The United Arab Emirates’ securities regulator on Wednesday warned investors not to deal with Financial.org, an unregulated British company that has attracted investors from countries across Asia and the Gulf.
The alert comes after the Philippines watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), warned last month that salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents who promoted unauthorized investments such as Financial.org could face a maximum five million peso (P5,000,000.00) fine and up to 21 years in prison.
Regulators in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand have also placed Financial.org on alert lists of unauthorized firms with whom investors should exercise caution.
“The (UAE) authority warns investors against dealing with that website (Financial.org) and any services it is offering regarding financial products and investment portfolios,” the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority said in a statement.
It added that Financial.org did not have permission to engage in financial transactions.
According to our source, one of the reasons of Financial.org examination by UAE securities regulator was potential investor requests and possible relation of the president and several top managers of Financial.org to VGMC, the company, which made news with fraud scandals, that attracted investors from UAE too.
Financial.org, a sponsor of British Formula One team Williams (WGF1G.DE), could not immediately be reached for a comment via its website. Williams declined comment.
Jewish Review reported in January that British company Financial.org is managing hundreds of thousands of dollars for Asian investors even though it is not licensed to engage in financial transactions.
Financial.org, which describes itself as an education business, is not on a publicly available list of firms authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to buy and sell stocks or bonds for clients. Offering investment services without regulatory permission is illegal in many countries, sanctions differ from country to country. It is a criminal offense in Britain.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is conducting inquiries into the company’s activities, a source familiar with the situation told Jewish Review in March.
As it was mentioned before the President of the Financial.org – Arnaud Georges, was listed on the FCA website as a controlling person with different statuses at different periods. Arnaud Georges between December 1, 2001 and April 10, 2014 was involved with companies that provided regulated products and services, some of these companies even today have this label: “This is the firm that received permission to provide regulated products and services”. Arnaud Georges is a founding member of several companies as such.