FMA revokes Equitise’s crowdfunding licence

Licence cancelled after multiple compliance failures

FMA revokes Equitise’s crowdfunding licence

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has cancelled the crowdfunding services licence of Equitise, effective as of April 3, following a series of compliance failures and regulatory breaches by the company.

Reasons behind Equitise’s licence revocation

FMA’s decision was influenced by multiple factors demonstrating Equitise’s inability to fulfil its regulatory obligations. These include the company’s failure to provide essential financial reports and its deregistration from the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR). Furthermore, Equitise has shown a consistent pattern of non-compliance with various legislative requirements.

Impact of non-compliance

Equitise, which often helps crowdfund a variety of fintechs and companies in financial services across Australia and New Zealand, failed to submit its audited financial statements for the year ended June 30, by the stipulated deadline of Oct. 30. The company also did not provide the required annual agreed upon procedures report for 2023, among other necessary documents. Despite being deregistered from the FSPR, Equitise unlawfully continued to facilitate crowdfunding offers, further violating its regulatory commitments.

FMA’s stance on regulatory enforcement

Peter Taylor (pictured above), FMA director of specialist supervision and response, emphasised the gravity of the decision to revoke a licence.

“Cancelling a provider’s licence is one of the strongest regulatory actions we can take and is not a decision the FMA takes lightly,” Taylor said.

“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.”

Read the FMA media release.

For other recent FMA news, the regulator recently launched standards for business continuity and cyber resilience and a proposal for a class exemption aimed at simplifying the process for listed companies in New Zealand to issue GSSS bonds.

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