INDEPENDENT NEWS

FMA Cancels Crowdfunding Services Licence For Equitise

Published: Wed 17 Apr 2024 02:14 PM
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko – has cancelled the crowdfunding services licence of Equitise Pty Ltd (Equitise). The cancellation took effect on 3 April 2024.
The FMA is satisfied that:Equitise materially breached certain market services licensee obligations;A material change of circumstances occurred in relation to Equitise’s licence; andEquitise no longer meets certain statutory requirements including the requirement that it is capable of effectively performing its crowd funding service and there is no reason to believe Equitise is likely to breach its licensee obligations.
Matters on which the FMA relied included:Equitise’s failure to provide its financial reporting and agreed upon procedures reporting;Equitise’s deregistration from the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR); andEquitise’s history of non-compliance with various legislative and other obligations.
Equitise failed to file its audited 2023 financial statements by 30 October 20231. It also failed to provide the FMA with a copy of its 2023 annual agreed upon procedures report and other information2. Those financial statements, the report and the required information remain outstanding.
In August last year, Equitise was deregistered from the FSPR for failing to file its annual confirmation within the required timeframe. Despite being deregistered, Equitise continued to provide crowd funding services, facilitating two offers, which it was not able to do lawfully following its deregistration. Equitise remains deregistered from the FSPR.
For these reasons, and Equitise’s history of repeated compliance failures, the FMA determined that cancelling Equitise’s licence was the appropriate, fair, and proportionate action.
FMA Director of Specialist Supervision and Response Peter Taylor said: “Cancelling a provider’s licence is one of the strongest regulatory actions we can take and is not a decision the FMA takes lightly. Financial service providers must make sure they are able to meet the legislative requirements and act lawfully. The rules are there to protect consumers and to ensure market integrity.
Notes
Equitise has been licenced by the FMA as an equity crowd funding service provider since 2014.
1. As an FMC reporting entity, Equitise failed to lodge audited financial statements (including financial statements for its New Zealand business) for the year ended 30 June 2023 by 30 October 2023.
2. Standard Conditions for crowdfunding services licences require Equitise to provide a copy of its Agreed Upon Procedures report, along with a copy of its net tangible assets calculation, to the FMA for the year ending 30 June 2023.
Related
FMA issues new infringement notice against crowdfunding platform Equitise | Financial Markets Authority

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