Public alert: SEC warns against unregulated UK firm targeting Asian investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked the investing public to exercise caution when dealing with a group of persons representing Financial.org, a British company that has been soliciting investments from Asian investors even without the necessary license from regulatory authorities.
Financial.org, which has an office in London’s Canary Wharf, claims to be an educational platform, providing “financial knowledge and skills”. It also sponsors a Formula One team.
The SEC cited a Reuters article that reported that Financial.org had received as much as $400,000 each from investors in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
Most of these investors said their money had been invested in US blue chip stocks and that they had made a profit.
SEC, however, noted that Financial.org was included in Malaysia’s Securities Commission’s list of those that are not authorized to deal in securities, futures contract or advise on corporate finance.
Apart from this, the Monetary Authority of Singapore likewise placed Financial.org in its list of unregulated persons who may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or authorized by MAS.
SEC said Financial.org is also not registered with the commission as a corporation or partnership and is not authorized to solicit investments in the Philippines.
Salesmen, brokers or any persons without authority to solicit investments will face a maximum fine of P5 million and/or imprisonment of 21 years as prescribed under the Securities Regulation Code.