The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued multiple warnings to investors advising them not to use the services of several clone/unregulated investment firms.
The latest regulatory flurry includes asset managers and financial brokers that appear to be soliciting and/or accepting funds from UK residents without having obtained FCA registration.
The City watchdog today shed light on a clone firm representing itself as OLZ Wealth Management AG, which is actually a regulated company that provides professional investment services in the financial markets.
The clone has no association whatsoever with the asset manager and is thus involved in fraudulent activity, the watchdog said. The clone company also claims to be licensed by the FCA, using the authorized firm’s FRN and registered address.
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As per the press release issued by FCA, the clone firm chose OLZ Wealth Management because it has been authorized to operate within the UK.
A fraud trend in the financial sector
The copycat company operates through https://olzgroup.com and has adopted the address of the original company – Bahnhofstrasse 7 Schaan FL-9494 Liechtenstein. The FCA warns that this is a typical move for a scam company to gain the trust of unsuspecting clients.
The original firm has been conducting business for several years now and can be found at http://www.olz.ch/en.
Clone firms operate by mimicking legitimate company details to scam people into fake, non-tradable or worthless investments. Investors can protect themselves by being wary of any cold calls offering investment opportunities and being sure the check the company’s details on the FCA register.
If you are an investor, you should be aware that the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme are not available if you deal with an unauthorized company or individual, the FCA said in a statement.