Holborn Assets's reply to: Holborn Assets - Investment Review from London, London

We deliver investments from some of the world’s largest investment houses which often deliver bank beating returns to our clients. Should you have any queries or concerns, please contact our customer service department who are always on hand to help.
map-marker London, England

Holborn Assets - Investment Review from London, London

I received an unsolicited email from a business development manager and within the space of a few minutes a couple of follow-up calls. This person was trying to book me an appointment with a so-called UK qualified financial expert who apparently provides independent advice. This expert is apparently licensed to advise on investment and insurance products.

1. Very few if any Holborn Advisors would be qualified to advise on investments in the UK, this is a complete fallacy. Most only have the minimum level Certificate in International Wealth Management, a single module course from the CISI that anyone with half a brain, a few days study time and a calculator could pass. Many don't even have this.

2. Holborn Assets are not independent, they sell one white-label saving plan which they market under the name Holborn Assets Retirement Plan (HARP), and one lump sum investment product, which investors only get a choice of investing into 3 core holdings - their own broker funds. These products are both supplied by Royal London. Holborn receive volume override commissions on these products (they get paid more than all the other brokers) because they are tied into exclusive agreements. And they also receive a healthy commission on their own Old Broad Street broker funds of course - regardless of their appalling performance!

3. They advertise on the radio that they do not cold call. Cold calling for the solicitation of financial products is illegal in the UAE as they surely know this and yet still conduct telemarketing within the UAE and across the Global. I would like to know how they managed to obtain my private email address, my phone number and then contact me unsolicited?

4. If their financial salesperson is indeed a UK qualified expert, and intentionally making the claims above then he/she is actually deliberately mis-selling the public and also guilty of misrepresentation.

5. Holborn Assets like to slate all the competition saying they are the most professional, qualified, etc, etc, etc. They even contact clients of other brokers with misleading scare tactics, trying to disturb people to switch to them - this is hardly exemplary of the kind of "strong Christian ethic" they claim is at the foundation of their principles.

6. On the message from the CEO on their website, it clearly states that they are regulated in all the countries they do business in. This is again a total fallacy - they do not even have a license in the UAE where their head office is!

Reason of review:
Not as described/ advertised

an Adviser who works with Holborn I sometimes read these comments and think there is no point in answering them because we all know who posts them. However, I simply cannot listen to this tripe any longer..

So, I shall answer your points in order one by one and then hopefully you; and the people you point towards this terrible site, will understand more clearly.


Qualified or not:

Of all the advisers within Holborn Assets ‘Most” (probably 95%) are qualified to give advice on UK investments, products etc. Those that are not qualified would not be allowed to advise you. They are most likely trainees or working within practices. They will have taken an entrance style qualification to get them on their way to full qualification such as FAIQ or a basic CISI paper.

If your initial contact is with one of these trainee or practice advisers then that would be purely for information gathering and they might advise you on elements of financial services that they are qualified for. Any other advice would be given to you personally by a fully qualified adviser. Also, that adviser would put that advice in writing and put their name at the foot of that advice with their own signature.


Independent or not:

This is wildly inaccurate – Yes RL360 are one of the companies Holborn represent and yes, we have a white label product with RL360. Firstly, this is because RL360 value Holborn Assets and understand that we have a commitment to giving the best advice available. Ask yourself, why would a company like RL360 tie their global reputation to Holborn if they were not completely satisfied with the levels of advice, competency and compliance? The HARP product is very successful but it makes up only a percentage of the other products recommended by Holborn.

Whether Holborn Assets gets paid more than another company on any product or services is debatable. All IFA’s will claim to have exclusive arrangements with at least one of the product providers. Some with Generalli, some with FPI and others with Zurich or OMI etc. It’s more down to the product providers than the IFA’s.

Any increase in remuneration to the company would be from the providers own margins or profits and would not increase the standard charges to the client at all. We have our own small fund range and we encourage its use however there are hundreds of other funds being recommended every year by Holborn Advisers. It is understandable that we may incentivise our funds use, just as any other company would with any other product they create. The point you are missing here is that if the fund is not suitable for a client, it will not be advised to the client.

Compliance would see to that in a heartbeat. Secondly, Holborn Assets also represents, Generalli, Zurich, Friends Provident Momentum, Brooklands and OMI; among a host of others, where they and we hold a license to do so. There is an almost equal spread across the board on the products advised from Holborn Assets. 3.

Unsolicited contact or not: Cold calling is illegal in the UAE and marketing of financial services products is always a tricky one for IFA’s globally. I cant answer where your details may have come from but I can tell you this, I personally have many clients that have praised the fact that a particular problem or challenge was brought to their attention and that we were able to satisfy that need for them. For every one that is happy there will be another that is not; clearly where you fall. However I would rather help one family by providing life assurance or other crucial products than have missed them altogether.

If you have everything in order – and I seriously doubt it – then carry on and ignore us. 4. Misrepresentation: See all the other replies I have made. 5.

Business and / or Christian ethics: Stating that we believe we are the most professional, most ethical company in the market place is not “slating the competition”, it is simply stating what we believe to be a fact. Just like any company in any industry we have a belief that we are darn good at what we do. Apple never became one of the richest companies on the planet by saying “we probably make fairly good computers”. They have belief in themselves just as we do.

And, if stating to a client that they are literally paying two or three times what they need to on a certain product or service is going against business principles (never mind Christian ones), then there is something very wrong with your view of business, financial services or just the world in general. 6. Licensed and Regulated: This one is my favourite – You obviously know where our office is so why don’t you pop over and ask to see our licenses (plural) for the UAE. Whilst you are at it, you could ask to see the UK FCA license, the Dublin European License, the South African license etal.

Finally, I highly suspect that these comments were written; like all on this site, by upset and disgruntled ex-advisers of Holborn Assets. It’s plain to see that there is at least a shallow understanding of the market place in your tone and the language used in your review. It takes a lot to fail at Holborn Assets, there is support both emotionally, professionally and where required financially. There are training programs, we pay for the exams that you claim nobody qualifies in, and there are splendid offices around the world and lots of other support programs.

If you failed with Holborn its most likely because you could not sell what you wanted to sell such as unregulated funds or high commission paying funds, you were unethical or you just hate being professional. Or maybe, you could not keep up with the examinations and qualifications required to maintain your position at the company. It is also possible that you interviewed with Holborn and were rejected and now you are facing stiff competition for your services. Either way, I think any potential client should meet with an adviser, visit their offices and even ask to see the license or the adviser’s qualifications and they can make their own minds up.

That goes for any financial advisory firm anywhere in the world, not just Holborn.

We have nothing to hide.


i cannot agree more with this post. Everything this shell looks to be they are not.

They are the worst and most dishonest in the world. I lost everything by trusting this Christian ethic and they won't even respond to my complaints.

They are liars plain and simple and the crooks that run it are set to disappear into the sunset. Never ever deal with these liars or trust them.

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Cincere Ihh

Far better than the rest

My account was previously managed by another financial adviser from another company and, with all due respect, I didn’t cross the line of 3% interest, max. Since Holborn took charge of my investments, I have seen the number climb sometimes to more than 8% and I’m not complaining about it :) Obviously, it’s a long term investment and it’s funds investment, which means there’s risks. However, for the time you managed my account you proved to me I can trust your decisions. And God knows I don’t trust easily when it’s about money and the future of my family. When I come to your office, I don’t feel I’m sitting in front of an advisor who puts in priority his commissions and forgets the well being of my investments. I feel I’m having a chat with a good friend who cares about me and my money.
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Reason of review:
Good customer service

Holborn Assets's reply to: Holborn assets scammers won't leave me alone

We work purely on referrals, so our consultants will only contact you if a friend or family member (who has become a client of ours) has recommended that we get in touch.

Holborn assets scammers won't leave me alone

I spend all day listening to radio adverts which say that Holborn arent like anyone else in dubai and don't cold call but keep getting pestered by some *** on the phone to transfer my pension into a qrop. This is EXACTLY what the advert is against!!!!

It was funny the first time but I now see they are more full of *** than deVere and a complete bunch of lying, two faced, untrustworthy salesman desperate to do exactly what they preach against.

Colleagues have already warned me that their investments have been consumed by terrible performance when the markets are at an all time high.


Reason of review:
Bad quality

Holborn Assets's reply to: Holborn Assets Dubai - cold calling

We do our best to ensure that people who request to be placed on our DNC list are not contacted. However, with an organisation as large as ours, some people still managed to get called. We apologise for any inconvenience.
map-marker Dubai, Dubai

Holborn Assets Dubai - cold calling

I am currently seeking new employment and have utilised a well known UAE job seekers website to enter my details onto. I found out today that Holborn Assets in Dubai viewed my details and CV on the 15th February 2015, and then used the data to cold call me yesterday, 16th February 2015.

The company will be brought to task as I have raised a complaint with a number of UAE institutions.

Best to avoid any company that cold calls you, especially if they use this form of inappropriate behaviour. It is also wise to ensure that they are licensed to operate with the Dubai FSA or other centralised authorities.

Reason of review:
I do not like being cold called or for my data to be collected or viewed for inappropriate purposes

Preferred solution: stop cold calling or I will petition to make it illegal

Holborn Assets's reply to: Holborn Assets Very Bad Financial Advice

We strive to provide a high level of service to our clients. We recommend the best way for clients to increase and protect their wealth, however, there will always be a certain level of risk when investing which sometimes doesn’t turn out the way you want it to. Our fully qualified advisers strive to deliver solutions that will garner the greatest returns for our clients wherever they choose to live in the world.

Holborn Assets Very Bad Financial Advice

My experience with Holborn Assets in Dubai is very negative. They advised me to invest in a fund scheme and a pension with very high fees, both of which involved a locking money in for years and big penalties for withdrawing the funds.

The only reason they push these products is for large commissions. Due to the high fee rates being charged (up to 3%), they have to invest in more high risk funds to make a reasonable return. People who think that are getting a good service, don't understand how much more money they are losing from the heavy fees and commission!

There are lots of websites that have bed reviews for Holborn Assets - search for yourself. I blame myself for not doing a thorough check of their credentials.

To sum it up they are a talentless set of thieves.

  • Bad financial advice
Reason of review:
Poor customer service
Raychel Ybb

Fake complaints? excellent service by Holborn

It amazes me that if read correctly, all the complaints on this site for Holborn are technically by financial services employed people, as their grasp of the investment process is beyond the average layman. Holborn Assets have looked after my pension 4 years running now, & from day one I only ever received professional and caring advise. I am constantly kept abreast of market conditions affecting my pension along with active management of the investment itself. I am very happy Holborn approached me to give me the opportunity of having sound financial advise and successful investment of my life savings!
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  • Personalised proffessional service
Reason of review:
Good customer service
1 comment

I was really shocked by the negative feedback but it seems to be from disgruntled employees rather than actual customers. Every dealing I have had with Holborn Assets has been nothing but positive - they have helped me sort out my Will (it can be complicated being an expat living in Dubai) and am now in the process of transferring my pension!

Holborn Assets's reply to: Commissions Driven Business

Before our advisers can deliver the trusted, independent financial advice we have become known for, they have to successfully complete our in-house training programme. Our training programme ensures that all our advisers are fully qualified with industry standard qualifications.
map-marker Naas, Kildare

Commissions Driven Business

I have recently returned to the UK from Dubai and can say this about ALL financial services companies in Dubai including Holborn Assets where I worked. They all want to sell you something that firstly benefits them.

The longer they sell you a savings plan for the more they earn..the penalties for leaving before you complete the term are huge.

They also try sell you more risky funds which again pay them a huge commission and when the *** hits the fan you are on your own. So glad to be back in England and making an honest living again...Steer clear and send your savings home and avoid all the sales *** you hear....

Reason of review:
Problem with delivery
1 comment

What are you selling now? Carbon credits? You sound like a snivelling little ***!

Holborn Assets's reply to: Cold Calling

We do our best to ensure that people who request to be placed on our DNC list are not contacted. However, with an organisation as large as ours, some people still managed to get called. We apologise for any inconvenience and are working to rectify the situation.
map-marker Dubai, Dubai

Cold Calling

Holborn Assets claims to never cold call its prospective clients. However, having seen first hand how they operate I would like to expose this as false.

Instead of being honest like the Devere's of Dubai and just straight out cold calling, Holborn has set up a bank of telephones, rigged to appear to call through a London landline number. They'll then pretend to be calling from a third party company that would like to recommend you to one of their partners in Dubai. This will always be Holborn.

This would be fine if it wasn't an integral part of their marketing position to not participate in such tactics.


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Yes I have been cold called by Holborn only to have an appointment set up with a man all over the internet as a thief! Needless to say I cancelled...

Sounds like a a lot of two faced belony and lack of proper values.

Disappointing to say the least.


Let us commence a journey into the much travelled topic of Business Setup Dubai . Underestimate Business Setup Dubai at your peril.

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I'd like to add this. Being acquainted with one of the 'Business Development Managers' of Holborn, I've been informed of this practice.

Holborn employs a bank of researchers who will spend their day searching Linkedin and any other source of contacts for prospects mostly with Western sounding names.

Any leads are then passed on to the Business Development Team. As said above they COLD CALL these people via landline routed through London. They'll apologise for calling you out of the blue and make clear they're calling from the UK (a lie) and they are agents that work on behalf of reputable IFAs in all over the world. Based on your requirements they'll recommend you to on of their qualified IFAs.

They might refer you to their website. This is bogus. It's set up, run and owned by Holborn under a different guise. Once your interested on the promise of a tax free windfall they'll pass your details along.

Not long after you'll receive a call from someone from, who'd have guessed, Holborn.

A meeting will be arranged, you'll discuss pensions and then probably be probed on your current savings/insurance needs.

They only reason I feel compelled to expose this is the outright lies peddled by Holborn.

Karen Bobker mentioned in another post will tell you that it's unprofessional for an IFA to cold call and good one doesn't in her blog (http://financialuae.me/2011/03/23/the-beginning-of-the-end-for-cold-calling/) their radio adverts reiterate this, but it's all rubbish.

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Holborn Assets's reply to: Lost me 40k in a pension transfer and I work in finance!

We do our utmost to provide clients with the very best service and support. If for any reason you have a query or concern, we urge you to go direct to our customer service team who will help to rectify any issues quickly and efficiently. Visit our website for contact details.
map-marker Bangkok, Krung Thep

Lost me 40k in a pension transfer and I work in finance!

Daylight robbery, don't go anywhere near them. They put me into commission driven products and funds that were high risk and high commission paying.

Bob the owner is Ex RAF and supposedly a devote christian, he should be ashamed of himself. They have never responded to complaint or even consider what they have done with my hard earned money. DONT NOT USE THEM or DEVERE they are as bad as each other.

I was put into the IQS 17,000gbp this promptly lost me 12k gbp and I had to pay exit charges based on the original which they wont pay back to me. I was put into a generali personal portfolio bond which is not a suitable pension investment account due to high transaction fees, high commissions paid to the *** bag IFA and they dont seem to care as well.

Truly a shocking company.

1 comment

They are up for sale and need to show as much revenue as possible so the owners can disappear into retirement. I heard the biggest are buying them out and soon all their guys will work for the one true broker in the market just like the Acuma boys (RIP LOL).

As they say in highlander...there can be only one and soon they will be under our control.

I am sure we can get some standards in you to prevent *** like the above...

Holborn Assets's reply to: Holborn Assets - Incentivised to get client investments in return for World Cup Tickets!

We pride ourselves on offering the very best training and support in the business. We promote from within meaning that dedicated people get the chance to reach the very top. Unfortunately in our business, you won’t progress very far if you just let it be, you may even have to work a hard day’s night, but the rewards and opportunities are endless. 
map-marker Dubai, Dubai

Holborn Assets - Incentivised to get client investments in return for World Cup Tickets!

Holborn Assets - Dubai based 'financial advisory' service is at best amateur, hiring 'independent financial advisors' with little or no experience in their fields and are incentivised to to sell investment products against ridiculously high targets.

Seemingly the 'Christian' run firm had been missing targets in 2014, hence setting its commission based staff super high targets - if met consultants were in for a chance of winning flights and tickets to the World Cup Finals in Brazil - all well and good if the IFAs don't brag and broadcast this information across social media channels and mention it to their clients. Surely financial advice should be about giving the best possible to support to your client - not flogging products to anyone that will buy them in the hope of a trip to Brazil!

map-marker Dubai, Dubai

Keren Bobker: Holborn Assets.

I have already received some financial advice in Dubai from another firm but with the bad reputation of advisors in the city I was keen to get a 2nd opinion and cross reference the advice. A friend of mine already had a savings plan from Holborn Assets and seemed to be fairly happy with it. I met Keren Bobker and told her about some of the investments I had with the other firm. Almost immediately she began to slag off the advice I had been given and the savings plan I had (which by the way was the exact same plan my friend had already been given by Holborn!). Regardless of her feedback my first reaction was that badmouthing the competition was extremely unprofessional but I allowed her to continue. She then proceeded to tell me that she would never have given advice like this and I should stop paying into my current plan and start another with her. Clearly Ms Bobker thought I had been born yesterday since it was obvious to me that this was just a ploy to get me to earn her some more juicy commission. I frankly found this to be as nauseating as her hideous work attire. Her next pearl of wisdom was to tell me to invest my lump sum into one of her fancy 'tax wrappers' which would apparently shower me with a world of magical tax breaks when I went back to the UK. She also pointed out that i had to invest at least 75,000 quid and that if I wanted to put any more money in, it must be done in tranches of at least 25,000 quid. You can imagine my surprise when she gave me a brochure which completed contradicted what she had just told me! {{{Redacted}}}. Needless to say i wont be visiting her again. {{{Redacted}}}. LVP CASE ID 16-V0017 DECISION SUMMARY On October 17, 2016, Complainant submitted a complaint in accordance with the Legitimacy Verification Program (“LVP”). The complaint alleged, in part, that posts 363273 and 493259 (the “Posts”) contained statements in violation of Pissed Consumer’s Terms of Use. The Posts’ authors (“Posters”) were offered an opportunity to respond to the complaint, as provided in LVP Rule 9, but each failed to do so. Thus, the Posts and the supplemental information provided by Complainant constitute the LVP Record. Having considered the LVP Record, the Third Party Neutral finds that Post 363273 should be removed in its entirety and the review title should be regenerated to remove reference to Holborn Assets; further, Post 49259’s title should be redacted to read “Keren Bobker: Holborn Assets,” the last paragraph redacted in its entirety, and the first sentence of the second-to-last paragraph redacted in its entirety. Dated: December 10, 2016
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Verification Program. To receive a copy of the Complaint send an email that includes the review

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All Legitimacy Verification Program disputes are decided by an independent attorney who is not an employee of Pissed Consumer and whose firm has contracted with Pissed Consumer to provide attorneys who will serve as Third-Party Neutrals in conformity with the rules of the Legitimacy Verification Program. Pissed Consumer WILL NOT reveal your identify or email address to Complainant without your express consent or pursuant to a subpoena or court order.

For more information regarding the Legitimacy Verification Program, please refer to the program’s rules found at http://www.pissedconsumer.com/static/legitimacy-verification-program- rules-and-conditions.html. LVP ID: 16-v0017


I've worked in the UK for 6 years and i am in SA now, have signed my LOA but have been told that there are no funds due to me, i have been given the run around for the last 3 months, could they have stolen my pension as the woman is so evasive when i asked her for proof that there is no funds available.

Please advise what I should and can do next to find out the truth.


Interesting article..... I have just received an unsolicited email from a James Parker from Holborn Assets.

Deleted it immediately, but don't think they'd be interested in me if they saw my babnk balance! Lol


Well, this doesn't ring true. We've had fantastic advice from Keren Bobker.

Her advise was 100% independent.

In fact, the majority of my savings are in investments, advised by her, that do NOT provide her with any commission.

Yes, we have a fund too, but part of a balanced investment strategy, which we discussed, and she fully endorsed.

It's doing well.

Very well.

reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-857733

Karen is that you? 1st it says you are in Dubai and not Tunbridge Wells and second you are talking rubbish. You should really tell the truth more.........



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Holborn Assets's reply to: Holborn Assets Lost Me 52000 GBP in 24 months.

Our main focus is delivering the very best service to our clients. If for any reason you cannot get hold of your adviser, please contact our customer service department (contact details on our website).
Anishka Npg
map-marker Dubai, Dubai

Holborn Assets Lost Me 52000 GBP in 24 months.

Mr Alwyn Owens an "advisor" from Holborn Assets lost me 52000 GBP.

He advised I transfer my UK pension through Brooklands UK and he invested it in a hedge fund. I've lost it all in less than two years.

Holborn Assets couldn't care less and if the only good to come of this is that you steer clear of these bunch of weasels then take the heads up.

Not only was the advice I was given by Mr Owens disastrous but his complete lack of management of the situation in neglecting to try and mitigate my loss is the second reason I would not recommend anyone have anything to do with Holborn Assets.

The commissions charged and surrender penalties I would incur by surrendering the policy now would wipe out every penny of my hard earned pension.

I am reporting this case in the UK and Dubai to the regulatory authorities.

John Brennan


Holborn Assets's reply to: Pension transfer

We are committed to providing our clients with the very finest financial advice possible. Should you have anything you wish to discuss please contact our customer service department.
map-marker Dubai, Dubai

Pension transfer

I'm 26% down since 2011 whereas had I left my pension where it was in the UK I would be about 20% up. They have ruined my pension, through poor advice and obscene fees!

They do not act in the interest of the investor and believe me I'm in investments myself and can't believe how *** I have been. Who pays the commission only advisors to fill out forms, who do you think the end client yes us. So if you transfer 100k they get 8% commission! is that fair?

I don't think so.

Daylight robbery assisted by Generali, Zurich, Skandia, Friends Provident, Royal London and Brooklands trustees. Anyone who thinks they aren't being ripped off I would challenge that any day to confirm that you are and I know you are.


I've worked in the UK for 6 years and i am in SA now, have signed my LOA but have been told that there are no funds due to me, i have been given the run around for the last 3 months, could they have stolen my pension as the woman is so evasive when i asked her for proof that there is no funds available.

Please advise what I should and can do next to find out the truth.



the LOA that i have to fill out also requires , my address in Thailand, My UK Address, a copy of my Passport AND my National Insurance number, that amounts to me handing over a complete new identity for someone, Mine !! I just cant do it, no matter how good the good news is !!

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Holborn Assets's reply to: BEWARE OF HOLBORN ASSETS

All our advisers are fully qualified financial advisers with industry standard qualifications. We ensure that all our advisers are qualified and knowledgeable in order to deliver the very best solutions to our clients.
map-marker Dubai, Dubai


I was conned into transferring my British Pension worth 52000 GBP by Mr Alwyn Owens of Holborn Assets.

He subsequently "invested" my hard earned funds into what turned out to be a hedge fund motivated by the high comissions he received.

My fund has lost 80 percent in 18 months.

I have tried to arrange a meeting with Robert Parker CEO of HOLBORN ASSETS and despite several requests for a meeting he is ignoring my communication.

I am therefore launching an investigation through Dubai CID and the fraud squad in the UK.

I suspect foul play.

my advice..next time you receive a cold call from "financial advisor" (trailer trash) call the Police..

From: reports@***.com


Dear John,

Wednesday 12th March 2014

The IQS Performance Fund was down -3.45% on the day, with an estimated USD 147.28 per share, down -4.73% in March and down -31.71% in 2014 YTD.

The IQ-A programme for its allocation of The Fund's assets was down -1.31% on the day, and down -0.60% in March and down -10.63% in 2014 YTD. IQ-A positions by sectors are as follows:

Holborn Assets's reply to: Advised to invest in fraudulent scheme and mis-sold policy

We are committed to providing high level services and support to clients and recruits. We recommend complaints are filed through the proper channels by speaking directly to our team.
Kiwana Gwc
map-marker Vienna, Wien

Advised to invest in fraudulent scheme and mis-sold policy

I contacted an advisor of Holborn Assets back in 2009. I was advised to put a large amount of money in bonds with Friends Provident International.

It was supposed to be low risk, earn around 10% a year and easily cover fees of the bonds. As part of the investment, I also needed money placed on a short term deposit account. I was completely mis-sold this latter part as they placed it as part of the original bond and so it attracted early redemption fees, admin fees etc for a simple savings account I could have opened personally anyway. And the admin and support was appalling.

So many mistakes and conflicting advice. No follow up, no original documentation received. Then to top if all off last year (2013) one of the main schemes they advised to invest in turned out to be one of the many scam and fraudulent investments run by Peter Drake.

Any advisor with half a brain would have seen these investments were dodgy but all they wanted was the very very large commissions. Now they ignore letters of complaint and have basically lost me masses of money.