The private placement business is mostly composed of brokers who have never closed a deal, and many of them are desperate for money. Over the last few years, these inexperienced brokers have realized two things: they aren’t getting paid on the “big deals” they’re chasing, and there are a growing number of small clients showing interest in private placement that don’t meet the net worth requirements. With most of the brokers having little in their pockets, and a large demand for private placement programs, the bank instrument leasing business was created.
Leasing bank instruments involves the temporary assignment of a bank instrument for an agreed upon fee between the instrument owner and prospective borrower. This is similar to the idea of “proof of funds”, which has been around for years. To summarize, if the owner assigns the funds to a temporary beneficiary, that beneficiary may be able to show these funds for future transactions which require proof of sufficient capital. The problem with this isn’t so much the leasing of the assets, but rather the leasing of the bank instrument.
Every time you come across a broker trying to lease bank instruments, the story is always the same. They claim you can enter private placement, access loans, finance projects, and more, all by paying a UPFRONT FEE via Escrow to access a bank instrument. They also claim the instrument will be in your name, and you can do whatever you want with it. Though success in these scenarios is possible, you would have a better chance putting it all on a hand of poker. Think about it, the majority of bank instruments are 100M and more, and are owned by the most affluent individuals in the world. Do you really think they would allow you to use it as collateral for risky transactions, all for just a 5-10% fee per year? No, that would ignorant, and not worth the risk.
Let’s take a look at the REAL FACTS:
- Leased Bank Instruments can RARELY be Used for Private Placement Programs
Real private placement programs are regulated by the Federal Authorities, and due diligence is completed by the banks specific to their rules. When a client goes through compliance, the asset goes through compliance as well. If you claim to own an asset on the contract, and it is actually leased, you are committing fraud and the banks WILL find out. In addition, many private placement programs require that you block the bank instrument in favor of the trader via MT 760. Once again, the bank will NOT allow you to block the instrument in another person’s favor, because they can see it is already encumbered by the REAL owner when it was leased to you.
- You can RARELY Get a Loan against a Leased Bank Instrument, Since you Don’t Own It
Can you walk into a bank with your brand new leased BMW, and ask for a loan against it? I don’t think so. They will background check on the vehicle and see you are not actually the owner. This is the same idea with leasing a bank instrument. Since it is an asset, banks must complete their due diligence on it so they know that if you failed to pay on the loan, they can seize the collateral and repair what was lost. If the collateral is owned by another individual who has not signed off on the loan contract, the bank CAN’T seize that person’s collateral, and therefore, the bank would not loan to anyone but the real owner of the asset. In short, your only option for a loan against a leased bank instrument would be from a private lender.
- MOST Bank Instrument Leasing Deals End Up as Fraudulent Transactions
Most of the time there isn’t even a real bank instrument to be leased. The chances of finding a broker who is connected with an individual who owns this specific type of asset is tough, but when you add that this owner also must be willing to lease the asset for a low fee, it is next to impossible to find. Though in theory you can lease bank instruments, the odds are stacked against you to say the least!
- Bank Instrument Leasing Contracts ONLY Protect the Provider and Brokers
When you see a contract to lease a bank instrument, you will notice that there are no representations or warranties made by the providers or brokers. This allows them to block an instrument in your favor with restrictions, and if you can’t use it for anything, it’s your loss. Even though they may have to “deliver” the instrument via SWIFT before the money is released from Escrow, there is no guarantee that this instrument will be delivered properly, or that it will still be applicable to the opportunity you were using it for. In essence, you are taking a BIG gamble, and if the provider of the loan, service, or private placement program doesn’t perform, (which is usually the case) then you are out the full fee.
- Leasing Fees DON’T Even Make Sense Compared to the Risk for the Owner
Most brokers who try to lease bank instruments charge an upfront fee, and claim that the instrument owner is getting most of it. This fee can be 5-15% of the face value if the bank instrument is leased for a year. Let’s take a step back and think about this for a second. If you were the owner of a bank instrument worth 100M, would you really risk transferring it for only a few percent a year? Once again, I don’t think so. As the owner of the instrument, you already get 6%+ per year on the coupon, so it’s not like you need the extra cash.
As you can see, even though it doesn’t make sense to lease instruments, brokers are still pushing these deals because they hope that they can get commissions. While the dollar signs are blinding them, they lack the interest to complete due diligence on the provider, which leads to an unsafe transaction for the client. Unfortunately, we have spoken to 100’s of individuals who have fallen for this, and now most are out several hundred thousand, if not millions of dollars.
The moral to the story is: use common sense, not hope when trying to complete private transactions. As you may see, we have mentioned this in many other articles, and it’s truly the KEY to mitigating your risk. Though leasing liquid assets and “proof of funds” is a viable strategy, leasing bank instruments, in our opinion, is a sure avenue to disappointment.
Stay safe, and diligent.