New Zealand’s FMA voices concerns regarding offshore investment firms (again)

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) keeps its battle against investment companies seeking to defraud local investors with promises of easy money and artificially high profits.

In a special announcement out today, the New Zealand regulator alerts investors against dealing with firms whose services and products fall outside the perimeter of regulation.

The FMA says it has received more than 2,000 complaints since July 2014, with more than half of these related to scams, or money being lost to (or withheld by) unlicensed companies, some of which are offshore. Most of the companies involved offer ‘big win’ products such as Forex, investment schemes, property seminars and forex training software.

Liam Mason, director of Regulation, says,

“For example Forex trading is considered a high risk, complicated investment and so we recommend consumers protect themselves as much as possible when contemplating this – or indeed any – investment. Do some research and take advantage of the Financial Markets Conduct Act and the protections it offers the investor”.

The regulator advises investors, when contemplating any involvement in a financial product or service, to check the location of the firm (as the FMA has more ability to assist investors if the business is in New Zealand), and whether a company has a New Zealand Director and the appropriate licence for the financial product or service offered.

FMA’s Annual Report 2015, which covers the regulator’s work for the 12 months to June 30, 2015, shows a 25% increase in the number of complaints received. Most of these concerns FX trading platforms.

For the full announcement from New Zealand’s FMA, click here.

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