New Zealand warns Fullerton Markets

A key sponsor of the Hurricanes, Fullerton Markets, may face civil action from the New Zealand watchdog over breaches of anti-money laundering laws. As a result, New Zealand warns Fullerton Markets.

24 November, AtoZForex - The financial watchdog in New Zealand has issued a formal warning to a Forex broker, a key sponsor of the Hurricanes, over failures of anti-money laundering laws. The firm under the spotlight is Fullerton Markets.

New Zealand warns Fullerton Markets

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) issued the notification of formal warning to Fullerton Markets under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act. The FMA also warned Fullerton that the company may slap penalty up to $2 million for every offense if it fails to take the action demanded.

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An investigation of Wellington-based Forex firm showed that the company did not have in place adequate risk assessment or compliance programmes which were "essential components" of complying with the legislation. According to the statement, the firm has also failed to identify its clients considered as the politically exposed person. This means an individual with a prominent public function in New Zealand or overseas.

Since 2016, Fullerton has been a Hurricanes sponsor in an agreement which features its name on rugby team’s jersey. As well as featuring on the Hurricanes Jerseys, then Finance Minister Bill English had attended the company’s official office opening. However, its website claims that the company is the fastest growing brokerage in Asia.

Fullerton Markets comments on the notification

In a related statement, Fullerton director Gerald Carter said the company took compliance "most seriously". Fullerton said the FMA approached it on September 7 and was given a "full and detailed written response" on September 28. The company also said that it hasn’t received any further communications until 23 November.

"We will continue to work actively and constructively with the FMA to address all the issues they have raised to ensure that Fullerton Markets is fully compliant," Carter said.

However, the watchdog has ordered the firm to prepare and implement risk assessment and compliance programmes. Fullerton Markets was not available for the comment on the warning. Reportedly, a spokesman for the Hurricanes declined to comment.

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