Universal Private Banking Review: An MLM bank?
Universal Private Banking describe themselves as being ‘an international financial institution specializing in investment and wealth management‘.
The company’s website provides no information as to who owns or runs the company, however the Universal Private Banking website domain (“uprivatebanking.com”) names a “Universal Private” as the owner.
Universal Private provide an operational address in the US state of Massachusetts, however this appears to be a PO Box with both Fedex and DHL operating out of the supplied address (click on image below for Google Maps):
Additionally Universal Private does not appear to be registered as a corporation in Massachusetts:
Other than being listed on the domain registration for Universal Private Banking, I was unable to find any further information on Universal Private.
As always, if an MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money.
The Universal Private Banking Product Line
Universal Private Banking offer no retailable products or services with the company stating that “no selling” is required to participate.
Instead, Universal Private Banking claim to offer “banking services” to its affiliates.
When you register, you will have an opportunity to have a bank account with the exclusive UNIVERSAL PRIVATE BANKING MASTERCARD delivered to your address and you can use it in more than 210 countries without restrictions, with the unique advantages of the Universal Fortune system.
Through use of a bank card, affiliates are purportedly able to deposit and withdraw money through Universal Private Banking.
The Universal Private Banking Compensation Plan
The Universal Private Banking compensation plan revolves around affiliate depositing money with the company and spending it, along with commissions paid on the recruitment and banking activities of new affiliates.
In order to qualify for commissions, a Universal Private Banking affiliate must publish one Universal Private Banking advertisement daily (Mon-Fri) online.
Referred to as “Cash Direct”, Universal Private Banking pay affiliates a commission for each new affiliate they recruit into the company.
How much of a commission is paid out depends on what affiliate membership level a new affiliate signs up for:
- Simple – $5
- Personal – $25
- Business – $100
- Universal – $1000
- Private – $2000
Depending on which affiliate membership option Universal Private Banking affiliates sign up for, the company pays out a “cashback” after 12 months.
It’s not entirely clear what the cashback is paid out on but I believe it’s the balance a Universal Private Banking affiliate uses to initially fund their account.
The cashback is paid out as a percentage, with the percentage determined by an affiliate’s memebership rank:
- Simple – 5%
- Personal – 10%
- Business – 30%
- Universal – 40%
- Private – 50%
Card Use Commissions
When a Universal Private Banking affiliate uses their supplied Universal Private Banking Mastercard for a withdrawal or purchase, the company collects fees.
A percentage of these collected fees are paid back to Universal Private Banking affiliates via a commission pool. This pool is split between affiliate membership ranks as follows:
- Personal – 20%
- Business – 30%
- Universal -40%
- Private – 10%
Note that affiliates each receive a an equal share at their respective membership rank. Ie. If there are 100 Private affiliates, they each receive a 1% share of the allocated 10%.
And if you’re wondering why the Private pool is such a low percentage, it’s because ‘only 50 leaders in each country can be part of this select group‘.
Universal and Private Affiliate Deposit Share
Universal Private Banking pay its Universal and Private affiliates 1% of ‘all of the first deposits in all of the accounts opened’.
This 1% is paid out monthly and divided equally amongst all Universal Private Banking Private and Universal ranked affiliates.
Binary Recruitment Commissions
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of the structure, with two legs directly under them (level 1). These two legs form the start of two binary teams (left and right).
In turn, these two legs branch out into another two legs each (level 2) and so on and so forth down a theoretically unlimited number of levels.
Each leg in the binary represents a position that is filled either via direct recruitment, or the recruiting efforts of an affiliates up and downlines.
Using the above binary compensation structure, Universal Private Banking pay out affiliates recruitment commissions based on matching pairs of newly recruited affiliates.
Pairs are calculated using a 1:1 ratio, meaning one newly recruited is taken from the left team and one from the right team. Using this pairing ratio, commissions are paid out as follows:
- Simple affiliate pair – $10 (capped at $100)
- Personal affiliate pair – $20 (capped at $500)
- Business affiliate pair – $80 (capped at $16,000)
- Universal affiliate pair – $800 (capped at $30,000)
- Private affiliate pair – $1500 (capped at $50,000)
Note that once a recruited affiliate has been paired with another affiliate in a binary, they can not be paired with another affiliate (new affiliates must be recruited).
Unilevel Recruitment Commissions
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of the structure with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any of these level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates of their own they are placed on level 2 of the structure. If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth.
There is no theoretical limit as to how wide or deep a unilevel team can be.
Using this unilevel compensation structure Universal Private Banking pay out a 40 cent monthly commission for all recruited affiliates who fall on the first six levels of an affiliate’s unilevel team.
Joining Universal Private Banking
Affiliate membership to Universal Private Banking is tied into which “bank account” an affiliate wishes to open. At the time of publication no hard figures have been released, however I have seen $400 thrown around as the minimum deposit required to activate a “Simple” ranked affiliate account.
Looking at the direct recruitment commissions paid out to affiliates, it is logical to assume that the fee for activating accounts at these membership levels will be more than the commission offered to recruit these affiliates.
Therefore we can ascertain that the joining/activation fees for Universal Private Banking affiliate accounts will be something along the lines of:
- Simple – $5+ ($400?)
- Personal – $25+
- Business – $100+
- Universal – $1000+
- Private – $2000+
Universal Private Banking are currently asking affiliates to deposit $20 to buy a position in the compensation plan prior to launch. Whether or not this will be a permanent fee is not clear.
Honestly, an MLM bank? Where to begin…
Let’s start with this irresistibly cheesy promo video, featuring what sounds like a theme song bought through a Fivver gig.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to the red flags. First and foremost is the idea that you can somehow run a bank and whack an MLM compensation plan onto it.
Especially when this is how you’re marketing it:
To succeed in the network marketing opportunity UNIVERSAL PRIVATE BANKING you only need invite two people.
Universal Private Banking mention on their website that
Earnings 100% guaranteed by an international financial institution.
But naturally fail to mention which “international financial institution” is guaranteeing them.
The binary commissions offered are straight pyramid scheme. You recruit affiliates, they recruit affiliates and everyone earns 40 cents a pop.
As for the cash backs and what nots, that introduces a Ponzi scheme layer in that it’s nothing more than recycling new affiliate money amongst those who have already
invested deposited money into the scheme.
What I’m not understanding though is that if Universal Private Banking are going to function as a psuedo-bank and let their affiliates withdraw their money and spend it, how are they going to pay the “guaranteed” ROIs and commissions they are advertising?
Ponzi schemes usually swallow participants money and promise a >100% ROI trickled out over time. These guys are offering the returns but letting affiliates withdraw their money and spend it through a card?
How’s that going to work?
And it should go without saying that MasterCard are likely to put a stop to this “network marketing bank” nonsense the second they catch a whiff of it.
It should go without saying… but here we are – a network marketing bank. Oh dear.