FMA launches mobile app for checking credentials of financial providers
The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has optimised its company database and tied agents and securities brokers query, which were previously already accessible through the FMA website, for mobile devices, and have made them available for all people interested in finance through a mobile app. The new, free service is in particular intended to help retail investors and consumers to be able to the check the credentials of financial providers directly, and to help them to recognise dubious offerings more easily. The “Securities Brokers and Tied Agents Query” (Vermittler-Abfrage) provides information about whether a natural or legal person is active as a tied agent or a securities broker. Current investor warnings can be sent as push notifications to smartphones or tablets, and inform users about companies, who provide their services to the Austrian financial market in an authorised manner.
“As the most recent problematic cases have shown, retail investors are advised to seek advice about investments in investment products issued by licenced financial services providers. High quality advice and information about risks and opportunities, tailored to their requirements, is ensured, as licenced financial services providers are supervised, and the strict regulations, for example MiFID must be complied with. We recommend, before investing in a financial instrument, to consult our company database to check about the provider’s credentials”, commented the FMA’s Executive Board members, Helmut Ettl and Klaus Kumpfmüller, “If the relevant licence is not held, or if an investor warning has been issued, it is better to not proceed with the investment.” The self-distribution and direct distribution of investment products over the Internet without investment advice, unsolicited sales calls, unrealistically high promised returns or cases where the company is incorporated in an offshore financial centre are typical warning signals that should make consumers particularly wary.
There are approximately 8,500 entries in the FMA’s Company Database. The spectrum of companies covered extends to banks, investment fund management companies, real estate fund management companies, corporate provision funds, payment institutions e-money institutions, insurance undertakings, pension funds (Pensionskassen), investment services providers, investment firms, alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs), European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECAs), central counterparties (CCPs), European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEFs) and exchange operating companies. In 2017, the FMA published a total of 48 investor warnings, compared with 33 in 2016.
The new, free FMA app is available for download in iOS and Android versions at https://www.fma.gv.at/fma-app/.
Journalists may address further enquiries to:
Mr. Tiemon Kiesenhofer, MBA
+43/(0)676/882 49 610