Three clones of authorised firms were among eight alerts issued by the Financial Conduct Authority last week concerning companies which may not be properly authorised to conduct regulated activity in the UK.
Among the latest spate of alerts was a clone of genuine IFA and investment firm Bestinvest, calling itself The Best Investment Guide and based out of offices in Manchester and Brentwood.
Other clone firms included in the latest set of FCA alerts include:
• Novum Capital, a clone of Novum Capital Limited and Novum Capital Beratungsgesellschaft mbH; and
• Leonard Ullrich Neumann based in Leipzig and Hong Kong, using the name and FCA registration number belonging to a previously authorised firm which is no longer trading;
Unauthorised firms which may nonetheless be targeting UK customers include:
• Future Gold Invest (Basingstoke);
• Hanson Business Services LLC (Seattle);
• Regular Bank Plc (www.regular-online.com);
• Billmen and Associates (Edinburgh); and
• Gateway Bond Bank (London).
Investors who do business with unauthorised firms will not have recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme with regards to investments made with them.