Dear Valued Members:
The management would like to bring your attention to a recent news article regarding Financial.org. The article was published by Reuters on the 10th of January 2018, for the UK readers. For the past 36 hours, we have received hundreds of enquiries, comments, suggestions and feedbacks from members all over. In general, most members were somehow upset or confused by certain parts of the article and have strongly requested for Financial.org to comment and clarify on some of the misconceptions and misrepresentations as reported in this news article.
After due consideration, it was decided that we will address and response to members enquiries regarding the Reuters news article and other news related issues collectively so that any misconceptions or misrepresentations that may arise among members will put to rest.
Please note that, for the ease of understanding and referencing:
All statements, comments and remarks made by Financial.org management are written in BLUE font;
All Reuters Article Transcripts are quoted in BLACK font.
In preparing for the responses/comments below, we took the liberty to highlight a few key points that form the principle and guideline of our responses/comments, specifically:
- The TRUTH, nothing but the TRUTH; all answers, statements and remarks are provided in a clear, truthful and transparent manner.
- That our responses/comments do not represent any 3rd party views quoted in this news article. The responses/comments consist solely of our corporate view.
- That our response/comments have no intention to discredit any persons/parties related to this Reuters news article.
- That to our knowledge, this Reuters Exclusive News Article has not been written/published with any malicious intent towards Financial.org, our sister’s corporations, our holding company, our partners and affiliates.
- That any misrepresentations in the news article is not intentional but may be due to lack of information, cooperation, comments and feedbacks, from the relevant parties including Financial.org.
January 10, 2018
Exclusive: Unregulated British firm draws Asian investors
LONDON/ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Financial.org, a UK company that describes itself as an education business and sponsors a Formula One team, is managing hundreds of thousands of dollars for Asian investors even though it is not licensed to engage in financial transactions, according to 17 people who say they have invested through the firm.
- Financial.org is NOT a UK Company. Having a Member Services office in UK in 2016 and 2017 doesn’t make us a UK Company.
- There are plenty of non-UK European companies that operate their support centres, customer services or representative offices in the UK for human resources and logistical reasons; Financial.org is one of them.
- It is absolutely correct that Financial.org is an educational platform and a partner of a Formula One team.
- Financial.org has always made it clear to our members as well as the general public that “Financial.org is NOT a Financial Service Provider or Financial Intermediaries”.
- All investments are handled by partners-Financial Service Providers (FSP) and payment are made through 3rd party Payment Processors.
The 17 people, from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the UAE, told Reuters they had each given between $3,000 and $400,000 to Financial.org to invest.
“I have doubled my investments,” said Azmi Tumpang, a former construction worker from Malaysia outside a gala dinner organized by Financial.org on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in late November.
Most of the people said their money had been invested in U.S. blue-chip stocks and that they had made a profit. Reuters was unable to verify whether the share transactions took place.
- Our members transfer funds directly via 3rd Party Payment Processors when they want to invest their money with our partners-FSP in US Blue Chips. People don’t actually invest through Financial.org. Financial.org is NOT a Financial Intermediary. We DO NOT receive or accept funds in any amount from any clients/members for the purpose of investment. We provide financial literacy by educating our members on how and what to invest and members support services.
- However, some members may have felt that they are investing with Financial.org because they were exposed to investing S&P500 corporations through our educational programs. With regards to the misconception that arose among some of our members, we had previously released a few internal memos to clarify thatFinancial.org is NOT a FSP and all their investments were done directly with partners-FSP. Even in our president’s 2018 New Year Eve Speech recently, this subject was addressed loud and clear that Financial.org is not a Financial Service Providers(FSP) but merely a bridge between members with partners-FSP.
- It is also possible that members who were interviewed during Financial.org Gala Dinner in conjunction with Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix Event in November 2017 might have provided inaccurate context of their investment structure to the reporter(s). It is also possible that language barrier that exist between members who attended the event from several foreign countries and the English-speaking reporter(s) may have created miscommunications, misconceptions or misunderstandings between what was said and what is reported in this Reuters news article.
- It is VERY TRUE that many of our members who invested in US Blue Chips since early 2016 had profited a lot of money.
- It is also VERY TRUE that many members have increased their investments, some up to hundreds of thousand of USD as they see the potential of the S&P500 Stocks recommended by Financial.org.
- It shows that we have provided quality and spot-on Financial Education to our members and that our members trust our partners-FSP.
Financial.org is not on a publicly available list of companies authorized and regulated by Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to buy and sell stocks or bonds for clients. Offering investment services without regulatory permission is a criminal offence in Britain.
- Financial.org is NOT a company but a Financial Education Platform.
- Financial.org Education Platform is NOT based in Great Britain.
- Thus, Financial.org does not fall under FCA regulations and enforcement.
- For the record, there are no investment services ever being offered to any person/client in Britain or outside the UK from any of our current or previous offices in Britain.
- Our legal department is very aware of Financial Laws in the UK. We will not and have not committed any criminal offence in Great Britain.
Financial.org, which has an office in London’s Canary Wharf, declined to comment on whether it acted as an investment firm.
- We did not decline to comment if we acted as an investment firm, instead we declined to comment on all the questions raised by Reuters because all those questions are not legally relevant in the UK and have no implications on Financial.org worldwide operations.
- Our legal representative in the UK also advised us not to comment on any news articles as it has no basis of legality in the UK and our worldwide operations.
The company signed up two years ago with the UK’s official company register as a real estate business, according to filings. The UK registrar of companies, Companies House, said it was preparing to strike off the firm on Jan. 23 because it had never filed accounts. If a company is struck off, it cannot continue to trade legally and its assets pass to the state.
- Based on the Questionnaires that Reuters send to us on 8th of January 2018, we know that “The Company” above refers to “Mythen Ltd”. “Mythen” is a real estate company that enters into a Sub-Underlease agreement with “Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP” for the office space on 26th Floor, 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf.
- Financial.org rent this office from “Mythen” to operate our “Member Services Office” in 2016 and 2017. It is quite obvious that this Reuters news article has mistakenly assumed that “Mythen Ltd” is related to or is part of “Financial.org”.
- The lease for this office only expire on 31st December 2022.
- Since most of our members are from Asia and this Member Services Office is under-utilised for 2016 and 2017, we had decided to convert it into our corporate office from 2018.
- For the record, our relationship with “Mythen” is purely as on a “landlord” basis. We have no say or stake-holding interest in “Mythen Ltd” and we cannot comment on their accounting and filling with the UK Authorities.
UK-registered companies must by law be authorized and regulated by the FCA if they deal in securities such as shares and bonds for clients, even if the investors are outside Britain. Under FCA rules, this applies both to principals – parties investing on behalf of clients, and agents – firms including brokers that arrange for investments to take place.
- Yes, our legal department and top management is fully aware of this.
- Again Financial.org is NOT a UK registered company.
The FCA declined to comment about whether Financial.org was operating illegally.
- Thank you very much. When FCA declined to comment, the truth is rather obvious.
- Financial.org is NOT a UK Company and does not fall into FCA jurisdiction of enforcement because we have never offer any securities to UK residents and never offer any securities to any 3rd party from any of our operations in the UK.
The regulator has previously warned of the dangers of investing through firms it has not authorized, as no independent checks have been made on their businesses. It said it had received reports of more than 8,000 cases of unauthorized businesses in the last financial year.
On the 13th of September, 2017 officers from City of London Trading Standards, Metropolitan Police and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had spent one and a half hours in our London’s Member Services Office. We had cooperated fully with all official enquiries and it was later confirmed by our legal representative that Financial.org is not under investigation for breaching any Financial regulations in the UK.
On the home page of its website, Financial.org says it is an education platform, providing “financial knowledge and skills”. “We do not deal with securities and receive any financial benefits from financial products and service providers,” it says. However, elsewhere on its site, it also says it “helps members to manage and oversee their investments” and “provides self-directed investors with brokerage services”.
For educational purposes only, we may provide some live data trading simulation sessions to our members to increase their skills in preparation for the live trading environment. When these self-directed members/investors want to trade and invest, they would actually execute it through the licensed-FSP on their platform.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore last March placed Financial.org on an investor alert list of “unregulated persons who, based on information received by MAS, may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or authorized by MAS”, its website says. The authority said investors should “exercise caution” when dealing with companies on the list.
Malaysia’s Securities Commission also placed Financial.org on a list of “unauthorized websites/investment products/companies/individuals” last year, according to its website.
The MAS and Malaysian commission both declined to comment on Financial.org and why they had placed it on alert lists.
Financial.org declined to comment on the two regulators’ warnings.
- Similar to MAS and Malaysia Securities Commission (MSC), we decided not to provide any comment to Reuters. Why would Financial.org response to Reuters when two of the most respected regulators in South East Asia also declined to comment.
- Indeed, Financial.org is not authorized to offer investments services. Financial.org is NOT a licensed FSP in Malaysia or Singapore, so we are not supervised by the Malaysian Security Commission or Singapore Monetary Authority. Therefore, it is correct that they place us under their “Alert List”. We have no issue to be placed under an “Alert List” because being on the “Alert List” does not mean that our operation is illegal; it merely means that Financial.org is NOT regulated in these two jurisdictions.
- Financial.org has been placed in the “Alert List” for more than a year and it DOES NOT affect any part of our operations and membership growth at all. Many reputable foreign FSP that are not locally regulated are also on the “Alert List”.
The company has been a sponsor of British Formula One team Williams (WGF1G.DE) since May 2016, and its logo appears on the Williams Mercedes FW38 cars and team strips.
Williams declined to comment.
- It’s rather obvious that none of the reputable enforcement agencies and Williams, a public listed corporation wants to comment to this Reuters news article.
- Williams Martini Racing has been a great partner since 2016. We look forward to the 2018 F1 Season and hosting many joint Appreciation Gala Dinners in Shanghai – China, Singapore City – Singapore, Suzuka – Japan and Abu Dhabi – UAE.
Most of the 17 people who spoke to Reuters said they had come into contact with Financial.org through referrals from acquaintances, often via social media. Six said they had received commissions from Financial.org for referring others.
Five of the people detailed how they made investments. They said they deposited money into the bank account of a third party, usually the person who referred them, who then transferred the funds to a Financial.org investment account.
The investors said they accessed their Financial.org account with a members-only area in Financial.org’s website. Thirteen said they had withdrawn money regularly.
Tumpang said he had invested $30,000 through Financial.org over the last two years. Mohamad Mohamed Nordin, another Malaysian investor, said he had invested $400,000.
Vietnamese investor Albert Anthony, a fashion business manager, provided a screenshot of his account page which showed he had invested $100,000. Shella Vinarevi, from Indonesia, said the minimum investment for Financial.org was $3,000, which she had made.
- Members who build their financial network are rewarded by partners-FSP, similar to rewards afforded by Insurance Companies around the world to their agents.
- It is true that payments were made to 3rd party payment processors and NOT to Financial.org.
- The amount of funds that the above members invest with our partners-FSP show the confidence and the quality of Financial.org Financial Education platform. It is indeed a testimony of our success in the last 2 years.
- The fact that some of these investors have withdrawn money regularly proof that Financial.org is working with credible partners-FSP and 3rd party payment processors.
- The testimonials of 17 of Financial.org members interviewed by Reuters for the Reuters news article further vindicate Financial.org. All investors interviewed were seemingly very happy with their investments and profits. These are real testimonies given by real investors during their interview with Reuters’ reporter(s). It is rather obvious that the negative news published in the unidentified web portals and social networking sites in the last few months, accusing Financial.org for being associated with a scheme to defraud members/investors are evidently all part of “a Complete Fabrication”
Members need to realize that this news is exclusively for UK readership. The legal aspect covered in this review is specifically for a Financial Service Provider offering financial products and services in the UK, of which Financial.org is NOT. The fact that Financial.org is referred to as a UK Company because the Member Service Office was previously located in Canary Wharf London is misleading and out of context.
We take positive points that all related enforcement agencies and our British Formula 1 partners refused to comment on this “Reuters Exclusive News Article” and all 17 members interviewed for this Reuters news article response in a very positive manner.
Financial.org cannot stop freedom of speech/press/publication. As our Financial Education Platform going mainstream, any news articles or reports on Financial.org, regardless of their perceived validity and reliability, will draw massive attention. Therefore, we asked that members react maturely and learn to differentiate between Fake News, News HEADLINES and True Facts.
On the positive side, all the extra attention on Financial.org concludes one thing. It shows that Financial.org Financial Education Platform is heading in the right direction, making larger footprint every day in providing more people with Applicable Financial Education.
Our entire management team would like to thank all of you for your concern, love and support for Financial.org Education Platform. Some of the feedbacks we received from members were really touching and very supportive.
Monsieur Arnaud Georges
President – Financial.org