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CityPress - - Business - COM­PILED BY NEESA MOOD­LEY

FSB TRADINGBANKS WARN­ING

The Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board (FSB) has is­sued a warn­ing against con­duct­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices busi­ness with TradingBanks, domi­ciled in the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands and pur­port­ing to be a reg­is­tered en­tity.

TradingBanks is not au­tho­rised to ren­der fi­nan­cial ser­vices in South Africa and is not a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of an au­tho­rised fi­nan­cial ser­vices provider, as re­quired by the Fi­nan­cial Ad­vi­sory and In­ter­me­di­ary Ser­vices Act.

Re­mem­ber that, be­fore you con­duct fi­nan­cial ser­vices with an in­sti­tu­tion or per­son, you can check be­fore­hand with the FSB on ei­ther the toll-free num­ber 0800 110 443 or on the web­site fsb.co.za as to whether or not the in­sti­tu­tion or per­son is au­tho­rised to ren­der fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

CASE AGAINST MAGNUM OPUS IN­VEST­MENT MAN­AGERS

The Regis­trar of Col­lec­tive In­vest­ment Schemes re­cently re­ferred a case against Magnum Opus In­vest­ment Man­agers to the en­force­ment com­mit­tee of the FSB. The re­fer­ral re­lated to a con­tra­ven­tion of the Col­lec­tive In­vest­ment Schemes Act.

Be­tween Au­gust 2013 and Oc­to­ber 2015, Magnum Opus In­vest­ment Man­agers ad­min­is­tered a col­lec­tive in­vest­ment scheme de­spite the fact that the com­pany was not reg­is­tered as a man­ager of a col­lec­tive in­vest­ment scheme and/or where the rep­re­sen­ta­tives were not au­tho­rised agents of a reg­is­tered col­lec­tive in­vest­ment scheme. Man­age­ment agreed to pay a penalty of R50 000 and to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion by wind­ing up the fund en­tirely with the as­sis­tance of an FSB-ap­proved third party.

DROWN­ING IN DEBT

The lat­est quar­terly re­ports re­leased by the Na­tional Credit Reg­u­la­tor show that South Africans are still over­bur­dened by per­sonal debt is­sues.

Sta­tis­tics show that there are close to 24 mil­lion credit-ac­tive South Africans. Of th­ese, 10 mil­lion are in ar­rears on their ac­counts, or are strug­gling to pay their monthly debt re­pay­ments.

DebtBusters, the coun­try’s largest debt coun­sel­lor, says it has seen a ma­jor uptick in the num­ber of con­sumers en­quir­ing about and sign­ing up for debt coun­selling.

April was a tough month, with in­creases in fuel, elec­tric­ity, in­ter­est rates, sin tax, food and the gen­eral cost of liv­ing. Wendy Monk­ley, head of mar­ket­ing at DebtBusters, is not sur­prised by this.

“When we as­sess the debt sit­u­a­tion of our clients prior to debt coun­selling, we can see that many of them need all, if not more than, their monthly salaries just to pay their debt re­pay­ments, leav­ing lit­tle or noth­ing for liv­ing ex­penses.

“That is why they start miss­ing pay­ments. Even­tu­ally, ‘rob­bing Peter to pay Paul’ is the only way they can free up cash flow for buy­ing food and pay­ing rent.

“Al­most a quar­ter of our clients in 2015 had pay­day loans when they came to us for debt coun­selling.

“This is an in­di­ca­tion of how des­per­ate th­ese peo­ple are for cash.”

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