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The United Kingdom is being targeted by high-pressure investment sales operations based in non-UK regulated overseas jurisdictions.

If you wish to gamble with your money, you should invest or gamble only with what you can afford to lose.



Reproduced by kind permission of Guardian Newspapers


Capital letters

Tony Levene
Saturday August 23, 2003
The Guardian

Would 15,000 invested prove any safer now?

Because I missed your warning last May to shun the shares and the broker, I invested 5,000 buying stock in TVE Corporation from Richmond International, a stockbroker apparently based in Dominica. This, I accept, is now worthless. But recently, I have been pestered by another hard selling firm - Knightsbridge International.

This has guaranteed me 11.25% interest a year for two years if I invest at least $25,000 (15,000). Am I likely to do any better with Knightsbridge?

KK Manchester

Knightsbridge is not in London's Knightsbridge but claims a corporate headquarters in Geneva, administrative offices in Barcelona, an operational office in Dubai,and finance centres in Amsterdam and in the tiny Caribbean tax haven of Nevis.

It is unclear why this impressive array of addresses is needed. All Knightsbridge claims to have is a 3m fund in "factoring", a financing method used by small companies to balance their cash flow with money owed. This gives, a "guaranteed return to investor (sic) of 11.25%."

How Knightsbridge can guarantee this is unclear. Knightbridge's Nigel Tate told Capital Letters it was a member of the US-based International Factoring Association. It is not, according to the IFA 's Bert Goldberg. However, Trade Credit Giro of Schiphol, Amsterdam and Nevis, for which Knightsbridge says it acts as a marketing arm, has been an IFA member since July 16. Goldberg says: "I don't do background investigations. Anyone can join for $200. It's mostly American firms. I really don't know why trade Credit's application signed by Scott Wilson was made."

Tate says Trade Credit is "affiliated" to ING bank, the Netherlands' biggest. It is not. But, in a letter, also dated July 16, ING Bank says Trade Credit has an account in good order with it.

ING says it would give such a reference to anyone whose account stays in credit. Credit Suisse and Barclay's Bank in tax haven Turks and Caicos are also listed as "affiliates who fulfil our exceptionally high standards."

Whether these banks appreciate the accolade is unclear. Strangely Trade Credit, founded, according to Tate, in December 2000, has no phone listing in Amsterdam despite an apparent need to offer its services to business.

After your Richmond experience, Knightsbridge could be a London district too far. There is no backing the guarantee so keep your cash where you can see it.


We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Write to: Capital Letters, Jobs & Money, The Guardian, 119 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3ER. Send copies, not original documents and enclose a daytime phone number. Information is general and offered without any legal responsibility. Always take professional advice if in doubt.


Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003


The Guardian - Jobs and Money

Further reading.


Read Hot Talk but Chilly Prospects


Read The Call That Cost This Man a Fortune


Back to Alerts.


Research investments that are being promoted to you before making your decision in Research


If you are a UK resident and want to know more about a high-pressure overseas investment sales operation, ask The Financial Services Authority.




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