Couple 'horrified' by link to FMA warning

By Ben Chapman-Smith

The FMA says investors should be wary of forex trader FX Promax Limited. Photo / Ben Chapman-Smith
The FMA says investors should be wary of forex trader FX Promax Limited. Photo / Ben Chapman-Smith

An Auckland couple say they were "horrified" to see their names listed as the founders of a foreign currency exchange company being looked into by the Financial Markets Authority.

The FMA yesterday issued a public warning against doing business with FX Promax Limited and its associated website

"FMA is concerned that FX Promax Limited and related people or entities may be soliciting funds from members of the public, and warns New Zealanders not to invest in the entity or its products."

FX Promax Limited is not registered on the New Zealand Companies Register and it is not a registered financial service provider. It states its New Zealand address as Level 8, 350 Queen Street, Auckland.

Greg Thomas and Nicola Thomas are named on the FX Promax website as the company's founders but the couple said they had nothing to do with the business.

The Whangaparoa couple have a company called Promax Management Limited which was absolutely in no way connected with FX Promax, Mr Thomas said.

The first time they heard about FX Promax Limited was about two weeks ago when a man connected with 350 Queen Street saw Mr Thomas' name on the website and tracked him down.

"He expressed concern about the company and asked me if I had an association with FX Promax. I said 'absolutely not'," Mr Thomas said.

"When we started looking at it we were horrified and contacted the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Financial Markets Authority."

The FMA said it believed information on the FX Promax website concerning the business' founders was "fictitious".

"The website names two New Zealanders as officers of FX Promax Limited. The named individuals are owners of a similarly-named New Zealand registered company but are not associated in any way with the operations of FX Promax Ltd or its website, nor is their conduct under investigation by FMA."

Mr Thomas said he did not know if the man who contacted him two weeks ago was the landlord but the same man phoned again last week.

"He said there were people in the building at the time and asked if I wanted to do something about it."

Mr Thomas said he was told the people in the building were from overseas and were flying out that night.

He contacted both the SFO and Auckland Police who both said there was nothing they could do at that stage.

The FMA said it had since written to the web hosting service for to outline its concerns with the site. It was awaiting a response.

"By taking this preventative action and issuing a warning to the public, we hope that those who attended the presentation, or other members of the public who have been approached by FX Promax Limited, will not invest in the company or its financial products."

The Business Herald visited Level 8, 350 Queen Street today and found a large, top-floor office fitted out with furniture and 'FX Promax Limited' signage, but otherwise empty.

The building's property manager said rent for the office was paid up to date and he believed the business was still operating.

"As far as I'm aware they haven't vacated. We just lease them an office and that's about it."

The man said he did not want to comment any further about FX Promax Limited.

According to its website, FX Promax Limited also has offices in Singapore and the UK.

The FMA said it had not received any complaints from customers of FX Promax.

Anyone who has invested with FX Promax Limited or a related person or entity has been asked to contact the FMA on 0800 434 567.

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