UPDATE: An FMA Staff member has confirmed to Finance Magnates on April 13th 2016 via email that the warning against Mocaz from march 9th (that we wrote about) has since been removed from the FMA website. This update followed after Finance Magnates attempted to verify email transcripts with the FMA, where the regulator noted to Mocaz, “Further to your request 22 March 2016 to remove the warning published on our website about Mocaz Financial Markets Limited (Mocaz), we have reviewed Mocaz’s website. We note the removal of references to New Zealand and any misleading claims about the extent of regulation Mocaz was subject to in New Zealand. We also note Mocaz’s advice that the operations in New Zealand have closed. On this basis we have removed the warning from our website today. We will continue to monitor Mocaz’s website from time to time and if we find any misleading claims about regulation in New Zealand we may look to issue a new warning.”
According to an update today from the FMA dated March 9th 2016, the regulator said that it had received a complaint against Mocaz from an overseas-based customer who complained that there is misleading information on Mocaz’ website about the extent to which Mocaz is regulated in New Zealand.
The FMA said in the warning that Mocaz is not registered to provide financial services in New Zealand.
Firm Seeks Licenses Elsewhere
Finance Magnates reached out via live chat with a company representative who said: “We were regulated with FSP New Zealand previously, however since they have changed their regulation we have voluntarily withdrawn ourselves from the authorities. We are currently in progress with the FCA UK right now.”
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Further checks reveal that indeed the company did de-register its status as a Financial Services Provider (FSP) in New Zealand, yet that was over a year ago (February 28th 2015). When asked if the firm had any regulation currently, the live chat operator said: “We are in the midst of getting regulated by Belize FSA and UK FCA. The auditing process is ongoing.” A check of both Belize’s IFSC and UK FCA websites don’t show anything status-wise yet, which doesn’t discount any effort underway which would need to be approved before appearing – nonetheless, this means that it is still unregulated as of now.
The firm has clients and IBs in places where FX trading is popular, yet where the regulatory landscape is not yet conducive for foreign businesses both regulated and unregulated, such as in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. However, the company was claiming itself to be FMA registered when it was not – this appears to be what led the FMA to issue the warning.
Not Yet Regulated After FSP
Shortly after publication Finance Magnates reporters spoke to Mocaz’s CEO Ahmad Tarmizee Ab Hamid via electronic correspondence. He said in response to questions: “The deregistration has actually affected the business negatively and we have been seeking other regulators to obtain licenses, and we have removed the footer of FSP registration since last year.”
Mr. Tarmizee added regarding the developments: “We are aware of how vital regulation and licenses are to run a financial business, the deregistration in FSP was by choice after FMA made changes in their requirements. Since then we have been actively seeking new jurisdiction to run our business with proper licensing and most of those (regulatory jurisdictions) requires several months to get us regulated, We are going to have our license elsewhere, and meanwhile, we have been keeping high ethics in managing our clients. We expect to get our license in couple of months as it has been in process for several months already.”
The company has also set up an entity in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is not regulated by the FSA of that country yet permits certain FX activity under IBC law. For the NZ entity in the warning, the company will use that for non-sales technical support, as explained by people within the company.