“Hamilton Carter are a specialist investment consultancy, focused in carbon credit trading, emissions offsetting, gold trading, property funds and other alternative investments.” If that statement from the company’s website doesn’t set off alarm bells, here are some aspects of the Hamilton Carter’s operations that will.
Hamilton Carter is one of the companies that was on Carbon Neutral Investments’ “List of Clearing Members” (here’s the list as it was on 22 April 2013). Back in June 2013, Hamilton Carter’s website featured Carbon Neutral Investments’ logo. Alarm bells ringing.
The company was registered in November 2012. The company’s director is a man called John Frederick Revell who describes himself as a marketing consultant. The company’s registered address is One Canada Square, Canary Wharf in London. One Canada Square is a 50 storey office building – the second tallest building in the UK – yet Hamilton Carter’s website doesn’t give a floor number or office suite number. More alarm bells.
The company website includes a “Meet the team” page. We are told that, “At Hamilton Carter, the team comprises of individuals whose skills, experience and knowledge spans the entire spectrum of investments.” Of course, no names of these individuals are given. There’s a photograph, but none of the people in the photograph actually work at Hamilton Carter. It’s a stock photo, available here, under the title “Multi-ethnic business group”. Not illegal, of course, but hardly reassuring. More alarm bells.
On its website Hamilton Carter offers a Free Investment Guide. But to get the guide you have to give your name, email address and phone number. More alarm bells. Unless you want Hamilton Carter’s smooth talking salesmen to waste your time, I would advise not giving them any of this information.
Hamilton Carter contacts people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments and offers them an exit strategy. You just need to buy a small block of CERs to open a trading account with them. It’s a recovery room, in other words. More alarm bells.
Should you be unfortunate enough to be contacted by Hamilton Carter, you’re likely to hear about the £16 carbon floor price that was introduced in the UK in April 2013. Here’s the sort of “scumbag correspondence” you might get from Hamilton Carter:
From: Adam White firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: 04 November 2013
Subject: Hamilton Carter
I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. As discussed I have attached a link below to an article in relation to the £16 Carbon floor price that came in a few months ago and how it affects UK companies.
I have also attached the EU document we spoke about, and have taken the liberty of highlighting the specific areas for you to read through.
Please take a few moments to go through the information, I look forward to speaking with you tomorrow as planned.
Please see the link below:
Head of Exit Strategies
Tel- 0203 657 6517
The £16 carbon floor price is a tax on companies that burn fossil fuels. It’s an attempt by the UK Government to persuade companies to invest in low-carbon technology. The Bloomberg article that Hamilton Carter links to even includes the words “carbon tax” in the headline. The words “carbon credit” are not mentioned in the article for the simple reason that the UK’s carbon floor price has no impact on, or relation to, the cost of EU Allowances, UN CERs or any other carbon credits.
Even if the UK’s carbon floor price could change the price of carbon credits, it would not change the price of, say, HFC-23 credits from China dated 2010. Near-worthless carbon credits remain near-worthless no matter what happens to the rest of the carbon market.
Of course, in the small print, Hamilton Carter warns you about the risks involved (if you click on the words “Risk Warning”, in grey on a slightly darker grey background at the bottom of the website):
Any prices of carbon credits shown are indicative only and are based on current exchange rates. Carbon Credit prices can go down as well as up. It may be difficult to obtain true market process for VERs as many are transacted “over the counter” and as such values may vary from reseller to reseller.
Currently VERs are illiquid in comparison to the compliance EUA credit market. There may be a big difference between the buying and selling price of carbon credits. Trading in carbon credits involves risk. You may get back less than your total outlay and in extreme cases make no recovery. Any growth shown or suggested is a projection only and cannot be guaranteed.
But I bet they don’t say any of that over the phone when they are persuading you to invest in near-worthless carbon credits (or persuading you to hand over yet more money on the promise that they can sell your near-worthless carbon credits at some point in the future).
If you have been sold carbon credits as investments, please read this post: “What to do if you’ve been scammed into buying carbon credits as an investment.”