OMI said that, had the true level of commission been disclosed, the products would not have passed Old Mutual International’s criteria and no investments would have been made.
As a result of the investments in these products, significant financial losses have been suffered.
OMI said it is taking legal action to seek redress in respect of those losses.
In addition to Leonteq Securities, the legal action is also being taken against unspecified related parties.
Peter Kenny, managing director of OMI, told IA: “We are taking a firm stand against the behaviour which has led to such devastating consequences. As with all legal cases, there is a long road ahead, but we will do all that we can to bring to account those responsible.”
IA contacted Leonteq for comment ahead of publishing the article.
Drive them out
Separate to the legal action against Leonteq, OMI has issued a call to industry to encourage all market participants to help get rid of inappropriate structured products, which it says are having a damaging impact on investor confidence and outcomes.
Over the years, the Isle of Man-based life insurer has taken action to tighten its criteria, introduce a maximum fee level and, in some cases, has banned certain types of structured products from certain institutions.
Not all structured products are bad, a statement from the company added.
They can be useful for clients who want a degree of capital protection while also providing exposure to investment markets or a fixed return.
However, many structured products are very complex in design. Regrettably, some investors and advisers will not always possess the depth of knowledge required to fully understand the risks and rewards associated with investing in such products, OMI added.
Kenny said: “Investors deserve fair pricing, simplicity and transparency – it is the responsibility of all market participants to deliver against these requirements for the international financial services industry to have a sustainable future with good customer outcomes provided by trusted brands.
“I would encourage all industry participants to work together to eradicate poor practices once and for all.”