PRESS RELEASE 10 July 2009
COMMISSION GUIDANCE REGARDING MAKING INVESTMENTS AS A RESULT OF UNSOLICITED PHONE CALLS
The Jersey Financial Services Commission (the “Commission”) is aware that persons resident in Jersey have recently been the subject of unsolicited phone calls (so called ‘cold calling’) from persons purporting to be investment advisors, located in the United Kingdom or the United States of America, offering the chance to invest in shares/stocks of companies.
The Commission would like to take this opportunity to remind local residents that firms wishing to conduct investment business, including the provision of investment advice, locally must be licensed by the Commission or able to avail themselves of an exemption from registration.
Organisations that use ‘cold calling’ methods may not have the necessary licence in their jurisdiction and may even be involved in illegal investment schemes, which may result in investors losing their money.
The Commission therefore strongly recommends that Jersey residents do not enter into an investment purely as a result of an unsolicited approach. As a minimum, and before committing any money or personal details, the Commission would recommend the following:
- Ask for full contact details, including the street address of the company and who they/the company are licensed/authorised by.
- Independently verify any claims made by a sales person or investment advisor, for example:
- Check to see whether the caller is licensed by the Commission at www.jerseyfsc.org.
- If the caller states they are licensed in the UK then check the UK Financial Services Authority’s website at www.fsa.gov.uk.
- If the caller states they are licensed in the USA then check the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority website at www.finra.org and the US Securities and Exchange Commission www.sec.gov.
- Take notes of conversations, including names, dates and times.
- Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions.
- Don’t solely judge a company or sales person by how professional they seem or the quality of their promotional material.
- Beware of pressure selling techniques to make a quick decision and NEVER sign up to anything immediately. A reputable investment advisor/broker will allow time for you to undertake research and, if the investment is genuine, there will usually be a ‘cooling off’ period in case you change your mind.
- Beware of claims that an investment will produce a guaranteed, risk-free or exceptional return. Most investments include an element of risk and returns cannot be guaranteed.
- Beware of any investment whose past performance and potential growth cannot be easily checked, for example in the financial press.
- Beware of being told to keep the deal confidential. If the investment is legitimate, why would you need to keep it confidential?
- NEVER give your bank account details, credit card details or other personal information to anyone you don’t know or whose credentials you haven’t checked.
- Read the small print on any documentation and be sure you understand all the terms and conditions of any offer made to you.
- Consider taking independent professional advice before making any investment and particularly if the type of investment is unfamiliar to you. A list of firms and individuals authorised by the Commission to provide investment advice can be found at www.jerseyfsc.org.
Should any Jersey resident have any concerns having entered into an agreement as a result of being ‘cold called’ by persons offering investment advice then please contact the Enforcement Division on 822010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ends -
For further information please contact: -
Barry Faudemer - Director, Enforcement
Tel: + 44 (0) 1534 822137
Fax: + 44 (0) 1534 822003