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    • Duped77
    • By Duped77 16th Jul 16, 11:10 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Desperate Help needed - Expat invested in Generali Vision Plan through DeVeres
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 16, 11:10 AM
    Desperate Help needed - Expat invested in Generali Vision Plan through DeVeres 16th Jul 16 at 11:10 AM
    Dear financial experts,

    The detail to my story is quite in depth - but I will try and keep it to the sailiant points. The starting point is me I suppose - a family man who wanted to put some money aside for the future. It was around 2010 when I was expatriated to China, this lasted for 2 years. Soon after arriving in China I was approached (preyed upon) by a so called IFA from Deveres.

    I’m a man of very modest wealth - basically never having more than a couple of thousands of pounds in savings. The expatriation though increased our disposable income so I thought this was the right time to start making provisions for our families future. My 1st thought was to start making mortgage over payments …. looking back now I sooooo wish that I had done that instead of the investment route I actually ended up taking.

    I wasn’t looking to ‘invest’, however this guy from Deveres made contact with me whilst in China and I agreed to listen to what investment options may be available to me. He explained to me how this plan was flexible, low risk, the best investment opportunity available to expats (for tax reasons), etc, etc. He encouraged my to start with high contributions - saying that these could be scaled back at any time.

    Against my better judgement I invested in something called the "General Vision Plan".

    Soon after returning to the UK the disposable income reduced and I sailed back my monthly contributions down to the minimum (i.e just 100 GBP). 6 years down the line - having contributed near on 30k the plan cash-out value is just 5k. Most of the contributions were going into a fund that has since collapsed and gone into administration. I didn’t choose the fund as such - the IFA proposed a fund portfolio based upon my requirements - i.e. I asked for something low risk and flexible.

    Now I feel that I am stuck in no-mans land…. keep paying the minimum 100 pounds per month (for the next 14 years) so I don’t surrender my plan or cash out and wave goodbye to over 25k. I could cry ! A typical ‘chucking good money after bad’ type of decision.

    I understand that some of you may have little sympathy - at the end of the day I was the one that signed on the dotted line, however the plan I thought I was getting was NOT the one I was sold…… this is though mis-selling of the highest order and ver sharp practice. If the plan was sold to me in this way in the UK I would have some recourse for action through the FCA, or similar, I assume.

    I'm reaching out to you (and various other firms) because I don't know who else can help - I made contact with a several Financial Advisors in the UK but none of them will support on something so small - yet for me this is a huge amount of money and Im looking for damage limitation options.

    Its a minefield - I brought into this through Deveres (through their China office) who sold me a product from Generali (based in Guernsey ?). These companies seem to have offices based all over the place - so even if I thought it was worth a moment of my time to write a letter of complaint I wouldn’t know where to send it (but what chance does a letter a letter from me stand against the might of Deveres or Generali ?).

    Can you offer some advise - some direction even ... is there anything I can do ? Any ombudsman to contact or legal recourse ?

    Yours very very desperately
    Many thanks
Page 1
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 16th Jul 16, 11:15 AM
    • 9,814 Posts
    • 10,954 Thanks
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 16, 11:15 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 16, 11:15 AM
    There is another long running thread on this somewhere in here. I'd search for that and see if there is any action anyone has taken that's worked. Bottom line I think you are screwed though.
    • Duped77
    • By Duped77 16th Jul 16, 11:17 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 16, 11:17 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 16, 11:17 AM
    OK - apologies if Ive missed something - I'll take another look / search.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 16th Jul 16, 11:27 AM
    • 12,655 Posts
    • 11,324 Thanks
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 16, 11:27 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 16, 11:27 AM
    Can you offer some advise - some direction even ... is there anything I can do ? Any ombudsman to contact or legal recourse ?

    Yours very very desperately
    Many thanks
    Originally posted by Duped77
    If it wasn't sold in the UK then unfortunately you can't use the ombudsman here and I'm guessing there is probably very little regulation in China.

    Do you have the option of any other funds to invest in? Ultimately you may find it more cost effective to leave it rather than paying more in. If you're back in the UK then far more options are open to you like S&S ISAs and pensions now.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 16th Jul 16, 4:19 PM
    • 6,516 Posts
    • 2,491 Thanks
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 16, 4:19 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 16, 4:19 PM
    Search for this text:

    "generali vision avoid like the plague"

    Lots of cases.

    This one sounds rather similar,

    "I!!!8217;m a UK expatriate living in China. In 2006 I was advised by someone calling themselves an expat IFA (not in China) to invest in a Vision Plan with Generali."

    "Generali International Limited is based in Guersey, Channel Islands and comes under the auspices of the Generali Financial Services Commission (GFSC). However, the GFSC has no ombudsman and no powers to adjudicate in a dispute. In addition, Guernsey lawyers are prohibited from operating on a "No win, no fees" basis and non-Guernsey based lawyers have no jurisdiction on the Island. The only possible recourse, therefore, seems to be the expensive and very risky business of hiring a Guernsey based lawyer. One can see the attraction, amongst others, for investment/insurance companies to set up home in Guernsey."

    Sounds like there are a lot of ex-pats who got roped in. It sounds like FSA had the effect of driving bad practice off-shore.

    Lots of comrades to get a Class action together.

    You probably have better chance if you hire some ex-ARMY mercenaries, kidnap the executives, and force them to transfer money from their Cayman Islands bank accounts.

    If you can get your money back for over charging, Harrods will be in trouble.
    • Jonbvn
    • By Jonbvn 17th Jul 16, 1:57 PM
    • 5,304 Posts
    • 5,578 Thanks
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 16, 1:57 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 16, 1:57 PM
    When I was an expat I was approached by this company on more than one occasion. Fortunately for me, forewarned is forearmed and I told them to go forth and procreate.

    Before you invest, a quick google of what you are investing in and with whom is the minimum you should do.
    In case you hadn't already worked it out - the entire global financial system is predicated on the assumption that you're an idiot
    • richyg
    • By richyg 17th Jul 16, 8:30 PM
    • 143 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 16, 8:30 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 16, 8:30 PM
    I think you just run away and chalk it up to one of those things.

    Would you trade the monetary loss for that of your eye , or your child or even a thumb. ?

    Probably not I would think. YMMV. At this point we get perspective.

    They are however wicked and if I remember from what I read - base the charges they deduct over the plan based on the original contribution rate. How convenient.

    and hence

    "He encouraged my to start with high contributions - saying that these could be scaled back at any time."
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 17th Jul 16, 9:47 PM
    • 93,353 Posts
    • 60,851 Thanks
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 16, 9:47 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 16, 9:47 PM
    If the plan was sold to me in this way in the UK I would have some recourse for action through the FCA, or similar, I assume.
    If it was sold by an IFA then they would be FCA regulated. However, despite you using the term IFA, it would appear it was not an IFA. These are sales reps not working to UK standards. So, you dont get UK levels of consumer protection. They shouldnt refer to themselves using UK terminology either.

    It would depend on the consumer protection and rules in place in the territory that you purchased it in.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Generali2016
    • By Generali2016 7th Dec 16, 10:13 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 16, 10:13 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 16, 10:13 AM
    Hello from Generali Worldwide,

    We are following up on the original poster’s comments. In order to review your case we will need some personal information from you. Obviously you cannot post it here, but rather could we ask you to send an email with your full name and plan number as well as a link to where the post was originally made to: onlinecommunicate(at)

    Once received, we will be able to review the policy details and the terms and conditions that you would have been presented at the time and will be able to comment on your specific situation. We will always provide a timely formal acknowledgement and written response to any complaints.

    Please rest assured that we will not post any private information back to this thread and will hold your information in the strictest of confidence.

    IMPORTANT: If anyone else posting similar content in this thread would like us to investigate any queries on your policy, please feel free to follow the above process.

    Yours sincerely,

    Generali Worldwide Online Communications Team
    • Caher
    • By Caher 4th Jan 17, 10:55 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    same thing happened to me. Sold within my company offices in Switzerland by an "IFA " - what I was not told and made clear to me was the policy only matured when I was 78 and all payments made in the first 98 were admin. Admin meant his fees.
    Generali eventually returned my payments from 98 weeks -until I ended the policy (week 200) but I lost 8K, the admin portion. I ended as I was returning to the UK.
    I still very aggrieved that I forfeited this amount through what felt like deception.
    Last edited by Caher; 04-01-2017 at 11:16 AM.
    • tlongdon
    • By tlongdon 13th Apr 17, 1:58 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Same thing here, sold this lame duck by a 'financial adviser' (sales rep) in Kuwait years back.

    Had the same line that "pay as much as you can now and reduce payments if your circumstances change".

    Tried to get the company selling it (Anderson Lloyd International) investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority, but they weren't interested as the product was sold overseas.

    So every month I now see the $50,000 dwindle as Generali continues to take whatever it needs to out of the fund. I'm now down to a valuation of $13,000, with a surrender value of $3,000.

    an expensive lesson learned. Avoid Generali forever, tell everyone else you know too, and avoid overseas sales reps who Generali probably paid quite handsomely.
    • Gambler101
    • By Gambler101 13th Apr 17, 2:25 PM
    • 526 Posts
    • 1,295 Thanks
    I wouldnt reply to post 9 with any personal or financial info, he may be a scammer, at best hes representing a unethical scammy company.
    The instructions on the box said 'Requires Windows 7 or better'. So I installed LINUX
    • FormerExPatN
    • By FormerExPatN 13th May 17, 1:55 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Dear Friend,

    I lost 20k on a 10-year Generali Vision plan worth 45k at the time and I thought I was astute when it came to investment, but- I was lied to by my IFA who advised me if I cashed out early: on a 10-year plan I would lose only the first 13.4 months of contributions, which I accepted. My employment as an ex-pat ended 4 years into the 10-year plan so I cashed out as the contributions were 1.2k a month and I couldn't afford that on a taxed income .
    I would suggest you complain to DeVere, but find your original risk profile document that your IFA would have completed with you when you took out the plan , the plan selected that resulted in a significant loss may have not met your risk profile and if you could prove that it was unsuitable based on your initial agreement then you may have a case for negligent management against De Vere's IFA.
    You could submit a complaint via the regulatory authority in China, if you can find someone to represent you pro-bono or if the cost of bringing a complaint is minimal. I would start with a formal complaint to the DeVere administrative HQ then to the CEO and then the regulatory authority. Incidentally, I am helping a friend bring a complaint against his IFA in relation to a similar situation: a chunk of his money was invested in a high-risk fund which lost 80% of its value. Also-Did you give your IFA discretionary authority to select funds for you or did you document anywhere that he was to run by his choices with you first. If he did not hold regular client review meetings with you to update you of progress then you may have a claim for negligence.
    There is a slim chance of success.
    Re- the ongoing contributions, I was wash my hands of the scheme unless you can maintain the full amount of the original monthly contributions and consider a low cost SIPP and /or ISA in the UK using your hard earned money to invest on a monthly basis.
    I consider these offshore IFAs to be one and the same, they are the lowest of the low and duplicitous and dishonest in what information is revealed. I am considering a claim against the IFA as Generali Vision are not culpable. I was told by a fairly honest IFA that the GV plan was OK in some circumstances up to a 5-year term. You are better off investing in Investment Trusts, Shares if you open a brokerage account as an ex-pat and I have many people who have returned to the UK and been hot with huge early redemption fees.
    The management of the IFAs should be literally lined up and shot!
    • FormerExPatN
    • By FormerExPatN 13th May 17, 2:04 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Lame Duck-Generali Vision Plan
    Dear Friend-IMHO
    The GV plan only can return a positive return over 5 or 10 years if the monthly contributions exceed 1.1k/month. I reverse -engineered the model to work this our painstakingly. The redemptions are not explained, usually we as ex-pat clients are told that the payments during the initial term are all that you can lose as a worst case scenario, but that is not true at all!
    I would suggest that you challenge the IFA based upon the original risk profile document and whether you were kept abreast of investment performance. Loading the fund up front then reducing the contributions is absolutely wrong as the initial commission is based upon the term and the monthly contribution amount. Unless you see the plan through to the end , you lose money- guaranteed.
    • Simonfl
    • By Simonfl 6th Aug 17, 5:51 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Dear Duped77, I am in a similar situation except that I signed the contract when I was living in Belgium, I paid EUR 66000 of monthly premiums the plan value is 72 000 but the surrender value is only 23000 after almost 10 years . Apparently the administration fees are not based on the first premium but on the highest premium. In my case I started with 850/ month then reduced it to the minimum to raise it to 2500 during 10 months in order to invest part of a severance grant . Needless to say my advisor never told me that the fees would then be calculated on the basis of this 2500 euros premium... I haven't heard of him since then. I've stopped paying premiums and I really don't know what to do. Any help would've most welcome.
    • Magnus Jern
    • By Magnus Jern 15th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Magnus Jern
    Generali Vision Legal action

    We are many that share the the pain of Generali Vision.

    We are a group of 20+ people planning to take legal action on Generali over the Generali Vision plan cancellation cost/clause. If you're interested in getting your money back then join the group "Duped by Devere" on facebook and we will provide you with more information.

    It doesn't matter if you bought it through Devere or someone else.

    • Aegis
    • By Aegis 22nd Jun 18, 7:42 AM
    • 4,927 Posts
    • 3,152 Thanks
    I met with a client recently who had been duped into transferring his UK pension to an international pension on the advice of some immoral shark working for DeVere. Current surrender penalties sum to about 8% of the bond held inside the pension, and that's three years into the life of the bond.

    Every case I've seen from DeVere international so far has been similar, i.e. clients transferred (often unnecessarily or worse yet ill-advised) into an international pension and within that into an offshore bond with huge surrender penalties. Invariably the adviser will claim (falsely) that their advice is free because the bond or pension provider pays them a commission independently - this is nonsense which shows they are either a liar or a fool, as the commission is paid for by the seemingly-exortionate costs of the products they flog. Unwinding the structure means the client needs to pay all of the establishment charges (i.e. those paid in the first years of the bond in respect of the initial commissions taken by the salesman) as a surrender penalty, so it's not even a case that if you spot the problem early you can do something about it - the only mitigation is to avoid being there in the first place.

    In short, I would very strongly urge any client approached by them to seek a second opinion from an adviser in the UK and to listen to that UK adviser when they explain where the "free" commission comes from for those international products. If there's the slightest doubt at all, don't transfer to an international scheme. It's pretty rare that there's a good reason to do so.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser
    Anything I say on the forum is for discussion purposes only and should not be construed as personal financial advice. It is vitally important to do your own research before acting on information gathered from any users on this forum.
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