South Africa’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FSCA), last week issued a warning to six unauthorized firms or individuals who were soliciting clients in the South African jurisdiction without a license or providing false registration information.
1. Aluma Capital (Pty) Ltd
The FSCA warned the public to be aware of a WhatsApp group on social media called Aluma Private Equity Fund 2. The group name is similar to Aluma Capital (Pty) Ltd (FSP number: 46449), a licensed financial services provider.
The individuals behind the WhatsApp group are not entitled to provide any financial advice or intermediary services under the Financial Advice and Intermediary Services Act 2022 (FAIS Act). The WhatsApp group advertised its financial schemes to vulnerable clients, promising unrealistically high returns and impersonating Aluma Capital (Pty) Ltd. in the process.
The WhatsApp group administrators use the following contact numbers:
Mobile phone number: 065 201 6845;
Mobile phone number: 068 240 3156;
Mobile number: 074 358 5338 (number registered as Kevin Fraud).
The licensed company Aluma Capital (Pty) Ltd (FSP No.: 46449) has confirmed that it has no connection with the WhatsApp group.
2. AVA Invest Inc, AVAINVESTMGOAL (AVA Invest) and “Gugu Mseleku”
FSCA received information that AVA Invest is said to be regulated by FSCA under number 45984. However, according to FSCA records, No. 45984 is the license number of another licensed financial service provider, Ava Capital Markets (Pty) Ltd, t/a Ava Trade (Ava Trade Capital).
Ava Capital Markets said it has no relationship with AVA Invest.
The FSCA has also received information that a person known as “Gugu Mseleku” is using Facebook to attract people to invest through AVA Invest: http://ow.ly/7RZ850MHAkC.
AVA Invest and “Gugu Mseleku” are not authorized to provide any financial advisory or intermediary services under the Financial Advice and Intermediary Services Act 2002 (FAIS Act).
3. Prudential Investment Services CC
The FSCA received information that Prudential Investment Services was providing financial services without authorization.
According to information received, Prudential Investment Services solicited funds from the public and promised unrealistic compensation. On its Facebook page, Prudential Investment Services provides financial advice and intermediary services related to life insurance, retirement planning, bitcoin, currency pairs, and stocks.
The FSCA informs the public that Prudential Investment Services is not licensed by the FSCA to provide financial advisory and intermediary services locally as a financial service provider.
4. Capital Pro Trade Ltd
The FSCA noted that Capital Pro is providing the South African public with access to its online platform for trading currency pairs and contracts for difference (CFDs).
Additionally, Capital Pro provided clients with a document purporting to be its FSCA license number 164384. According to FSCA registration records, the financial service provider license number 164384 does not exist.
Companies that provide financial services related to currency pairs and CFDs in South Africa must obtain a FSCA license. The FSCA informs the public that Capital Pro is not authorized to provide any financial advice and intermediary services under the Financial Advice and Intermediary Services Act. Capital Pro also failed to register as an OTC derivatives provider under the Financial Markets Act.
5. Beyond Options FX
The FSCA notes that Beyond FX is offering the South African public access to its online platform for trading currency pairs and CFDs.
In addition, the official website of Beyond FX shows that Beyond FX has been regulated globally and has been approved to provide services in 27 countries and regions including South Africa.
Entities that trade or offer financial products on behalf of South African clients must be licensed by the FSCA.
The FSCA informs the public that Beyond FX is not authorized to provide any financial advisory and intermediary services under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. Beyond FX also failed to register as an OTC derivatives provider under the Financial Markets Act.
6. Livestock Capital Funds Pty (Ltd)
The FSCA noted that Livestock Capital provided clients with a document purporting to be its FSCA license number 98832.
According to FSCA registration records, the financial service provider license number 98832 does not exist.