, as they sit alongside “most of the FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies”.

 

[Except that if you take random names from the FTSE 100 list and search for the name + site:pissedconsumer.com, you find zero results. Needs to get his facts straight...]

 

Another option for clients in the US:

 

 

As reported here last month, an Atlanta-based lawyer who specialises in helping investors take legal action against negligent stockbrokers and financial advisers has just launched a “gripe site” for disgruntled brokerage clients in the US called BrokerCop.com.

 

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The cased made by Voldemort (aka in Harry Potter, he who must not be named) seemed very lame. Expect legal team have been fired.

 

http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1100&context=historical&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co. uk%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Ddevere%2520group%2520gmbh% 2520plaintiff%2520against%2520opinion%2520corp%2520pissedconsumer. com%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D1%26sqi%3D2%26ved%3D0CCAQFjAA%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fdigitalcommons.law.scu.edu%252Fcgi%252Fviewcontent. cgi%253Farticle%253D1100%2526context%253Dhistorical%26ei%3D6 S1PUJDHLeb80QXIx4HIAw%26usg%3DAFQjCNG849oxsQ7ZMACORyOa3cNHqy 6cEg

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Nobody should buy a financial derivative they don't understand. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you aren't a professional market watcher, you shouldn't buy any derivatives ever.

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Here's our short overview of the different markets offered by D... G... Online Trading:

...

Trading Derivatives [link includes video tutorials on the trading platform and spread betting, with the warning "spread betting carries a high degree of risk to your capital and it is possible to lose your original investment"]

Derivatives are a form of financial contract which are based on the price movements of an underlying instrument, such as an equity, index or currency, but which do not actually involve buying or selling the instrument itself. Premium Securities are an example of a derivative contract.

 

Source

 

It is possible to open a demo account. But perhaps a real account would give a more accurate picture of the client experience.

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well, I have voice-recordings of them "selling" these products as "no-risk", "entirely backed up by guarantees" and more... as in all other cases they are simply selling stuff for very high commissions and don't care how the client does. They were lucky with on these products, an autocallable note on emerging market stocks/indexes, that brough 14% yield after 6 months - but exactly this should scare off everyone as this must be clearly a high-risk-product if you can generate such yield in such a short term - and it also means you can lose a lot of money, too.

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Nobody should buy a financial derivative they don't understand. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you aren't a professional market watcher, you shouldn't buy any derivatives ever.

 

 

 

Also relevant to salesmen who like complex products because the clients don't understand them.

 

 

Starhollow - so how is the case your are planning to bring against D.v..r Group progressing?

 

He probably won't tell you that.

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it is ongoing and certainly leading to some results this year - my problem is that I can only put so much time in this pro-bono work. basically I am blocked now til end of September because of the usual health insurance cancellation rush before Sep. 30th and then I can award serious time again to this.

the BaFin is also taking their time to respond...well, that is just the difference in Germany as compared to the British FSA, for instance.

Will keep you guys posted

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Should I be offended that they haven't yet tried to scam me? :D

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Alex--I am not good at these things but I am willing to try to scam you!

(All for the sake of your morale, of course...)

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Starshollow, thanks for the update. Hard to imagine that D V G are shaking in their boots as they continue to cold call and aggressively push their dodgey wares. Best of luck, I for one hope that they get booted out of Germany.

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