NZ regulator issues new infringement notice against Equitise
New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued another infringement notice to crowdfunding platform Equitise Pty Ltd.
The notice concerns Equitise’s failure to file financial statements on time, amid broader concerns about the firm’s ability to meet regulatory reporting deadlines.
Equitise was licensed by the FMA as an equity crowdfunding service provider in December 2014 and is required to file audited financial statements by 30 October every year. For the third consecutive year, however, Equitise has failed to file its financial statements within the prescribed timeframe and despite the FMA issuing an infringement notice last year for the same offence.
The FMA’s new infringement notice requires Equitise to pay a $7,500 fee for the offence.
The licensed crowdfunding platform has also been late in filing its annual regulatory returns for two consecutive years, annual agreed upon procedures (AUP) reports for three consecutive years, and its annual AML/CFT report for two consecutive years.
The FMA has therefore requested that Equitise also develop a compliance plan, which must set out in detail how it will ensure compliance, the applicable timelines and due dates, the person(s) accountable for each step, and how the firm will monitor compliance from now on. If a satisfactory compliance plan is not provided to the FMA, the regulator may consider using formal regulatory tools, such as a direction order.
Paul Gregory, FMA Acting Director of Capital Markets, said:
“Failure to file statements and reports can indicate wider issues, as with this case, so we decided a compliance action plan was proportionate to Equitise’s pattern of breaches.”
Equitise filed its 2021 financial statements on 27 January 2022 (i.e. nearly three months late). The company has 28 days to pay the infringement fee or respond to the notice in the prescribed manner.