DeVere Group has confirmed it is being investigated by the Belgian regulator. The probe comes as the financial advice behemoth was forced to make a payment to an elderly couple who invested in two failed investment funds via the company’s Cypriot office.
According to the Daily Mail's Tony Hetherington, deVere advisers in Cyprus recommended the couple invest into the Premier Property Option fund and the Premier Diversified Property Fund in 2007. The investments were described by the accompanying documentation as ‘low volatile investments’ and the couple invested £100,000 in the funds.
In 2010 the funds were compulsorily redeemed and frozen, respectively, and losses totalled 60%.
Subsequent investigation by the newspaper found deVere’s Cypriot office did not hold its own financial trading licence but had passported into the country via its Belgian licence.
As the company is only licensed to sell insurance products in Belgium, the Belgian ombudsman could not compensate the couple. DeVere has settled the matter with the couple but the group is now the subject of an investigation by the Belgian regulator.
Martin Byrne, a lawyer and ‘reputation management’ specialist working for deVere, told the newspaper: ‘Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on the specifics of this case due to the on-going investigations, with which we are co-operating fully.’