SEB – DESTROYING LIFE SAVINGS – accepting business and investment instructions from unlicensed scammers.
SEB Life International Assurance offers so-called life assurance policies to expats living in Spain. SEB claim that their policies are straightforward and help investors to construct investment portfolios specifically to individual needs. The truth is, life assurance policies with SEB destroy life savings.
In reality, SEB – along with many other life offices – merely serves to facilitate financial crime. In the case of victim Dave, SEB accepted investment instructions from a known firm of unlicensed scammers: Continental Wealth Management. SEB allowed them to invest 100% of Dave’s retirement portfolio in toxic structured notes which resulted in him losing nearly two thirds of his life savings.
SEB – DESTROYING LIFE SAVINGS: Dave, resident in Spain, transferred his pension fund to a QROPS in December of 2012. The scammers put him into an SEB “bond” which was supposedly “Spanish compliant”. Continental Wealth then invested £160,000 into one high-risk, professional-investor-only structured note and kept £7,000 in cash for SEB’s fees – basically a claw-back of the commission paid to the scammers.
In December 2015 Dave was sent his annual policy valuation by SEB. The opening policy value was just over £90,000 – £60,000 LESS than the original value three years earlier. A year later, the fund was worth just under £55,000. Two thirds of Dave’s pension pot had dribbled out from bad investments and high policy charges – thanks to SEB letting the scammers play fast and loose with the money.
Despite these crippling losses, SEB continued to charging their quarterly policy fees.
In 2013 and 2016 SEB wrote to Dave, informing him that he did not have a “nominated asset” to keep his cash balance positive – so that SEB could keep taking their own fees while they sat and watched Dave’s funds being destroyed by the scammers. This entailed Dave’s fund suffering a further loss as an early redemption of structured notes inevitably results in a loss.
The SEB website claims:
- “Commitment to outstanding client servicing” If sitting back like a lazy parasite and watching a client’s life savings lose 2/3 of its value is “outstanding” we hate to think what “bad” client servicing is.
- “Highly secure and reputable company with sound financial backing” We are glad to hear SEB has financial backing – it is going to need it to pay redress to Dave and all the other victims whose pensions were destroyed by scammers. This will be the real test of whether SEB is “highly secure and reputable”.
- “Competitive products” We would not consider high-risk structured notes to be “competitive” in any way – they are totally unsuitable for pensions. SEB should have known this and should not have allowed the victims’ life savings to be invested in such toxic products.
- “SEB Life International aims to provide superior long-term investment performance and a broad range of products to suit complex investment needs. So, whatever your investment needs, managing a sophisticated portfolio or simply saving for the future – you’ll find solutions here.” In Dave’s case, there was NO superior long-term investment performance. Just massive losses through investing his hard earned cash into toxic, high-risk structured notes which were clearly labeled “for professional investors only”.
Dave can certainly vouch for the fact that in his case, the only outstanding client service SEB delivered was the guarantee of taking their quarterly fees – and even causing him further losses to keep sufficient cash in the portfolio so they could help themselves to his money.
SEB’s website also claims that the only investments they will accept are:
• SEB Life International internal Unit-Linked Funds (including Internal and Select List Funds and Standard
• Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS)
• Retail Authorised EU based Collective Investment Schemes1
• Cash and Fixed Deposits
The policyholder may only switch from among the different groups of assets detailed above.
Structured Notes will not be accepted.
So, in addition to facilitating financial crime and paying known scammers huge commissions to destroy victims’ life savings, SEB Life International are outright liars. Dave, along with hundreds of other victims, had their retirement funds invested in structured notes provided by Commerzbank, RBC, Nomura and the fraudsters at Leonteq.