- 30% of respondents had a “negative” experience
- Many describe “pushy” sales tactics and financial loss
- Nearly a third of British expatriates have had a bad experience with financial salesmen since moving abroad, according to a survey by AES International.

 

In a survey of 170 of its clients, advisory company AES International found many had previously had very negative experiences when dealing with offshore financial salesmen, with many reporting pushy sales tactics, a lack of ongoing communication, and in some cases, serious financial loss.

Sam Instone, chief executive of AES International, said: “Unfortunately, this problem is very widespread in international markets and can present significant challenges for consumers looking for often highly complex financial advice. However, thankfully not all financial advisers working abroad are pushy salesmen, there are good advisers available too.

“Consumers must ensure they take some personal responsibility for sourcing advice from those qualified and regulated to provide it. 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.”

Among the respondents to AES International’s survey, a number specifically mentioned falling victim to actual scams prior to becoming a client of AES International, with one reporting losses of $250,000 as a result. Many also complained of high commissions eating into their investments and very poor investment selection.

Another very common complaint from AES clients was that prior to being sold a policy, the previous offshore salesman had been very “pushy”, often contacting them regularly over a period of weeks or even months. However, once the product was sold to them, some described the adviser becoming “evasive” until eventually “disappearing” or becoming “uncontactable”.

Instone added: “Old-fashioned offshore financial salesmen, much like old fashioned door-to-door salesmen, don’t tend to hang around for long once they have made a sale.

“This again highlights a very useful tip for consumers looking for high quality advice. Going with a company which is well established in a country or region, with a permanent address as well as a visible regulatory history, can be a good indicator of the quality of the advice company.”

 

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