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Greatway Financial (Bank of Montreal's policy) Insured Retirement Plan
February 26, 2020
10:09 am
kuyachris84
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Hi Al,

5-years ago my wife was sold an IRP a year after arriving in Canada to work as a food counter attendant as a minimum wage worker from the Philippines. She had no savings, min. wage job, no TFSA or RRSP yet was soliciated by a Greatway Financial "financial adviser" at her place of employment who insisted she would be better off with an Insured Retirement Plan plus Universal Life.

Plus, my wife already had a life insurance plan with Canada Life through Investors Group, which Greatway Financial was very aware of. Despite not meeting any of Bank of Montreal's Insured Retirement Plan suitability requirements, the policy was still sold to my spouse who had zero financial literacy and depended on her "financial adviser" to provide honest advice.

Now, I would like to ask the experts here if they can provide me with a single way Greatway Financial acted in my wife's best interest by selling her an Insured Retirement Plan + Universal Life given the outlined circumstances?

I would really appreciate your responses.

February 26, 2020
11:30 am
krwilson
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Is this the same as the post on RedFlags?

http://forums.redflagdeals.com.....n-2352656/

February 26, 2020
7:22 pm
kuyachris84
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krwilson said
Is this the same as the post on RedFlags?

http://forums.redflagdeals.com.....52656/  

Yeah, that is also my post.

February 26, 2020
8:55 pm
Norman1
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kuyachris84 said

Now, I would like to ask the experts here if they can provide me with a single way Greatway Financial acted in my wife's best interest by selling her an Insured Retirement Plan + Universal Life given the outlined circumstances?

That's not actually relevant as the insurance agent does not have any legal obligation to act in your wife's best interest. Not sure where you got that from.

Life insurance agents and investment brokers are actually salespeople, like car salespeople, and not fiduciaries, like investment counsellors. One needs to be careful when dealing with salespeople whether they are selling life insurance, investments, or cars.

February 27, 2020
9:50 am
kuyachris84
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Norman1 said

kuyachris84 said

Now, I would like to ask the experts here if they can provide me with a single way Greatway Financial acted in my wife's best interest by selling her an Insured Retirement Plan + Universal Life given the outlined circumstances?

That's not actually relevant as the insurance agent does not have any legal obligation to act in your wife's best interest. Not sure where you got that from.

Life insurance agents and investment brokers are actually salespeople, like car salespeople, and not fiduciaries, like investment counsellors. One needs to be careful when dealing with salespeople whether they are selling life insurance, investments, or cars.  

I got it from the Saskatchewan Life Insurance Bylaws, which states an adviser must work in the clients best interest - it's the law.

https://www.skcouncil.sk.ca/download%20files/Life%20Insurance%20Council%20of%20Saskatchewan%20Bylaw%20-%202020.pdf

Greatway Financial scammed my spouse of their Saskatoon office on an Insured Retirement Plan. Their Vice President Raymond "Ronar" Burgher stated in an e-mail it was totally OK to do what they did and sell an IRP to a minimum wage food worker without any savings, RRSP or TFSA.

I took a look at their Vice President's profiles on Linkedin, one was working as a pork technican only a few years prior without any financial background; the founder, Marlon Antonio does not even have the equivalence of a high school education. Nothing wrong with being a pork technician but typically a financial company will have people with actual financial credentials, especially at the VP level.

We have filed a complaint with the Saskatchewan Provincial regulator and officially have a complaint which has led to an investigation with the Bank of Montreal's senior complaint division with the President's Office. No legitimate bank can allow a company like Greatway Financial to missell Insured Retirement Plans unethically defying all suitability requirements. The reason no complaints have been raised is because most victims are newcomers to Canada who have no idea they have been tricked or duped in my opinion. It's why the predominant client base for Greatway Financial is newcomers, predominantly Filipino immigrants who run off trust bonds within their own community.

I also found Greatway Financial agents are leaving multiple false reviews and have taken screenshots accordingly; agents pretending to be customers, never trust a company that runs off shenanigans like this. Sketchy.

February 27, 2020
2:56 pm
Norman1
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kuyachris84 said

I got it from the Saskatchewan Life Insurance Bylaws, which states an adviser must work in the clients best interest - it's the law.

https://www.skcouncil.sk.ca/download%20files/Life%20Insurance%20Council%20of%20Saskatchewan%20Bylaw%20-%202020.pdf

Unfortunately, it is not the law. Read it again:

4-1 Professional misconduct

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection 4-1 (1) , a licensee may be guilty of misconduct if the licensee:

(a) fails to place the interests of the consumer before those of the licensee or others;

(i) engages in any practice that is coercive or has the intended effect of inducing a consumer into making a decision that is not in the best interests of the consumer, pursuant to section 7-12 of the Act;

"May be guilty" is not the same as "is guilty". As I said before, insurance agents are not fiduciaries. If they were, that sentence would read "is guilty" instead of "may be guilty".

I took a look at their Vice President's profiles on Linkedin, one was working as a pork technican only a few years prior without any financial background; the founder, Marlon Antonio does not even have the equivalence of a high school education. Nothing wrong with being a pork technician but typically a financial company will have people with actual financial credentials, especially at the VP level.

(laugh) You rediscovered what some of us had realized years ago! Some of these companies just sell financial products and don't actually create them. One doesn't need an MBA or be a CA or CFA to sell them or be a VP of such a company.

Just like in car sales. Car salespeople don't need to go through years of training and apprenticeship that a license car mechanic needs to do.

I also doubt there are strict suitability requirements for that universal life based IRP that your wife bought. As long as she got the insurance coverage she needed, she got a "suitable" product. That she is paying around 10X what she would be paying for the same amount of term life insurance is unfortunate. sf-frown

I have first hand and second hand stories of universal life pitches. Usually, people decline once they see that it would cost 10X what the same amount of term life would cost.

February 27, 2020
3:10 pm
kuyachris84
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Norman1 said

kuyachris84 said

I got it from the Saskatchewan Life Insurance Bylaws, which states an adviser must work in the clients best interest - it's the law.

https://www.skcouncil.sk.ca/download%20files/Life%20Insurance%20Council%20of%20Saskatchewan%20Bylaw%20-%202020.pdf

Unfortunately, it is not the law. Read it again:

4-1 Professional misconduct

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection 4-1 (1) , a licensee may be guilty of misconduct if the licensee:

(a) fails to place the interests of the consumer before those of the licensee or others;

(i) engages in any practice that is coercive or has the intended effect of inducing a consumer into making a decision that is not in the best interests of the consumer, pursuant to section 7-12 of the Act;

"May be guilty" is not the same as "is guilty".  

I have read it many times, if you want to phrase or interpret it diferetently then I did, that's your prerogattive but in my opinion, it's the same thing. The "licensee" (aka, licensed adviser under provincial insurance authority) must place the consumer (my wife/victim) ahead of his/her own. Pretty clear.

Coercive as well. A high pressure presentation which saw the insurance book decorated by the licensee like it was a piece of artwork by Picasso, trying to coerce her, a financial illiterate person who did not have an education in life insurance "investments" into signing up to an Insured Retirement Plan which was very adverse to her financial well-being.

We filed a complaint with the Bank of Montreal regarding the unethical behaviour of Greatway Financial, their "Vice President" of Compliance (Ronar/Ray Burgher) and the inappropriate matter the company is allowing BMO Insured Retirement Plans to be sold as - quasi criminally, 100% unethically, targeting newcomers from the Philippines who have no understanding of the product.

We've also launched a complaint with the regulators and BBB.

We're not done yet. We'll ensure justice is delivered.

Scamming my wife will be the biggest mistake that company made.

I will see to it that BMO disassociates from them.

June 8, 2020
3:17 pm
kuyachris84
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Good day ya'll,

I have attached a screenshot from my wife's account showing how ridiculous Greatway Financial's "fees" are, which take note: do not include the insurance portion which is paid to Bank of Montreal, the host sponsor of the plan.

Greatway Financial was charging my wife about 27% on new deposits, 6.7% on her total assets managed; sadly, that balance was built over 5-years at $150 per month contribution rate while the stock market saw record performance.

Greatway used her contribution to invest in two passively managed index funds (S&P 500 and TSX-60) which typically have a MER of below 1%.

I have no idea how Greatway Financial is able to escape legal enforcement by ripping off predominatly new immigrants with their IRP/Universal Life pitch. Most victims have no idea what they are signing up for and are cohereced under misleading information, based on messages I've received online.

greatwayscam.jpg

June 8, 2020
3:55 pm
semi-retired
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I read all the posts in this topic.Just wondering why you let your wife sign up for this insurance.I'm sure there is a cooling off period in which you could have cancelled this policy.My wife knows basically nothing about this sort of stuff.She would certainly not sign up for anything without getting my opinion.If I'm not sure about something I read up on the subject & then ask questions & get opinions on this website.My advisor tried to get me to purchase some Sh*t years ago.After looking into it & getting several tips from this forum,he lost a very large portfolio,& I now run our portfolios through BMO.

June 8, 2020
4:23 pm
Loonie
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According to http://dictionary.law.com ,
the word "may", in law, means "a choice to act or not, or a promise of a possibility, as distinguished from "shall," which makes it imperative. 2) in statutes, and sometimes in contracts, the word "may" must be read in context to determine if it means an act is optional or mandatory, for it may be an imperative. The same careful analysis must be made of the word 'shall.' Non-lawyers tend to see the word "may" and think they have a choice or are excused from complying with some statutory provision or regulation."

I think you are going to need legal advice and assistance to have any hope of success. And that will cost you more than it's worth. I'm sure that's not what you want to hear. I'm not a lawyer.
The laws need to be a lot tighter to stop these kinds of predatory practices.

June 8, 2020
8:04 pm
kuyachris84
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semi-retired said
I read all the posts in this topic.Just wondering why you let your wife sign up for this insurance.I'm sure there is a cooling off period in which you could have cancelled this policy.My wife knows basically nothing about this sort of stuff.She would certainly not sign up for anything without getting my opinion.If I'm not sure about something I read up on the subject & then ask questions & get opinions on this website.My advisor tried to get me to purchase some Sh*t years ago.After looking into it & getting several tips from this forum,he lost a very large portfolio,& I now run our portfolios through BMO.  

Firstly, she was not my wife when she signed up and we were not in a relationship at the time;

Secondly, for the first couple years, she kept it as a guarded secret, somewhat brainwashed into thinking this was the yellow brick road. It wasn't until the BMO refused to help her that she actually revealed she was not signed up with the BMO but some quack financial advisor (not adviser).

June 8, 2020
8:07 pm
kuyachris84
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Loonie said
I think you are going to need legal advice and assistance to have any hope of success. And that will cost you more than it's worth. I'm sure that's not what you want to hear. I'm not a lawyer.
The laws need to be a lot tighter to stop these kinds of predatory practices.  

Totally agree with you.

But it is no longer about the money. She cut her losses and now has a TFSA and RRSP, luckily she was able to catch most of the bottom of this market recovery and buy some great long-established REIT's like Smartcentres and Brookfield Property Partners which she has already rebounded significantly on.

She will take her $4,000-5,000 loss with Greatway Financial and learn a painful lesson. We will continue to advocate against that "company" and help other victims and probable victims. I know these posts have been effective because I have received over 20 different messages from scam victims or near scammed victims, or children of scammed parents.

It is sad. I agree, the law has to be tightened. Such dishonesty would never fly in the mutual fund or securities trading world, why is the "insurance" world so different when it comes to being able to fleece victims?

June 8, 2020
8:11 pm
cruzinalong
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kuyachris84 said

Totally agree with you.

But it is no longer about the money. She cut her losses and now has a TFSA and RRSP, luckily she was able to catch most of the bottom of this market recovery and buy some great long-established REIT's like Smartcentres and Brookfield Property Partners which she has already rebounded significantly on.

She will take her $4,000-5,000 loss with Greatway Financial and learn a painful lesson. We will continue to advocate against that "company" and help other victims and probable victims. I know these posts have been effective because I have received over 20 different messages from scam victims or near scammed victims, or children of scammed parents.

It is sad. I agree, the law has to be tightened. Such dishonesty would never fly in the mutual fund or securities trading world, why is the "insurance" world so different when it comes to being able to fleece victims?  

Life is a learning process. Everyday. Make a mistake. Never do it again.

June 9, 2020
7:57 am
Norman1
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kuyachris84 said

It is sad. I agree, the law has to be tightened. Such dishonesty would never fly in the mutual fund or securities trading world, why is the "insurance" world so different when it comes to being able to fleece victims?

It is the same in the mutual fund and securities trading as well. The same situation of salespeople pretending to be an "advisor" is there as well. Just that the targeted people are much wealthier and not as numerous because of the dominance of the bank owned brokerages.

Many investment "advisors" in the big bank investment business now decline to deal with people with less than $50,000 to $100,000 to invest. It's just not worth their while to spend some of their limited hours a year looking after someone who would invest $50,000 and would only generate $500 to $1,000 a year in commissions. Same amount of time but 3X income from looking after someone with $150,000 to invest.

Instead, small investors are sent to the mutual fund people in their bank branches, the bank's robo-advisor offering, or to the bank's do-it-yourself discount brokerage offering.

The damage from one of the five-sizes-fits-all advice in mutual funds is not very big. Same with the advice from the robo-advisors. Can't blame anyone but themselves if someone loses their life savings in the discount brokerage!

One still needs to be careful, especially when dealing with some of the smaller "boutique" brokers still around. Just have a look at people who were led to invest in private PACE Financial preferred shares and are now agonizing about their $100,000, $300,000, and $500,000 invested.sf-frown

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