- The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has imposed a R3.1 million penalty on OM Bridge (Pty) Ltd, trading as Excentral, and withdrawn its financial services provider license.
- The FSCA has debarred the company’s directors, Mr Lance Druker and Mr Oupa Madonsela, and entered into an enforceable undertaking with another director, Mr Ori Mishkal.
- The actions were taken following complaints from the public about pressure to invest more funds, inability to make withdrawals, and the company providing unauthorized financial advice. The FSCA has reminded the public to ensure that financial service providers are suitably authorized.
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has taken decisive action against OM Bridge (Pty) Ltd, trading as Excentral, by imposing an administrative penalty of R3.1 million, inclusive of costs. The financial services provider license (FSP No. 48296) of the company has also been withdrawn, marking a significant move by the regulatory body.
Directors Debarred, Enforceable Undertaking Entered
In a further blow to the company, the FSCA has debarred the company’s directors, Mr Lance Druker and Mr Oupa Madonsela, who were key individuals in the operation of the business. The Authority has also entered into an enforceable undertaking with another director of the company, Mr Ori Mishkal.
OM Bridge was previously authorised as an FSP to render intermediary services only in respect of Category I: Derivative Instruments.
Complaints from the Public
The FSCA’s decision follows a series of complaints received by the Authority from members of the public, including foreign clients of OM Bridge. The Authority has satisfied itself that the clients of OM Bridge were pressurised or coerced to invest more funds and have been unable to make withdrawals on their accounts, leading to inexplicable financial losses over a short period of time.
Adding to the list of grievances, OM Bridge furnished advice in respect of a financial product to its clients while it was not authorised to do so. This contravention of the law has not gone unnoticed by the FSCA.
The company has materially contravened inter alia section 7(1)(a) of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act No. 37 of 2002 and section 2 of the General Code of Conduct for Authorised Financial Services Providers and Representatives, 2003.
A Warning to the Public
In light of these events, the FSCA has issued a reminder to the public to always ensure that an entity or individual is suitably authorised by the FSCA to provide the specific financial product or service being offered. This should be checked before any purchase or investment is made.
The FSCA’s action against OM Bridge serves as a stark reminder of the importance of due diligence when dealing with financial service providers. The regulatory body continues to uphold its mandate to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices in the financial sector.