The Financial Sector Conduct Authority has warned the public against a business which calls itself Moneyweb Private Bank, saying it is “fraudulently using” the logo of the financial news website to solicit investments.
In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, the FSCA said it had “reason to believe” that Moneyweb Private Bank Limited was operating unlawfully as a financial services provider by rendering financial services without authorisation.
The financial publication, Moneyweb itself, has released statements clarifying that it does not offer money transfer services.
In its statement, the FSCA said operating unlawfully as a financial services provider could attract a hefty penalty.
“Any entities or individuals rendering financial services without a licence or being appointed as representatives are acting in contravention of the FAIS Act. Such a contravention is an offence which carries a fine not exceeding R10m or a period of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years,” the statement said.
The statement said Moneyweb Private Bank was not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act of 2002 to render any financial advice and intermediary services.
“According to information received by the FSCA, Moneyweb Private Bank is fraudulently using the logo of Moneyweb – a South African media company, to solicit investments from the public,” the statement said.
The FSCA urged members of the public to check that an entity or individual is registered with the authority to provide financial advisory and intermediary services.
The authority said some businesses registered to provide basic advisory services for a low-risk product offered services of a far more complex and risky nature.