May 30th, 2013
One of our clients called asking us about this company. I can’t say whether or not they are a fraud or scam at this point, but there are some huge red flags that I want you to be aware of. I did make a call to the company and if they provide me information that satisfies my concerns I will be delighted to update this post.
Note: I purposely am not providing an active link to them. So if you want to visit their site you can copy and paste the link into your browser: http://metroxbrokersltd.com/?page_id=194
RED FLAG #1
On the bottom of most pages is a claim that they are a member of SIPC, FDIC. First only an FDIC insured bank can claim to be a member of the FDIC. FDIC insured banks almost always place the FDIC logo along with text such as “Member FDIC”. You can check out Ally bank: http://www.ally.com/ or CIT: https://www.bankoncit.com/ for examples. Metrox does not just claim that the banks they work with are FDIC insured, but that they themselves are. There is no bank called Metrox or anything close to their company name.
RED FLAG #2
I searched the FINRA database for a company called Metrox and there was no entry. I called FINRA and they also searched and searched a couple of other databases. They did not find any entry for Metrox. I called SIPC themselves and same result. So if these first two Red Flags aren’t enough to dissuade you…
RED FLAG #3
They are supposedly located in Los Angeles, California. I searched the California Department of Corporations database and again, no such entry found.
RED FLAG #4
I called the company and spoke with Bob Gordon. When I questioned him on the SIPC he told me Compliance would have to call me back. It has been 3-days and no such call. By the way, I am a Registered Representative with FINRA and when we do brokered CDs they are done through our Broker/Dealer in Colorado. If you asked me about being a member of SIPC I could give you my CRD# and my Broker/Dealer’s. You could easily look me and them up.
YELLOW FLAG #1
Hopefully you are dissuaded from trusting Metrox at this point. And most importantly, I hope anytime you are given an investment opportunity that you at least verify the organizations and memberships that a company claims to hold. What is scary about Metrox is their CD Rates are high, but not so high that you do a double-take. My client told me that they didn’t feel like they were being greedy looking at those rates. They were just trying to find a decent, safe CD return. Sadly, you won’t find them with this company.
So are Metrox Alliance Ltd. or Metrox Brokers Ltd frauds? It sure looks like it. Are they a scam? You tell me! Please, please be careful out there. I know rates are low, but don’t put your hard earned money at undue risk for a few percentage points. It clearly isn’t worth it.
If anyone has any dealings with this company please leave a note in the comments.
- Neither Metrox Alliance Ltd. nor Metrox Brokers is a tenant at 3530 Wilshire Blvd., the address they show on their web site for their “U.S. Main Branch” (I spoke with the building managers at 213.639.6500)
- Their web site metroxbrokersltd.com was created April 10, 2013 in Australia and expires a year later.
- They offer annuities on their web site, but have no license from the CA DOI.
- They offer securities as well, but FINRA has no record of them.
- CA Secretary of State has no record of the companies.
When I called Metrox, they offered me a 48 mos. $200k CD at 2.95/2.99% ostensibly issued by JP Morgan Chase.
Grant (refused to give his last name) with initials GMY told me their parent is a major British company, the Alliance Capital Group, but that company does not check out, either.
Every time anyone calls, they immediately want your tel. no. and name – nothing else seems important.
If not an outright scam, I think this is a lead generating scheme for somebody.
-- By +Chris Duncan