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Friday 4 July 2014

14-155MR ASIC acts to shut down unlicensed foreign exchange trading

ASIC has commenced action in the NSW Supreme Court to stop Vault Market Pty Ltd and its sole director, Mr MD Anamul Amin, of Wiley Park, New South Wales from carrying on a financial services business without an Australian financial services (AFS) licence and to close down a website with the domain name 'www.kiwifxbank.com' (KiwiFx Bank).

Through this website, it appears clients conducted foreign exchange (FOREX) trading with the promise of 'quick executions, low spreads, and intelligent customer-service'.

ASIC received complaints that users of the FOREX trading service had not received profits which they generated from trading with KiwiFX Bank.

With the consent of the parties, the court yesterday made interim orders restraining Mr Amin and Vault Market from carrying on a financial services business without holding an AFS licence, or holding out that they hold an AFS licence, and to use their best endeavours to remove all content on the website and publish a notice for clients and potential clients. This notice states that Vault Market Pty Ltd is not licensed with ASIC and does not hold an AFS licence and KiwiFX Bank is not a Foreign Bank (refer to the notice below).

The matter will return to the NSW Supreme Court on Monday 25 August 2014 and in the interim, the court imposed travel restrictions on Mr Amin.

ASIC's investigation into this matter continues.

To contact ASIC on this matter click here.

Background

Over the past two years, ASIC has seen an increase in the number of entities applying for an AFS licence authorising the entity to operate a retail FX trading business. ASIC has, and is continuing to conduct a surveillance of this industry and currently has several investigations into FX trading businesses on foot.

Further, on 20 June 2014, ASIC refused to grant an AFS licence to a company which sought to deal in retail FOREX contracts and derivatives because ASIC was concerned that the applicant had provided ASIC with false or misleading information and did not have adequate risk management, compliance and supervision arrangements in place.

Editor's note:
On 25 August 2014, the NSW Supreme Court, by consent, ordered that
the restraining orders remain in place until 22 September 2014. The matter will return to court on 22 September 2014. Mr Amin and Vault Market Pty Ltd are required to use their best endeavours to publish on the Vault Market Pty Ltd internet website at www.kiwifxbank.com a notice that reflects this new date. Find attached a link to this notice.

Important Information

Vault Market Pty Ltd – ACN 164 458 511

Notice to investors

Vault Markets Pty Ltd is not licensed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and does not hold an Australian financial services licence.

KiwiFX Bank is not a Foreign Bank with consent to maintain a representative office in Australia and is not an Australian Authorised Deposit Taking Institution and is not entitled to assume or use the word 'bank' in relation to its financial business.

By order of the Supreme Court of New South Wales dated 3 July 2014 and 25 August 2014 Vault Market Pty Ltd is required to cease carrying on a financial services business without being the holder of an Australian financial services licence. By order of the Supreme Court of New South Wales dated 3 July 2014

As a result of this order Vault Market Pty Ltd has ceased online trading including through its website www.kiwifxbank.com effective from 3 July 2014 until 5.00 pm on 22 September 2014, when the parties are due to return to the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

During this period, except to close out any foreign exchange position held, investors are no longer able to buy and sell financial products through this website.

If you have any questions you should telephone the ASIC infoline on 1300 300 630 (within Australia) or +61 3 5177 3988 (outside Australia). Alternatively, you can submit a question online by visiting the 'contact us' page on our website.

Last updated: 28/08/2014 12:00