New Zealand watchdog exposes Krypto Security and Bay Exchange

abdelaziz Fathi

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today warned investors against being offered products and services from several unauthorised brands, according to a recent regulatory statement.

The financial watchdog updated its warning list by blacklisting Bay Exchange, Krypto Security and a clone of financial service provider, CTRL Investments Limited. These companies are offering several financial services to both individuals and businesses, including trading in commodities, bonds and stocks, among other asset classes.

According to the warning, Krypto Security claims to be authorized to provide financial services in New Zealand, however this is not true. Additionally, New Zealand’s regulator is concerned that the firm is operating a recovery scam after it contacted a resident  to help him recover their stolen cryptocurrencies. Various large fees have been charged in the recovery process, including a payment for a “barcode” to meet the New Zealand Anti-Money Laundering legislative requirements.

“We also understand that the New Zealand resident has received an email from a person posing as being from the FMA, the sender’s email address is [email protected] We note that .govt.nz is the email domain used by government agencies in New Zealand,” it added.

Meanwhile, the regulator accused Bay Exchange of operating a fraudulent scheme after it received a report saying that the platform continues to solicit client money from the country’s residents in spite of its inability to repay clients in accordance with their instructions.

“We are aware that a New Zealand resident has been unable to access their Bay Exchange trading account after a payment has been made to them. The person is no longer able to contact their account manager and broker at Bay Exchange,” the circular reads.

Based on this, the FMA warns the public not to invest with these brands, and to be cautious of dealing with their solicitations. None of them registered their business as a financial services provider in New Zealand and are therefore not allowed to offer financial services in the country.

The FMA is focused on identifying and blacklisting any individual or entity that is operating in New Zealand without a licence or authorisation, where that is required by law. However, the FMA has warned that some companies conduct their operations overseas and the watchdog may only be alerted to them once a local investor has a problem with them.

The FMA updates the public by means of warnings and alerts when it believes investors may be at risk. Businesses and individuals are named on this list if they are not registered to provide financial services in New Zealand, have had the FMA enforce action against them for misconduct, have either not responded or not provided a satisfactory response to a request for information, or have received a warning notice from the FMA.

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