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.