The UAE’s securities regulator 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 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines , warned last month that salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents who promoted unauthorised investments such as Financial.org could face a fine and up to 21 years in prison, reported Reuters.
Financial.org has been placed on alert lists of unauthorised firms with whom investors should exercise caution by regulators in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Reuters reported in January that Financial.org is managing hundreds of thousands of dollars for Asian investors even though it is not licenced to engage in financial transactions.
“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.
Financial.org is a sponsor of British Formula One team Williams and could not immediately be reached for a comment via its website, and Williams declined comment, Reuters said.
Financial.org, which describes itself as an education business, is not on a publicly available list of firms authorised 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 a criminal offence in Britain, the Reuters report said, adding that the FCA is conducting inquiries into the company’s activities, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters in March.