Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Britain’s Daily Telegraph today reports on the scandal of foreign based independent financial advisors selling duff products and also dodgy funds recommended by major financial institutions.

Financial writer Katie Morley highlights the smarmy IFA’s and also the offshore arms of major British financial institutions, which also reap major benefits from the percentage scams.

Thailand, Dubai and Spain feature highly - and writes Morley:

“Foreign financial advisers often sell investments within “insurance bonds”, which act as investment containers or “wrappers”. Technically, they are classed as insurance policies, which in some countries means that the salesmen require fewer qualifications.
Insurers that have provided the bonds in recent years include some major, reputable firms, such as Skandia and Royal London.
These insurers pay the financial advisers via commissions. The commissions come straight out of clients’ money. This echoes the once-widespread system of remunerating investment salesmen in Britain, now largely outlawed.”

Skandia, Royal London feature heavily on this site, as of course does de Vere – and I am surprised the Daily Telegraph is even treated by the newspaper as a credible company.

But you need to go here to read the full story. Some 99 per cent of these IFA’s are running unregulated in Thailand.

Few of these IFA’s are registered with the Thai SEC. And of those few the companies tend to submit one nominal person in their company.

Not that registering with the Thai SEC will make any difference though. It merely goes through motions with its ‘Investor Alert’ list. I have yet to hear of successful prosecutions. But if anyone has please let me know.

A lot of these guys are registered with Chambers of Commerce in Thailand, Rotary Clubs etc – some have even become Presidents!

To test your financial advisor ask him what penalties you incur if you take your money out now.

The interesting part of this story is that the Daily Telegraph is getting close to those insurance companies many of which from their bases in the Isle of Man have been taking the pensions of Brits in Thailand and recommending duff funds to IFAs some of whom do not know any better but most of whom go for as they offer the best comissions.

Is it criminal?  Well, there is not much it seems that financial institutions do wrong appears to be found criminal and nobody goes to jail - Its easily rectified with a fine - and they have your cash to pay for that. The fund managers go broke - after whistling the cash up somewhere, where the sun does shine.


Sarah Lord, head of financial planning at Killik & Co, a British FCA-regulated firm, said: “The operation of offshore advisers, in the main, is totally unscrupulous. In many offshore jurisdictions, such as Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, there is very little requirement for disclosure of remuneration, with up to 15pc of assets being advised upon being taken in hidden commissions. The requirement to demonstrate suitability is negligible.”
Already exposed on


  1. There is an excellent doco called "Four Horsemen" on Y-tube about the bankers. Well worth a look. It paints a scathing picture of their behavior. Backed up by some highly rated economists.

  2. Nearly scammed by 2 on the list above.......fortunately when Platinum took me out for dinner in Bangkok (which I eventually paid for) I mentioned Drummond and the guy suddenly had to go home on urgent family business......hence me paying for the dinner........What a saving that was.
    Haven't had a cold call from them in over 2 years.

  3. Here's another way to test any financial advisor in Thailand trying to solicit your business, ask to see his work permit. You won't see him for dust.

  4. Ironically, The Daily Telegraph used to be (maybe still is) one of the best places to find adverts offering jobs as overseas financial consultants.

  5. Great article. To Bob's point I'd add: ask to check his work permit, his own advisory license and the license of his firm. Double check with the regulator (in Thailand its the SEC) to make sure the financial adviser is licensed.

  6. The insurance company activities should be criminal on many levels and the media should have been reporting on it. It's good that as AD says, the Daily Telegraph at last seems to be getting close, as does the FT. But they are late to the game -- only the SCMP has been a true, steady consumer advocate.

  7. why does your findings not get front page in UK?
    Its unbelievable that they choose to ignore things that happen in Thailand. what is the hidden agenda?
    There has to be one

  8. Can someone please tell me why decent families have trouble getting their families and friends to the UK when hundreds of bar girls are running around London pimping for business

  9. Can someone please tell me why decent families have trouble getting their families and friends to the UK when hundreds of bar girls are running around London pimping for business

    1. Yes that's easy. It's the new 'tick the box' culture. They have people who know which boxes to tick. Thus any normal reason why you may have to invite a friend or relative to the UK will be deemed as suspicious.