Thursday, 1 September 2016

Readers’ Favourites - Monthly Update

‘Financial Pages in Spain’ provides information for expats and Spanish property owners


·        EU 261 Flight Delay Compensation
·        Foreign Exchange beating the High St. Banks                  
·        QROPS UK Pension Transfers
·        Spain – Healthy Lifestyle
·        Misplaced UK Assets often left behind in the UK


In the last month the readers’ favourites were a wide range of topics for both Residents & Non-Residents of Spain.


  • The readership of ‘Financial Pages in Spain’ continues to grow and this makes the Readers’ Favourites even more important!

  • Flight Delay Compensation, as determined by the UK Courts and EU rules is now your right. I had personal experience which took five years to resolve but the Courts have made that much simpler now. The key to the claim is EU 261

  • La Torre Fx – Foreign Exchange was the most read post in the month again and feedback suggests by-passing the banks for a better deal is the principal reason. This service is available for ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES but including Dollar, Sterling & Euro.




FOREIGN EXCHANGE
La Torre Fx – Foreign Exchange – Beating the banks

La Torre Fx provides this excellent service, with rates to beat the banks and high quality customer service, by linking to the very best Foreign Exchange Platform – FTT Global. The service offers great rates on all major currencies
 The continuing increase in numbers of customers and amounts transferred is evidence of excellent service and great exchange rates.

 

·         La Torre Fx – Foreign Exchange

 

           
FLIGHT DELAY COMPENSATION
It is your right to claim using EU 261 confirmed by UK Courts
The post here largely covers my five year war of words with Ryanair to get compensation. But claimants now will get their rights much more quickly. My article gives useful links to airlines to help with the process

·         Flight Delay Compensation


QROPS
UK Pension Transfer
The availability of flexible pension arrangements, in the UK, has led to an increase in the number of expats looking again at QROPS. The system is complex and you need professional advice. Email me for a referral to a UK pension transfer specialist

·         QROPS



MISPLACED, FORGOTTEN & LOST ACCOUNTS
There are £ Billions awaiting rightful owners in the UK
The most common reason for mislaying assets is change of address. That of course will apply to the vast majority of expats.  It only takes about 5 or 10 minutes to check and even the most careful can find misplaced funds!

There are many different types of funds you might find, including shares, pensions, National Savings inc Premium Bonds, bank accounts, Building Society savings and much more. Please check the links in my post

·         Lost accounts


Spain – The Sun Shines & the Lifestyle is Healthy
Popular all year round
So many people move to Spain for a better lifestyle and studies show that they have a better quality of life. There is also the sun!

The beaches are clean, the Mediterranean is still blue, the food is fresh, lots of cheap flights,  deals on hotels and apartments plus great options to rent or buy

·         Spanish Lifestyle



David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

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Friday, 26 February 2016

Flight Delay Compensation

My battle with Ryanair ended in victory

  • At first they denied responsibility

  • Then Easyjet lost a Court case and Ryanair ‘considered’ an appeal

  • Finally they admitted liability and I got paid €400 compensation

IMPORTANT UPDATE


Flight Delay Compensation

If you think you may have a claim, you should, in the first instance, contact the airline concerned

Airline links;





Jet2.Com Send booking reference and reason for claim by email to customer.service@jet2.com 

For others please ask by emailing me  David Goodall


The biggest lesson that I learned as the claim proceeded was that I would only lose if I gave up! I was certain at times that it was exactly what they wanted and expected. But I kept responding.

How it started
On 31st July 2010, myself and about 200 other passengers were about to board a Ryanair flight from San Javier Murcia airport en route to Birmingham. The loud bang we heard as we waited in the Murcian sunshine was the baggage handling truck hitting the side of the plane!

We were asked to return to the Terminal whilst the damage was assessed. Unsurprisingly, the news came about an hour later that the aircraft was too badly damaged to fly. Ryanair would ‘let us know’ when arrangements had been made to get us back to Birmingham.

Most of the next five hours were taken up with mindless tedium as other flights arrived and left. Though one incident does come to mind.

I spotted a WiFi symbol on the side of the Information Desk. On enquiring with the ‘Information Assistant’ I was informed that WiFi was only available to flight crew and ground staff, so I was denied access! That, of course, added to the feeling amongst passengers of being unwanted. They did give us ‘food vouchers’ which was equivalent to a sandwich and a cold drink. The sandwich choice as I recall was Cheese & Ham or Ham & Cheese!

Eventually, Ryanair put a crew together, an aircraft was readied in Stansted and dispatched to Murcia. On arrival, amidst cheers from bored and tired passengers came the news that we were to board the plane but it wouldn’t leave for an hour due ‘Air Traffic Control difficulties’. But we did land in Birmingham at 9.30 pm just about 9 hours late!

The Claim
The initial response, unsurprisingly, was that it wasn’t Ryanair’s fault, they gave us food vouchers, they had sent us a replacement plane – no compensation.
Four years later, light appeared at the end of the tunnel. In the European Court of Justice, a passenger claimed compensation against Tui for a flight delay using an European Union regulation which is known as EU 261/2004. The Court found in favour of the passenger.

I wrote to Ryanair and set out my claim. Based on the formula established based on the length of the delay and the flight distance, I was entitled to €400 compensation. Even with the Court of Justice ruling Ryanair dismissed the claim on the grounds that it was not their fault. I stood firm and refused to rescind my claim.

Progress
In February 2015, in the Liverpool County Court Easyjet lost a case brought by a passenger over a lengthy delay. Easyjet claimed it wasn’t their fault so no compensation was due. The Court set the defence aside and awarded the passenger damages based on the formula in EU 261/2004.

I wrote to Ryanair immediately, reiterating my claim and referring to the Easyjet claim. In fairness to Ryanair, their responses had always been prompt, but on this occasion the reply took six weeks.

Their defence was now based on the likelihood that Easyjet would appeal the decision!  By July 2015, Ryanair continued to use the ‘there could be an appeal’ reason for not settling.

Conclusion
By December 2015, with no further correspondence from Ryanair, I decided giving it one final push before using the Small Claims Court to seek redress. Having not received a reply, I sent an identical letter in mid-January 2016.

Rejoice! On the 4th February 2016, Ryanair let me know that they were pleased to offer me compensation of €400 under EU 261/2004. All I had to do was to send my bank details, which I did within the hour. Sorry, dear patient reader, it’s not quite over yet.

On 8th February 2016, I was thanked for my bank details and Ryanair were ‘happy to confirm’ that I would receive €400 within 28 working days. Now that really is good cash flow management! I suppose that from incident to acknowledging the claim took 2,014 days what’s another 28 days amongst friends! I’m now expecting to hear Ryanair’s trumpeting ‘music’ claiming that it arrived early. Cash received 26th February 2016

NEVER GIVE UP!



David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain 


Further Reading:







Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Hidden costs & charges


Are you paying for something you’re not receiving?

  • Renewal commission

  • ‘Trail’ commission

  • Ongoing ‘adviser’ costs


If you have an excellent Financial Adviser who not only did a great job for you in the first place but continues to give you service, this does not apply to you!

How closely do you look at statements you receive from your investment company or pension plan provider? Is there a charge for ongoing service by the adviser who set up the plan?

Do you receive a service from your adviser? Do you even remember who was the adviser?

Many people tell me that they don’t! So why are you paying? Well it’s in the fine print, in the Terms & Conditions which you signed. That doesn’t mean you can do nothing about it. If you don’t know if there’s a charge and receive no service you can still write to the company concerned and ask them to stop any payment from your account, plan or pension.

Financial Pages in Spain can also offer you a way out. You can ask by email for a template letter. You add your details, the details of your plan or policy plus the name & address of the investment company, insurance, QROPS or pension provider. If you have doubts just ask.

I hope that you have a good adviser, one you can trust and who gives you good service but I want to help you with the ones who don’t.

Just email if you have any queries



David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain



Additional reading:

·        Unauthorised Advisers

·        Readers’ Favourites







Monday, 12 October 2015

UNAUTHORISED ADVISERS

I have written about this before but they still exist and are a scourge!

Many of the Financial Advisers operating in Spain are doing so without any regulation, with no authorisation and if anything goes wrong YOU the client has no recourse to putting this right. Authorised & Regulated advisers must carry Professional Indemnity Insurance to protect YOU the consumer.

The only acceptable Spanish Regulators are;

CNMV
Comision Nacional del Mercado del Valores is the principal financial services regulator in Spain and responsible for authorising investment products. A CNMV adviser can be recommended, please email here

DGS
Direccion General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensions is the Spanish regulator for insurance products which can be marketed in Spain. Please email me to be referred to an authorised adviser

FCA
The Financial Conduct Authority came into existence in April 2013 to replace the FSA. Although FCA is a UK regulator firms can receive authority to operate in Spain through a European passport arrangement.
It is my very firm belief that ALL UK pension business should be carried out by FCA regulated and authorised advisers. If you have any doubts about an adviser please email me the details, as I can check them for you.
FCA rules tend to be stricter than their Spanish equivalent but you still need to check the regulation of these advisers

Warning about the Unauthorised

When things go wrong, as they do, with an unauthorised adviser you have no recourse. This subject appears in my inbox all to often! The disappointing thing for me is that I see the same names regularly.

You must check BEFORE you invest

To protect yourself, please ask for help. I can;
·         Check the regulation of an adviser you already know
·         Check if an advertisement you see is from a valid company
·         Recommend properly qualified and regulated advisers who ARE authorised in Spain

Just email me your details with anything you want to ask

Further Reading;





David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain









Friday, 14 August 2015

Scam Watch

BEWARE:
Cold calls encouraging a ‘Review’ of your pensions

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK has urged pension savers to be mindful that unregulated companies are cold-calling consumers to offer high-risk investment advice.

They are also sending emails, text messages and using online advertising. That was the warning in the UK but in Spain they also advertise in newspapers and it is often difficult to distinguish the regulated from the unregulated.

If you let me know, I can tell you if a company is NOT regulated. Just Email 

The aim of the 'review' is to encourage you to move money from an existing personal or occupational pension to a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) or a small self-administered scheme (SSAS).
The money is then typically invested in investments not regulated by the FCA, such as overseas property developments, forestry or storage units known as store pods.

Such investments can be enormously risky and can be difficult to sell and consumers could lose all the money they move, reducing what they have to live on in retirement.

And they also have less protection should anything go wrong and may not be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).  Again, also, the FOS does not cover advice in Spain.
The majority of companies offering the reviews are not authorised by the FCA, although some falsely claim they are acting on its behalf. Others claim to be working with the government following the Budget commitment in March to introduce a free advice service for people at retirement.

Financial Pages in Spain ONLY refers readers to regulated advisers. In fact I am more than happy to give you the FCA registration details of anyone I recommend. Feel free to email me to be recommended or I can check out an adviser you have concerns about. Email

You might also wish to read an article in the Telegraph which confirms the warnings given by Financial Pages in Spain



David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain




Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Investments for Expats

Whilst mortgage payers and businesses, generally, welcome low interest rates, savers, investors and especially those needing an income, are often looking for a better return

Amongst the most common questions asked of ‘Financial Pages in Spain’ are these:

·        How can I get a better return on my money?

·        Can I get a better rate than my bank is offering?

·        Should I have my money in Euros or Sterling?


Without knowing individual circumstances and providing only generic solutions, I can give some ideas. More importantly, on an individual basis, I can refer you to a Regulated, Professional and Qualified adviser.

Its unlikely these will suit everyone but consider these:

1.    Consistent income
Everyone knows that all markets, including the Stockmarket, can fall as well as rise. However, it is still possible to get a consistent income level even from a fluctuating market.

Over the last five years, the stockmarkets have had four positive years and one negative year but you could have taken a level income of say 5% and still have seen your capital grow.

As always, past performance is no indicator of future returns. I have previously stated that individual advice is necessary.

It is also true that similar investments can be made in Gilt Edged Securities, Property Funds, Global Funds and other categories. All can accommodate the principle of taking a consistent level investment. It is also possible to spread the investments over a number of different categories.

Enquire further

2.    Sterling or Euros
In reality I might also add US Dollars, Swiss Francs, Japanese Yen or many more. That’s because you could invest in a ‘basket’ of currencies yet take your income in just one, e.g. Euros

This might be very sound, if like many people, you are concerned about the future of the euro.

It would be possible to construct a personal investment, to suit YOU on a similar basis to the Consistent Income idea mentioned above. Please ask to speak to a Regulated adviser.

3.    UK Property Investment
This UK Buy to Let opportunity provides the basis for both capital growth and a regular income. It suits expats who are happy to be ‘hands-off’ with the management, which is carried out on your behalf, whilst offering guaranteed returns

Importantly it’s an investment in the bricks & mortar not a fund. For those needing it, there are innovative financing arrangements available. Just ask me for a website link. This is an ideal investment for expats with a company offering a proven record of achievement.

4.    Offshore Financial Planning
There was a time when this was only really available to the ‘rich & famous’ though this is no longer the case. Any REGULATED adviser I recommend can provide this service.

It is difficult to summarise who might benefit but most expats have assets and interests in more than one country and often there can be an efficient offshore solution to your financial plans. Even if you are not sure, a few details about your circumstances will help to refer to the best adviser. Please let me know

5.    Estate Planning
There are so many misconceptions about who pays inheritance tax and where they pay it, Estate Planning should be an integral part of your investment plans. This should arise naturally from your Financial Plan.


I hope this gives readers reason to think about their plans. Additional reading from Financial Pages in Spain includes:







David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain



Wednesday, 29 April 2015

UK Investment Property


 - Buy to Let

British expats looking at the UK for security and great returns will benefit from finding out more

Ask me for more details but here is a brief outline of the investment opportunity is as follows;

  • UK Buy to Let

  • Invest in the property NOT a fund

  • Future income streams backed by 5 year rental guarantees, with a management package included

  • Innovative and alternative funding arrangements, if required

  • A demonstrable better return than paltry interest based deposits

  • Proven track record


Without any obligation, I can give you direct access to the company’s website. Just send me an email with a request

Many of the regular readers of Financial Pages in Spain will know that I do not advertise for other organisations. This is my own initiative as I get lots of emails about low returns on savings and investments

Please email me in absolute confidence and without obligation. Even if you have no experience of property investment you will be helped and guided, if required. Feel free to ask your questions

This is genuine........but if you don’t ask you’ll never know!


David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain




Further Reading: