The NBH announced Friday in a resolution that a fine of 91 million forint to Atlantic GAM S.A. was imposed because it had collected money that had to be repaid without permission.
The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has examined whether Atlantic Global Asset Management S.A. (Atlantic GAM) or carried out an activity in the field of investments or financial services without a license from the central bank in the context of an open market surveillance procedure.
The MNB, as a provisional measure, prohibited shortly after the initiation of the procedure that Atlantic GAM would carry out any activity related to the approval or notification of the MNB. The most recent research has concluded that the company also accepted funds from the public, whereby the company has repaid its obligation. The activity, popularized on its website, social networking sites and performances, was
among other things, promised Hungarian customers an annual "lease term" and an investment amount of 90-500 thousand for a weekly (!) return of 4 to 6 percent.
At the same time, however, it was not established during the course of the procedure that, in order to invest the client's assets, the company would actually trade all types of capital markets.
Atlantic GAM is not included in the central bank administration, so it is not permitted to carry out a financial services activity with a license or notification in Hungary.
The central bank also filed a criminal report with the investigating authority. Because the company continued its activities in a very large way, with about 22 countries, the MNB sent several international invitations, with which he drew the attention of several foreign counterparts to the case and assisted them in sending information about their subjects.
In its decision announced on Friday, the MNB banned Atlantic GAM from continuing to pursue financial services activities without a central banking license, and imposed a market surveillance fine of $ 91 million.
In determining the level of the fine, the MNB also noted with particular emphasis that the company continued to work despite the previous temporary order, seriously and repeatedly violated the legislation and did not have the personal, material and technical conditions necessary to activity -. It was also a worrying circumstance that its activity was widely disseminated – advertised by MLM in connection with the Questra World Global SL company in Spain – which caused false accounts of its legal transaction and did not comply with the data required by the MNB.
In addition, the MNB as one of the controlled members of the Questra MLM system was subject to 400,000 forint penalties for terminating and blocking the market surveillance procedure.
The MNB's announcement emphasizes that it is common for online platform providers to register them in non-EU areas, usually off-shore, where legal requirements protect investor interests less. Such providers, which usually do not have a license, are not subject to supervision by the MNB and the guarantee scheme for domestic investor protection is also not applicable.
It is therefore strongly recommended to check the financial or investment license or registration of a company before using a single service, so that it is mentioned in the bank's market listing lists.
Before investing, it is always worth considering the investment and savings options offered by managed financial institutions – the central bank warns.
The current resolution of the central bank published today has no impact on the company's obligation to repay the funds already received to investors.