There is a bewildering array of structured products on the market today. They can broadly be categorised as either principal-protected investments, buffer zone investments or return-enhanced investments, but in reality they are almost limitless in their variety. They cater to most investment needs by offering varying levels of income/growth potential and capital protection. As a result, they need to be carefully matched to an investor's needs and the risks must be carefully explained.
The collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near-collapse of AIG in late 2008 brought structured products sharply into focus and highlighted just how risky even the principal-protected variety can be, because any guarantees offered are of course no better than the financial institution backing the guarantee. The return-enhanced variety had of course hit the headlines several years before when the mis-selling of so-called high income and precipice bonds attracted a substantial FSA fine.
Investors who have suffered losses on structured products may well be able to recover compensation. We have a great deal of experience of advising on these claims and we have successfully recovered compensation for our clients. There are a number of potential targets. The FSA highlighted in October 2009 that many financial advisers were still giving seriously deficient advice on structured products. The product providers may in some cases have produced inadequate marketing and product literature. There may also be scope for pursuing the credit ratings agencies or any custodians involved.
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