The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has just issued a formal warning to Andrew James Sturge, the sole director and shareholder of Managed Forex Hub Limited (Company Number: 4599319 – removed on 15 December 2017) (MFH), under s 9 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011.
The complete warning can be seen below:
On 12 September 2013, Mr Sturge set up MFH and was its sole shareholder and director. MFH operated as an introducing broker to an overseas entity, AP Holdings Limited (APH), which offered foreign exchange services to customers through its website www.managedforexhub.com. MFH also ran its own website, www.managedforexhub.co.nz, which was linked to APH’s ‘parent’ website, and included marketing materials for APH and MFH.
As an introducing broker, MFH would receive a percentage of any profits made by clients MFH introduced to APH.
In the FMA’s view, the marketing materials included on MFH’s website contained misleading and deceptive representations, specifically representations relating to APH’s registration as a financial service provider on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR), that MFH had full discretion over trading and management of trade strategies, and that MFH belonged to a dispute resolution scheme.
Part 2 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 provides that a person, in trade, must not engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive in relation to any dealing in financial products.
Accurate and reliable representations of a company are an essential component of any investment decision, and ensure that potential investors are able to rely on statements made by entities they are considering investing through or with.
When contacted by the FMA in regards to the representations on the MFH website, Mr Sturge failed to comply with his obligations in relation to a notice pursuant to section 25 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011 and offered no reasonable excuse for his failure.
Section 61 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011 provides that it is an offence for a person to refuse or fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a notice under section 25. Every person who commits an offence is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $300,000.
The FMA will take action in order to denounce and deter misconduct. In this case, based on the information currently available to it, the FMA is satisfied that the public interest supports a public warning as the misrepresentations were likely to mislead potential investors. It will also inform the public that statutory notices issued by the FMA must be complied with. The FMA considers that it is not in the public interest to file legal proceedings in this case.