Letter to the MFSA
Spain Buddy has been sent a copy of the following. This is an email sent to the MFSA with regard to the many people who have lost huge amounts of their pension savings (many British citizens now living abroad included) that are suffering after being advised by unlicensed Continental Wealth Management to transfer their UK pensions to a Momentum QROPS in Malta. Several other reporters and media organisations were also copied in. Continental Wealth Management collapsed in September 2017, and Momentum has now denied liability for the millions of pounds’ worth of losses suffered by hundreds of their members.
The email to the MFSA
I am writing to you as one of the many hundreds of victims of the CWM fraud – facilitated by our trustees and the life assurance companies. One of the victims has decided to come forward and share her tragic story publicly. Please read it and then let us know what you, as the regulator, are doing about this. So far we have heard nothing from you. There has been no action and no contact with any of us. Between us we have lost millions of pounds worth of life savings – and yet you, the regulator, sit there and do nothing.
We, the victims, whose lives have been ruined, are not going to take this lying down. If the regulator is too feeble to act, then we will all spend the rest of our lives writing press articles about the pathetic country, government, police and regulation in Malta which so disgustingly fails to protect the public.
As the regulator, you have ignored and allowed to go unpunished the following:
- Our trustees took a huge amount of business from an unlicensed advisory firm – Continental Wealth Management – in Spain in the full knowledge that this is illegal under Spanish law
- Our trustees allowed all of us to be put into hugely expensive insurance bonds which we didn’t need and which would tie us into this arrangement for many years
- Our trustees accepted forged dealing instructions
- Our trustees allowed us to be lied to about the fees and commissions which would drag down our funds disastrously
- Our trustees invested 100% of our funds in high-risk, professional-investor-only structured notes
- Our trustees sat back and watched the value in our funds plummet consistently and yet did nothing about it. Didn’t even tell us! They watched our retirement savings dwindle away while they kept taking their fees
- Our trustees paid out one victim for her losses – but they haven’t compensated any more of us
And yet you, the regulator, sit back and do nothing? Our trustees have been doing this for six years and you have allowed it. You have given our trustees a license to ruin hundreds of people’s lives. We hope you will hang your heads in shame.
As most of us face a sickeningly miserable Christmas in the coming week, please read one victim’s story. Then tell us you are going to continue to do nothing and let those responsible for our agony walk away callously and smugly. Shame on you.
VICTIM’S OWN ACCOUNT:
Didn’t sleep again, nothing new. Anxiety and depression sets in. Seeking counselling in New Year, have to! Son possible cancer, the only love in my life left and more tests due; and Xmas is looming!
Alzheimer’s mother who I cared for lost years ago same time, just when a 30 year marriage ended, and so, so, many losses, the list is long; and all within one year ….salvaged what I could, after a horrendous divorce sharing assets of matrimonial home and our joint pension I worked for over many decades; taking a son, a dog and a little horse Annie whom I rescued in UK with 8 years of owning her, set off to Portugal to have a new home and a business venture to secure the pension with my working full time creating a tourist business, enabling me to be self sufficient into my dying days. All possible, and I alone with no support albeit a very sick son; turned around the villas into self sustaining business, which I didn’t have the opportunity to see its success after all this hard work; as it was taken from me no fault of my own; only to sell it cheap with losses due to CWM scam. My life solo in the mountains of PT trying to learn the language, employ and create a self sustaining life very possible, was possible; with hard work was destroyed by CWM.
I believed and trusted my Trustees; my Provider; being professional corporate business’s would ensure my safety….also CWM’s regulators; and I didn’t sign for high risk investments either; I am not that stupid. I didn’t make those choices they were taken from me unknowingly.
I am the client, not the professional provider nor the trustee! I didn’t go to University got the degrees nor able to be set up with their expertise! I pay them to do their jobs take their responsibilities of service. They have Responsibilities of Due Diligence and interests of the client that I believed would be in situ. I also trusted the regulators of CWM so everything was in place for my choice and decisions and so sound. Not so. Not only errors made by so many professionals I pay fees to; but CWM themselves who forged signatures; put me into high risk investments knowing the results; with only their commissions and fees taken leaving me ruined at a divorced single old lady a victim of their greed.
I insisted on investments not being high risk. I didn’t sign up with this QROP scheme being high risk but only found out a year later when received Statements that anything was wrong! they had one year to screw me over and no guidance alert made from my Trustees or anyone so silent. That destroyed me. No longer a future in working full time OAP ended suddenly. Not my choice.
This isn’t an Expat enjoying the sunshine rich! but one beginning again with hard work stress a stranger in a foreign country making her life begin again with her own money being self sufficient if she can. How cruel.
Realising a year later in trouble with these so called professionals: my little horse had to be given away to a new home; broke my heart just another loss added to all my losses. The rescued animals had to be put down. Where do I turn and who now do I TRUST. Told by some adviser I will have to live off £100 a month.
I don’t have a future and cannot commit to even trying again to establish a new life here, when I don’t know if I have one. Might as well die….end it….. but that would make it so much easier for the evil in this life to win! I wont give up. I am broke, living again back in UK without anything resolved. I suffer with osteoporosis ill heath which is noticeable since all this crisis, depression and panic attacks so when one thinks of compensation if anything will ever be resolved; just add on personal injury, stress ill health; and losses of homes; business; futures; and when I still see enormous fees taken from last remaining pension it sickens me of this violation of moral issues. Kick someone when down hey………..well, despite my emotions as I am by nature a true hard working OAP without any prospects of work a dying son possible’ alone a stranger again. without support, nor friends, or family.
I do look to those who should and hopefully will do the right thing, and I do still hope that these errors will be rectified if not. I am not going to die yet; I will take it further I will shout out loud to save others if not myself. It isn’t right and there must be justice still in this world when you the client do everything RIGHT and others DONT.
I am and very confident whatever it takes: these matters will and have to be rectified we cannot allow others to fall foul of this ever! Government MPS Media everyone must know about it. It mustn’t happen again……….I walked away from my home empty, closed the gates to a life that could have been, so promising; but was ripped stolen from me. Not just my PENSION but my life.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.
December 20, 2017 @ 7:14 pm
I am so pleased that you have brought this to the attention of the public. We are also victims of this horrendous scam. There were we thinking it was great idea to transfer our pensions using the services of this “professional” company CWM, who with skill and knowledge would increase the value of our hard earned savings to ensure we could enjoy our later years with a nice regular pension payment to keep us comfortable. Despite questioning what was happening to the fund value, we were told it was all just paper losses and on maturity the fund would be of great value. This was not the case and we now face a miserable future and one that due to our age, we will never recover the money lost. With skill and determination various people / companies seem to have profited from our investment, but sadly it is not us, nor around 300 other investors. Please, take note of this article. If you are contacted by any firms offering to help you transfer your fund via the QROPS system, DO NOT! Leave it in the UK, wait, and enjoy your retirement money after it has been looked after by regulated companies in the UK. Despite what you might be told this is an absolute minefield and we will probably never be compensated for our losses as no-one can be held responsible.