Monday, September 3, 2012

Financial Consumer Alert

Financial Consumer Alert

Consumer Alert

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) would like to alert the members of the public a list of companies and websites which are neither authorised nor approved under the relevant laws and regulations administered by BNM.
Please take note that the list is not exhaustive and only serves as a guide to members of the public based on information and queries received by BNM.The list will be updated regularly for public's reference.

Who may provide financial services in Malaysia?

Only financial institutions i.e. banksinsurance companies and takaful operators as well as money changers, remittance service providers and currency wholesalers (currently known as "the money services business") licensed by BNM under the relevant laws and regulations administered by BNM are allowed to provide financial services in Malaysia.
The list of the licensed financial service providers can be accessed via the following URL:

Why should consumers be careful when dealing with unregulated entities or persons?

  • Consequences:
    • Consumer protection under the laws administered by BNM IS NOT APPLICABLE should the members of the public choose to deal with the illegal financial service providers.
    • Members of the public who participate in the illegal financial activities could also BE CHARGED under the law as abetting the operators of such illegal activities.   
  • Thus, members of the public ARE ADVISED NOT TO:
    • Deal with any of the illegal financial service providers;
    • Reveal or disclose personal financial credentials to any of the illegal financial service providers; and
    • Involve or associate themselves with any of the illegal financial service providers.  

Illegal and Suspicious Financial Entities and Activities

Members of the public are advised to alert BNM on any illegal or suspicious activities or entities at:
BNMTELELINK (Bank Negara Malaysia Contact Centre)
            1-300-88-5465       or
  • Among the illegal financial activities that could be reported to BNM are:
    • Illegal Deposit Taking
    • Illegal Foreign Exchange Trading Scheme
    • Illegal Money Services Business Activities
    • Improper Market Conduct or Practices by BNM's licensee
    • Misuse of BNM and Senior Officers' Names and Positions
    • Other Illegal Financial Activities expressly mentioned in the relevant law and regulations administered by BNM
  • The report could also be effected via the respective BNM's Regional Offices and branches in Malaysia:
BNM Regional Office Pulau Pinang
Jalan Corner Light
10200 Pulau Pinang
Tel: 604-262-7125
BNM Regional Office Johor Bahru 
Jalan Bukit Timbalan
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor Darul Takzim
Tel: 607-224-0799
BNM Kota Kinabalu Branch
Jalan Lapan Belas
88000 Kota Kinabalu
Tel: 6088-211-211
BNM Kuala Terengganu Branch
Jalan Sultan Mohamad
21100 Kuala Terengganu
Terengganu Darul Iman
Tel: 609-622-0571
BNM Kuching Branch
Jalan Satok
93000 Kuching
Tel: 6082-252-311

  • Members of the public may also check with other enforcement agencies for verification on related activities:

How to detect an illegal scheme?

Members of the public are advised to be careful and not fall prey to these schemes. Be alert and look out for the following common features of these illegal schemes:
  • The approach by the operators may have been made by mail, telephone, Internet or in person, but the intention is always the same, that is, to take money from unsuspecting victim for goods or services that they have no intention to provide.
  • Schemes which promise interest rates, returns or profits, which are much higher than the returns offered by licensed financial institutions for their deposits.
  • The promises of high returns are aimed at attracting the members of the public to participate in the schemes and the investors may not be given copies of any documentation including agreements by the operators.
  • There is also no assurance that the operators of such schemes can continue to pay the high returns.
  • At the beginning of such schemes, the operators are able to use money received from subsequent depositors to pay high returns or to repay the principal amount to the earlier depositors.
  • However, the operators could not invest the deposits in equally or more lucrative ventures or investments and therefore unable to sustain the high returns or repayment promised to their depositors.

Please note that these schemes will fail eventually when there are no new deposits being continually received by the operators. At such time, the "get-rich-quick" schemes will collapse and the depositors or investors will lose their investments.

For more example of illegal and suspicious financial entities and activities, please visit Financial Fraud Alert website.

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