29th May 2015
Nearly a third of British expats have experience pushy sales tactics from offshore financial advisers.
Research by expat adviser AES International ,shows 30% of expats had a ‘negative’ experience with offshore salesmen, describing ‘pushy tactics’ and serious financial loss.
A number of people said they had fallen victim to scams, with one reporting losses of $250,000 as a result. Many also complained of high commissions eating into their investments and very poor investment selections.
Another common complaint was that prior to being sold a policy the salesman had been very ‘pushy’ contacting people regularly over a period of weeks or even months. However, once the sale had been completed and the policy bought the salesman became ‘evasive’ or disappeared altogether.
Sam Instone, chief executive of AES International, said the problem was ‘widespread’ and means it is tough for expats who need advice.
‘Old-fashioned offshore financial salesmen, much like old-fashioned door-to-door salesmen, don’t tend to hand around for long once they have made a sale.’
He added: ‘Unfortunately, this problem is very widespread in international markets and can present significant challenges for consumers looking for other highly complex financial advice,’ he said.
Instone said consumers had to take some ‘personal responsibility for sourcing advice’ and ensuring advisers are regulated and can prove they are regulated.
‘It is relatively easy to check the regulatory status of a company online these days, but if a consumer is in doubt about a company, they should probably look elsewhere.’