Expat financial advisor in Spain blacklisted in the UK

    LAST UPDATED: 13 May, 2011 @ 11:06
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    Expat financial advisor in Spain blacklisted in the UK

    EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

    REGULATORS have warned investors to be wary of a British financial advisor operating from Spain, it can be revealed.

    Warnings have been given on PFR Services (Planning for Retirement) and Cash in Your Pension – two of the firms linked to Terence Wright – on the Financial Services Authority (FSA) blacklist.

    Wright – who also allegedly owns Spanish companies including Alhaurin Wealth Planning (AWP) – is using a call centre in Andalucia to hook investors into a variety of schemes.

    The centre in Alhaurin el Grande is linked to a British phone number, answered by the team in Spain.

    One woman, who recently worked at the office, told the Olive Press: “I became suspicious of the operation after watching a programme on television about similar schemes.

    “It was remarkably similar to the job in Alhaurin and I felt uncomfortable and handed in my notice.”

    She continued: “I was interviewed by Terence Wright and I had to answer calls for both PFR and AWP and I had to ensure that I didn’t get the two mixed up.

    “It was all a bit of a concern.”

    The Olive Press can reveal that Wright’s companies are soliciting customers to invest their pensions in various schemes including a Spanish vineyard and an Australian wheat company.

    A spokesman for the FSA confirmed that investors should be very wary of such schemes.

    Wright is not authorised to carry on regulated activities in the UK, which include advising on investments.

    The FSA spokesman said: “We strongly recommend that anyone looking to seek financial advice consults the FSA website.

    “Investors who deal with unregulated firms are not covered by UK compensation rules.”

    An expert told the Olive Press that the FSA cannot restrict advisors dealing in land investments.

    “There have been examples where pensioners have unwittingly made inappropriate investments that properly regulated advisors would not have proposed,” he explained. “These warnings however, do not prove any breach of UK law.”

    According to its website Alhaurin Wealth Planning specialises in land and property investments, while Cash In Your Pension’s website encourages people to invest their pension elsewhere.

    It states clearly: ‘We are an offshore company and are therefore not subject to the same legislation as pension advisors in the UK’.

    This week a woman, who gave her name as Emma confirmed the office was in Alhaurin and promised to call us back.

    Eventually we spoke to another member of staff Ben James, who insisted that Wright no longer had links with the company.

    He said: “I have not seen him for two-and-a-half years and he is not involved with PFR services.”

    We were unable to contact Wright, who also owns a real estate company Terence Wright Associates in Cartama.

    7 COMMENTS

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    1. There are many of these unregulated companies around these parts.

      People cannot be too careful in ensuring the advisors they use are regulated. Some are FSA regulated (UK), some are FSC (Gib) and a few of us are covered by both.

      Even companies that are covered may be offering products, investments and pensions that are not approved and thus leave the client exposed.

      The prudent advice is to be careful, do your homework and after all that only proceed with a company you feel comfortable with and are happy to put your trust in. If you’re not happy, find another.

    2. Partner for Life.

      Clearly for someone in the “industry” you have very little knowledge of what the word regulation means my friend. You, your company, nor anyone in Spain is regulated by any financial services authority, be it UK or Gib, as neither of those organisations regulate business done in Spain.

      You may have a license or a piggyback from one of these regulators, however this gives no protection for your customers and you know it. This includes no investor protection fund either, so should your advice be bad and your clients lose their money they will have no redress and very little chance of getting their money back, unless they successfully sue you in the Spanish courts. So they really should be checking your company’s capitalization and bank balances rather than putting any type of trust into you or what papers or certificates you claim to hold.

      You are not regulated here in Spain unless you are actually regulated by the Spanish CMNV or the DGS (in the case of insurance).

      Be careful when you cast dispersions that are clearly cover you as well.

    3. Such mis-information everywhere. Advice issued to a Spanish resident by a UK FSA authorised and passported in firm IS regulated by the FSA provided the advice was issued from the UK. There are two types of passport ‘MiFID’ and ‘MiFID exempt’ linked then to DGS and CNMV and this also controls whether you are allowed to have a branch office or not in Spain. We choose not to, so that investors have UK FSA protection for our advice. I can meet you in Spain but my written advice must be issued from the UK. As such the UK FSCS (compensation scheme) and my professional indemnnity insurance DOES cover the advice offered from negligence or default.

      The tax and legal position of the investment policy itself is different depends whether it is authorised for sale in Spain. Investor Protection on the investment policy itself depends upon where the investment fund is set up and domiciled e.g. Dublin, Isle of Man (not advisable for Spain), Luxembourg etc. The FSA publish a guide on financial advice passporting I can let you have.

      Brimster: capitalization and bank balances are not the answer to security – AIG worlds biggest insurer – bust, RBS – virtually bust, Lloyds, Santander, HBOS, ING – and many more all bailed out – even some countries are bankrupt! The answer is FEE ONLY non commission biased expat and cross border financial and tax planning advice

    4. this is important information which should be made available to all english language newspapers in spain to make people aware that these boy scouts exists, and to be careful in doing deals deals with these crooks .I know some people whom have lost all their savings to these crooks .They invested their life savings with them and lost everything ,they have no come back

    5. He used to work for intereality in cartama , and built illegal homes in the mountains in cartama,, and often said to people who were selling their homes, why would people buy your home when they can buy mine.
      Also ended up selling stuff at coin boot sale, now sounds like ripping people off in other ways. The new philip bone now theres a blast from the past.
      Why are these people allowed to be still walking around, luckily he hasnt ripped me off.

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