Authorised Entities should take note of the recent situation surrounding the Central Bank ("CB") authorised firm Strategic Active Trading Funds plc. On 9 February, the CB issued a warning that an unauthorised firm calling itself Strategic Active Trading Funds plc (www.strategicactivetradingfunds.com) and no relation whatsoever to the authorised entity had cloned its identity. It had been operating without authorisation as an investment firm. It shows the necessity for vigilance among authorised firms to ensure that they are not the victim of identity theft. Needless to say it can have serious repercussions in terms of reputational damage and loss of revenue.
Take a Step Back:
Would your firm know if its identity had been stolen?
Some Basic Tips:
- Enroll in email alerts for your business name, email address, contact details and CB authorisation number. It is a simple yet effective tool that could highlight improper use of your firm's identity;
- Keep an eye on business name registrations; and
- Highlight to your customers the manner in which you will communicate with them. Ensure you have a safe secure log-in for external users to your website with preferably 2 step authorisation process.
It is a criminal offence for an unauthorised firm/person to provide financial services in Ireland that would require an authorisation under the relevant legislation which the CB is the responsible body for enforcing.
Since obtaining the necessary legal powers in August 1998, the names of 290 unauthorised firms have been published by the Central Bank.