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Expat Investor : December 2007
expatinvestor.com 4 EXPAT INVESTOR December 2007 Fast Facts 10002 Fast Facts 10130 *A ER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate which is a notional rate which illustrates the contractual rate as if paid and compounded on an annual basis. Assumes rates will remain unchanged for 12 months. Zurich Bank International Limited is registered in the Isle of Man Number 22847. PO Box 422, Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM99 3AF, British Isles. Telephone: +44 (0)1624 671666 Fax: +44 (0)1624 627526. www.zurichbankinternational.com Registered office: 43-51 Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM99 1ET, British Isles. Telephone calls may be recorded. Licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission for banking business. •W egive you security and easy access to your money, plus a great rate of interest. •W e guarantee your interest will be no more than 0.25% below the Bank of England Base Rate until January 2010. •Alow minimum investment of £5,000. • Personal service, with no call centres. So for great returns, relax and leave the hard work to us. R Because change happen TM www.zurichbankinternational.com Are you always having to move your money around to get the best rate? The Zurich Reward Account's guarantee means you can take it easy while your money works hard. 6.00% Gross pa/AER* Variable Easy access to your money To find out more about the Zurich Reward Account call: +44 (0) 1624 671666 (quoting ref no. EP12) or visit our website What if you could guarantee your money worked as hard as you do? NEWS AND VIEWS Punching holes in the tales told by suspect stockbrokers who use addresses in cities like Marbella or Prague or Budapest is not difficult. Locate yourself in a place that is not known as an international financial centre, publish all your literature in a language other than the local tongue, and market obscure shares to investors in a completely different country -- and it would be a miracle if cynics did not smell a rat. But just for a change, let's be clear that this is not a one-way street. There are firms that use websites, addresses and telephone numbers in places that are well-regulated financial centres in order to impress potential clients, even though things are not quite as they seem. Take, for example, www.sippsandssas.co.uk. Self Invested Personal Pensions and Small Self Administered Schemes are both types of British pension plans, and the co.uk suffix reinforces the British image. The website offers advice on property investment and pensions, including controversial pension release schemes which can give early access to frozen retirement savings but at a price which can have a huge effect on your income in later life. The site is run by a British company called Hamiltons SL Limited, whose address is in north west London. But the address belongs to a firm of accountants, not to Hamiltons. And according to Companies House, Hamiltons has failed to file any accounts, which is an offence. The sole director of the company is Dean Murphy, who is British but with an address at La Cala de Mijas in Malaga, Spain. At that same address is Hamiltons Investment Group and Hamiltons Financial Services, both Spanish companies. The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission issued a public warning after finding that Hamilton Financial Services was promoting deposit- taking and investment services on the Rock without a licence. And back in Britain, the Financial Services Authority says Hamiltons is not authorised to offer pensions advice or any similar service in the UK. The Costa del Sol Action Group, which acts as an expat consumer watchdog has added Hamiltons to its own warning list. It says it has received 'many complaints' about the firm. Of course, Hamiltons is not alone in giving the impression it has a British presence. Danny Textile Limited of Settle in North Yorkshire has recently advertised around the world for people to collect payments due to the company from firms in their area. The job pays 10 per cent commission. Unfortunately, the job is actually money laundering. The address in Settle is occupied by a completely different, innocent textile business and there is no such company in Britain as Danny Textile. The only true content in the advertisements is the number for Danny's mobile telephone which, of course, will be dropped into the nearest river as soon as the police get too close. And official investigators do eventually catch up with this sort of thing. Netherlands financial watchdog, the ATM, issued a public warning against unlicensed Axxess Swiss Trading, of Sheraton Street in London. Predictably, the address turns out to belong to a firm called eOffice that offers 'a dedicated mail handling and forwarding service'. The message, then, is that you can't rely on spotting a suspect adviser just because his firm is based in the back of beyond. No matter how respectable the address, use Google to see what else is really there. A free search could mean a fortune saved. Readers are invited to contact Tony Hetherington via the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org On the street where fraudsters live Financial investigator Tony Hetherington warns expats not to be swayed by a pedigree address when it comes to parting with cash. SCIL launches Flexi-Account SCARBOROUGH Channel Islands (SCIL) has launched a savings account combining penalty- free access with a medium term rate guarantee. SCIL explains that its Offshore Flexi-120 Direct account offers an annual interest rate of 6.55% p.a. AER (6.30% p.a./6.49% AER monthly) variable, and is guaranteed to exceed Bank of England base rate until 31 December 2008. The minimum initial investment is £5,000, up to a maximum of £1 million per customer. SCIL points out that with this 120 day notice account, one withdrawal of up to £5,000 is allowed per calendar month, without notice or loss of interest, providing that 50% of the original balance is maintained. Further withdrawals or closure are subject to 120 days notice, or immediately with the loss of 120 days gross interest. Commenting on the launch, Tony Burdin, Managing Director, says, "With uncertainty surrounding future interest rates, this latest account is designed to give savers the peace of mind of knowing that their rate of return will remain competitive."
January February 2008