FMA Alerts on Financial Scams, Reports Decline

FMA Alerts Financial Scams: adds Ocean Trade, Cato Asset Management, and more. Decline in financial scams reported for 2023.

Home » FMA Alerts on Financial Scams, Reports Decline

New Zealand’s Financial Market Authority (FMA), recognized as one of the most active regulators in financial markets, has recently updated its warnings and alerts list, reflecting the ongoing vigilance against potential scams. In the latest round of additions, the FMA has identified five entities engaging in activities related to investment services for retail traders, asset management, and term deposits.

The entities newly added to the FMA’s alert list within the last 24 hours include Ocean Trade, Cato Asset Management, Bronte FX, Co-operative Bank, and Bank of China. Notably, Ocean Trade operates under twelve different web addresses, utilizing the registered data of Mercado Limited (registration number 7353856). Despite this association, Mercado’s director confirmed to the FMA that his entity has no connection with Ocean Trade. The FMA has listed various websites linked to Ocean Trade, cautioning the public to exercise vigilance.

FMA Alerts Financial Scams

As suggested by its name, Cato Asset Management purports to offer asset management services. In the case of Bronte FX, categorized as an “imposter website,” the FMA notes attempts to mimic the licensing data of other entities and replicate website appearances. Reports indicate that clients faced difficulties withdrawing funds from Bronte FX.

The remaining two warnings concern the Co-operative Bank and Bank of China, both offering what the FMA terms “fake term deposits.” Scammers are enticing investors with unrealistically high-interest rates and presenting deceptive product disclosure statements that include the name, logo, address, and registration details of the Bank of China.

While websites impersonating registered entities have increased, there has been a positive trend in reducing potential financial scams and activities of unlicensed businesses since mid-2022. The FMA’s 2023 report highlights a notable decrease in warnings and alerts compared to the previous year, recording 47 suspected scams, a significant drop from the 105 cases reported in 2022.

Despite this decline, the FMA acknowledges a new trend in deceptive practices, introducing an “imposter websites” category in its report. Although 29 warnings were issued in this category, the overall number of alerts in 2023 was 89, down from 111 in 2022, signaling a general decline in fraudulent activities. The report also outlines a recent case where Tiger Brokers (NZ) Limited faced a $900,000 fine for violating anti-money laundering laws, underlining the FMA’s commitment to maintaining integrity in the financial markets.

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