Structured Investments - Greg Vaughan

Structured Investments

Structured investment products…

Banks have sold tens of thousands of these products in the past ten years. They seemed to offer stock market returns without the risks. But, as always, not all was as it seemed. The risks were there, but often glossed over. In my view, anyone that considers themselves a cautious investor (and certainly anyone of retirement age) was not a suitable candidate for a structured product.

Please contact me now or read more below about these dangerous investments…

Structured investments…

Structured investment products have been sold in their tens of thousands over the past ten years, but crucially often to the wrong people.

Many banks, building societies and insurers targeted cautious investors, promising them stock market linked returns with a guarantee of at least the return of their original capital. However, what they often did not explain was how the returns would be calculated and that the word “guarantee” didn’t have the everyday meaning an ordinary man in the street would expect.

Guarantee in the case of a structured product often actually meant the original capital was only safe if the stock market performed within the parameters set in the product’s terms and conditions.

In return for agreeing to tie-up your money for a set term (three, five or six years were most common) you are promised a set return at maturity. The movement in the stock market during the period will govern this return.

For example, a typical three-year product would offer a 25% return if the stock market was higher at the end of the three-year period than at the beginning.

If the stock market ended lower after three years, you would get back your original investment but no profit.

The problem…

The problem with the above example (which is typical of how the product was explained) is that it is too simplistic. Often the marketing literature would give such an example, but leave out the risks.

For example, many products specified that if the stock market fell by a certain percentage during the period (even if later recovering) then your capital might not be returned in full.

The impact of commission payments to the selling agent (usually a bank) and the high charges levied under the product were rarely explained and in many cases have had the effect of substantially reducing the profit.

Also, many people sold these policies by big banks that they were familiar with, giving them a feeling of security, weren’t told that actually their money was being placed with another firm, often one they would not have heard of before. And worse, their money wasn’t safe in their hands.

In order to provide the capital guarantee and the promised return, the bank would buy complex financial instruments from other institutions, known as “counterparties”. As you, the investor, have no direct contract with the counterparty, should that firm fail it would mean you could not claim your money back or seek compensation through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Many thousands of people have found this to their cost, when their counterparty failed in the financial crisis.

The solution…

In my view, anyone that considers themselves a cautious investor (and certainly anyone of retirement age) was not a suitable candidate for a structured product.

Conversely, there are many investors with a moderate risk profile of working age that were sold such products when a more straightforward stock market investment (such as an equities-based ISA) would have been a better long-term investment.

In addition, the sellers of structured products are required to give you key information covering the risks, how the product works, the charges and any rights you may have if a counterparty fails. If they failed to do this, your product may have been mis-sold.

If you think you may fall into one of these categories or have any other concerns about having been mis-sold a structured product, then please contact me for a no obligation, informal chat. My aim will be to ensure you receive every penny to which you are properly entitled if mis-selling occurred.

Please contact me now or take the 60 Second Mis-selling Test


How to get in touch…
I’m here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact me

There is a Contact Form below if you would like to use that. Or one of the following other methods will also be absolutely fine.

An email may give you time to get your thoughts down and me to think about your situation before responding. My email address is:


If you prefer to chat in person, that’s fine too. My phone number is:

phonelogo.fw 0151 329 0775

Or please call me on my personal mobile number:

phonelogo.fw 07788 630037

If I am not available to speak to you at length straightaway please leave a message on voicemail and I promise I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Contact Form

Your name

Your email address


Your message**

** If you include your mobile number, I will send you a quick text message when I reply, so you know my message is waiting for you. I promise not to use your number for anything else. Please check your "spam" or "junk" mail folder for the reply if it is not in your inbox - some email systems seem to divert replies from your usual inbox. If you have not received a reply within 24 hours, do please contact me again as it is likely your message did not reach me for some reason.

Your contact details will be kept private and secure and never disclosed to any other organisation, in accordance with the site's privacy policy

©2014 G. Vaughan Financial Services Ltd. Suite 127, Imperial Court, Exchange Street East, Liverpool, L2 3AB | Email: | Tel: 0151 329 0775

Copyright © G. Vaughan Financial Services Ltd. Suite 127, Imperial Court, Exchange Street East, Liverpool, L2 3AB
All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions of website use. Copyright warning
G. Vaughan Financial Services Ltd is registered in England & Wales with company number 07570128.
G. Vaughan Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN 831336. A sample client contract is available here.
The G.Vaughan Financial Services Ltd complaint process is available here.
The G.Vaughan Financial Services Ltd privacy policy is available here.
In order to safeguard your personal data G. Vaughan Financial Services Ltd is registered with the Information Commissioner in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018. Registration number Z2616149.