FSB warns about unregistered financial advisors

JOHANNESBURG – The Financial Services Board (FSB) has warned the public to be cautious when buying financial products and always verify that the advisors and intermediaries they deal with are authorised to do so.

“Recently, two individuals – who only give their first names, Mazwi and Sibusiso – have been misrepresenting themselves to be authorised representatives acting on behalf of Momentum Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, an entity that they claim is registered as a financial services provider (FSP),” the board said in a statement.

Their modus operandi involved producing a fake certificate to dupe prospective investors telling them that they had a two-week special where the investor had the opportunity to invest money over a period of 12 to 15 days and get a “double return” on their initial investment.

MMI Holdings Limited, a registered entity which provided financial services products through Momentum, one of its operating divisions, had pointed out that it had no connection whatsoever with Momentum Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, the FSB said.

It had also indicated that the product offered by the two individuals was not an authorised Momentum product and that these bogus representatives were not authorised to sell products and offer advice on behalf of Momentum.

“Momentum Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd is not registered with the FSB and therefore has no authority in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act 2002, to render any financial advice and/or provide intermediary services.

“The Registrar of Financial Services Providers advises the public to check if the representative or entity that they are dealing with is authorised in terms of the FAIS Act on the FSB website, www.fsb.co.za or on call centre number 0800-20-20-87,” the board said.