Seems we can´t get enough of Holborn Assets’ cheek this week. CEO Bob Parker has sent out a Q1 2018 newsletter and included on his mailing list a very unsatisfied and traumatised client who, through Holborn Assets’ negligence, has suffered a significant loss to her pension fund, with no compensation – or even apology.
Glynis Broadfoot was a victim of Holborn Assets’ rotten advice and service in 2011 and which resulted in her losing a significant portion of what had originally been a final-salary pension which should never have been transferred in the first place. Holborn Assets refused to help her, and simply kept taking their extortionate fees from her ever-shrinking pension pot. They had invested her in high-risk, professional-investor-only structured notes which were totally inappropriate for a low-risk investor.
You can imagine Mrs. Broadfoot’s fury and disgust when this message popped up in her inbox.
In summary, despite the expensive advice given to Mrs. Broadfoot by Holborn Assets, and assurances that her pension would grow at 8% per annum, she ended up losing nearly a third of her fund. Despite the fund’s losses, Holborn Assets continued to apply their fees to the fund, totaling somewhere in the region of £11k!
Holborn Assets informed her, at the height of her distress over her losses, that they “had closed the case, and would not enter into any further correspondence”. Yet now, several years on, it appears she’s still on their mailing list – despite knowing full well they have left this victim’s retirement prospects in tatters.
Mrs. Broadfoot’s case was typical of “fractional scams“: expensive and unnecessary insurance bond (only purpose was to pay a fat commission to the scammers); expensive, high-risk, professional-investor-only structured notes (again, high commissions for the scammers and heavy losses for the victim); hefty advisor fees. This was a very obvious scam which caused great suffering for the victim who is resident in Spain – but Holborn Assets was not licensed to provide investment advice in Spain.
In the years since Mrs. Broadfoot was scammed, Bob Parker did start to engage half-heartedly with a process of negotiating compensation for her losses. But so far she has not received one penny. Her local government final salary pension scheme – which she was conned into sacrificing by these unlicensed scammers – would have provided her with a guaranteed, index-linked pension for life and she could have retired comfortably. Instead, she has a seriously damaged fund which is unlikely to ever recover and provide her with the retirement income she needed and deserved.
So, far from getting the “best level of service and advice available” as boasted by Bob Parker, Mrs. Broadfoot was conned, scammed, fleeced and then dumped by Holborn Assets.
Which brings me on to the Trust Pilot reviews. Only 2% scored Holborn Assets as average or poor. Which is very surprising – given the number of people who report similar stories to Mrs. Broadfoot’s. But I think it is likely that those who gave four or five stars, haven’t yet found out what their losses are. In fact, some of these reviewers admit they were cold called by Holborn Assets. We know for sure she was flogging the high-risk Premier New Earth Recycling UCIS fund to her victims and that there have been heavy investment losses.
One person who has given Holborn Assets a “poor” rating on Trust Pilot is a Mr. Norton who writes:
I don’t believe anyone from Holborn has contacted me since September last year. In August 2016 I was contacted and advised to switch my policy which seemed ridiculous considering the additional charges I would incur, the fact it was even suggested causes me concern.
Then in September 2016, I was contacted to recommend my wealth manager for an award, again the audacity of this makes me wonder.
I have no idea on what your investment performance to date is over the past 12 months and I have not been given any confidence how my investments will be managed going forward now that I have finished paying your fees and I actually begin to get money invested.
I do plan to visit within the next month and hopefully by that stage you in a position to assure me I did not make a big mistake investing my money with you.
Another victim has complained directly to Pension Life about the appalling treatment he has had at the hands of Holborn Assets:
“Since 2013, the fund has not done anything at all. The fees are much too high, excessive transactions have been made to earn themselves money on my account and the investments went down in value. There is no communication with Holborn Assets and they are unwilling to discuss this matter with me or to do anything about it.”
So, as the cheeky Bob Parker is aiming to infiltrate South Africa with his new weapon – the bright-eyed and bushy-chinned Lourens Reichert – I thought now would be a good time to make friends with Reichert and see if he can put some pressure on Uncle Bob. Reichert will, no doubt, be very pleased to help me sort these victims out – as he has a big bulging lump in his trousers courtesy of Bob’s golden handshake.
I might even nip down to Johannesburg and have a cup of tea and a cheeky biscuit with him. No doubt, he won’t want the sordid details of Holborn Assets’ scams to compromise his quest to conquer South Africa. If the natives find out just what his colleagues have been up to, he might find himself on the wrong end of a Zulu spear.