JIS News

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is again urging members of the public to avoid putting their hard-earned money in the growing number of unregistered investment schemes presently operating in the island.
Speaking last night at the FSC’s public forum on “The Role of the Investor in Investment Schemes”, Executive Director of the Financial Services Commission, Brian Wynter, noted that there are at least 24 unregistered high-yielding investment schemes operating in Jamaica and taking deposits from Jamaicans, despite warnings from the FSC, the government’s regulatory body for the financial sector.
“You are making it impossible for us to do our jobs in helping to protect you,” he told the large gathering at the Terra Nova Hotel on Monday evening (November 26).
“As regulators, we are especially concerned that Jamaican investors appear not to be heeding the warnings that we have been giving, but instead have been continuing to give their hard-earned cash to these types of schemes. Avoiding these schemes simply requires some research and reasoning. Never invest in anything without getting the facts; not just a brochure or a conversation or a public statement,” the FSC Executive Director said.
Mr. Wynter observed that operators of the schemes have been able to convince investors that these schemes are not required to be licensed or registered in accordance with laws enacted for the protection of the public.
Identifying a number of these companies by name, Mr. Wynter said that the companies, were offering extremely high returns starting from 10 per cent per month up to 25 per cent per month.
“Operators of the schemes know that they will get your attention and they will get your money, with no or very few questions asked.not a single one of these schemes provides to the investors audited or even unaudited financial reports or statements,” he disclosed.
According to Mr. Wynter, these schemes also refuse to disclose their assets and do not provide investors with a prospectus or statements giving comprehensive and verifiable details of their investments.
He reminded investors that the Securities Act requires all persons conducting securities business to be licenced. It also requires that securities be registered by the FSC before they can be offered to the public.
He reiterated that the Financial Services Commission cannot protect investors who are members of unregistered schemes. He said individuals who made unwise and uninformed investment decisions “make it impossible for us to do our job of helping to protect you”.

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