I have been consulted by a gentlemen who was helped by the carbon credit salesman to put all of his share portfolio onto a platform in order to sell it to purchase carbon credits. As a result this person lost over £300,000 and over 80% of his investment wealth. The gentleman in question I would deem as susceptible and vulnerable and in need of protection. Indeed this particular gentlemen wrote to the FSA asking for help in the middle of this process and bought further carbon credits after communication with them, because the carbon credit salesman said it would 'diversify' his risk!! There are people out there selling these as investments and saying that they will double your money, when in fact the credits are massively overpriced for what they are (even when you accept that you will never be able to sell them on to anybody else) and I suspect that well over half of the money that is raised is going into the pockets of the salesmen themselves. So in the case of my gentleman the salesman may well have earned £150k of commission.
Carbon Credits are not investments
The facts are that voluntary carbon credits are not investments. There is no secondary market for them so you cannot sell them in the future. Voluntary carbon credits are designed to help companies offset their carbon emissions and companies do not buy these from retail investors. We all have a duty to tell everyone we know about this, especially our grandparents, because people are still losing huge sums of money from unscrupulous and immoral salesmen.
What is regulation for?
As a profession Independent Financial Advisers are scrutinised and monitored to the nth degree while carbon credit salesman are doing this. If you uncover these sort of practices first hand it is tear jerking stuff and is what regulation should be designed to stop. It is mind boggling that this seems to be under the legislative radar.