Central Bank of Ireland Issues Warning on Unauthorised Firm
It has recently come to the Central Bank of Ireland’s (‘Central Bank’) attention that a firm, calling itself GMO Funds Plc, GMO IM Ltd, GMO Investment Management Plc, GMO Investment Management (Ireland) Limited and/or GMO Investment Management Limited may be offering persons one or more investment services and/or offering investment advice. This unauthorised firm has been operating as an investment firm in the State in the absence of an appropriate authorisation. The unauthorised firm has cloned the details (name and address) of GMO Funds plc and GMO Investment Management Company (Ireland) Limited, both of which are Central Bank authorised and regulated entities.
It should be noted that there is no connection whatsoever between the Central Bank authorised firms GMO Funds plc and GMO Investment Management Company (Ireland) Limited and the unauthorised entity that has cloned their details.
The unauthorised firm is known to have been operating through the websites gmofunds.com, gmoim.co.uk and gmoinvestmentmanagement.com. The unauthorised firm is also known to be using the phone numbers; +353 1437 2494, +353 1437 2493, +44 208 088 9293 and the e-mail addresses email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is a criminal offence for an unauthorised firm to provide financial services in Ireland that would require an authorisation under the relevant legislation for which the Central Bank is the responsible body for enforcing. Consumers should be aware that, if they deal with a firm which is not authorised, they are not eligible for compensation from the Investor Compensation Scheme.
Certain unauthorised firms “cold call” or email consumers and offer such consumers financial services (e.g. the opportunity to purchase shares in another company). These firms will often have cloned the details of a legitimately authorised firm and will quote a “registration/authorisation” number, which is in fact, the registration/authorisation number of a legitimately authorised entity. Consumers who have been cold called/emailed and offered financial services should make additional checks to ensure that the firm they are dealing with is the legitimately authorised firm. Consumers should contact the regulatory authority that the firm has advised it is authorised by and check that the contact details for the firm, that are held by the regulatory authority, match those provided by the firm who has cold called/emailed them.
The name of the above unauthorised firm is published under the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013.