Newsletter - CONSOB AND ITS ACTIVITIES
News of the week:
Watch for scams! Financial fraud: Consob blacks out 4 more abusive websites
Save the date - 9 June 2023 Consob's annual meeting with the financial market at Borsa Italiana
Basile Award for training, a report of excellence to Consob for the third time
Response to question on "cascading" full takeover bid
Planning personal finances and paying attention to real returns: a fact sheet to deal with inflation and rising rates
The list of statutory auditors and audit firms with revenues from public interest entities (PIEs) has been updated
Investor protection warnings from other regulatory authorities
Consob has ordered the blackout of 4 new websites that abusively offer financial services/financial products: 3 abusive financial intermediation websites and 1 website through which financial products are offered without a prospectus.
The Authority availed itself of the powers deriving from the "growth decree" (Law no. 58 of 28 June 2019, article 36, paragraph 2-terdecies) regarding the blackout of the sites of abusive financial intermediaries, as well as the power introduced by Law no. 8 of 28 February 2020, article 4, paragraph 3-bis, regarding the blackout of the website through which the abusive offer is made.
Below are the sites Consob has ordered to be blacked out:
- Global News (website https://globalnewstrade.top and page https://webtrader.glblntrd.top);
- Tredouxcapitalltd247 (website https://tredouxcapitalltd247.io
and its pages https://client.tredouxcapitalltd247.io and https://webtrader.tredouxcapitalltd247.io);
- MarkersFin Limited (website www.markersfin.com and its page https://cabinet.markersfin.com);
- Profitexpertsinc Ltd (website https://profitexpertsinc.com).
The number of sites blacked out since July 2019, when Consob was given the power to order the black-out of websites of fraudulent financial intermediaries, has thus risen to 894.
The measures adopted by Consob can be consulted on the website www.consob.it.
The black-out of these websites by internet service providers operating on Italian territory is ongoing. For technical reasons, it can take several days for the black-out to come into effect.
Consob draws investors' attention to the importance of adopting the greatest diligence in order to make informed investment choices, adopting common sense behaviours, essential to safeguard one's savings: these include, for websites that offer financial services, checking in advance that the operator with whom you are investing is authorised, and, for offers of financial products, that a prospectus has been published.
To this end, Consob would remind you that there is a section on the homepage of its website www.consob.it entitled “Watch for scams!”, providing useful information to warn investors against financially abusive initiatives.
Consob has also suspended, for a period of 90 days, pursuant to Article 99, paragraph 1, letter b) of the Consolidated Law on Finance, the offer to the Italian public concerning "Investment Plans" called "Silver Plan", "Gold Plan", "Diamond Plan" and "VIP Plan" made by the so-called "Profitexpertsinc Ltd" including via the website https://profitexpertsinc (Resolution no. 22703 of 18 May 2023).
Consob's customary annual meeting with the financial market will be held on Friday 9 June at 11:00 in Milan, in Palazzo Mezzanotte, the historic headquarters of Borsa Italiana.
Consob has received a Report of Excellence for the third time from the Filippo Basile Award for training in public administration, now in its twenty-first edition. The Award, which aims to enhance the best training experiences implemented by public administrations to develop human resources, is awarded by the Basile Award Scientific Committee and organised every year by the Italian Trainers' Association (AIF) sponsored by Formez Pa, in memory of the homonymous leader of the Sicily Region murdered on 5 July 1999 by the mafia.
The Report of Excellence assigned to Consob, which had already been awarded in the 2022 and 2019 editions, is recognition for the ‘Watch for Scams! A super hackathon to defend investors' initiative awarded to Antonella Nibaldi, head of the Public Relations Office, for the work of coordinating the project. Since 2017, the Consumer Protection Division of Consob has been organising courses for secondary school students as part of the Pathway for Transversal Skills and Orientation (PCTO, formerly the School-Work Alternation Pathway) with the collaboration of the various Consob divisions responsible for the topics covered during the workshops.
The work commended in the 2023 edition, implemented in the 2021-2022 school year, concerned the project assigned to students who participated in a "super hackathon" ("hacker marathon" in the sense of a collaborative event aimed at solving a problem) consisting of devising and designing a digital system to protect investors and markets from scams and financial risks based on two case studies, GameStop (in which the ability of social media to influence the dynamics of financial markets was clear) and Wirecard (with the collapse of the German digital payments company).
More than 1300 students from all over Italy participated in the project. Of the numerous works received from the students, a Consob jury chaired by Francesca Medda, Digital Strategy coordinator, selected the best six projects. Among these, the winners were the fourth-year, Section A students of the Institute of Higher Education of Pontecorvo (Frosinone) who made a video, published on the Consob website in the section dedicated to projects with schools and universities (https://www.consob.it/documents/1912911/1987363/video-pcto-marzo-2023.mp4/88d35274-9b79-840f-44df-ed8038670d8d), which was submitted as the Consob candidate for the 2023 Basile Award.
The ceremony – with prizes and awards also given to other Italian institutions and administrations, including the Bank of Italy and Sogei – took place at the end of the conference, 'Hybrid skills and digitalisation: role and prospects for Training in public administration', organised by the AIF and hosted in the Consob Auditorium on 18 and 19 May.
There is no "cascading" takeover bid obligation on a listed company owned by an unlisted holding company when, due to the dissolution and liquidation of the assets of a shareholder company of the same holding company, there is no change in the holding company's control structures thanks to statutory clauses that weaken the position of those who come to hold the majority of the holding company's share capital.
This is what Consob has established through the interpretation of Article 45 of the Issuers' Regulation ("Indirect Purchase") in response to a question (Communication no. 0045269/23 of 11 May 2023).
Pay more attention to planning personal expenses and finances, giving yourself a scale of priorities. Make use of financial advice, where necessary, also for taking into account interest rate developments. And pay attention to commissions on banking, insurance, and financial products.
This is what the ESMA, EBA and EIOPA, the three main European Supervisory Authorities of the financial sector, suggest in an interactive fact sheet published on May 15 of this year to help investors understand how inflation and interest rates affect personal finances, starting from the impact of the current situation of high inflation and rising interest rates, on loans and savings, on the current and future portfolio of financial investments, on pensions and insurance policies.
The fact sheet also highlights a careful assessment of the real returns on their investments and on inflation-linked financial products, such as floating-rate bonds, and on the need to diversify the portfolio. Answers are also provided to the most frequently asked questions.
The interactive documentation, which will be translated and promoted in the various EU countries, consists of simple and understandable words precisely to clarify economic and financial terms that are often an obstacle to an adequate understanding by consumers. This is in fulfilment of the institutional mission which provides that the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) play a leading role in promoting transparency, simplicity and fairness in the market for consumer financial products or services, also through literacy and financial education initiatives.
Consob has updated on its website www.consob.it, under section "Consob and its activities/entities and markets/audit firms", the list of auditors and statutory audit firms for the audit of PIEs (Public Interest Entities). The update distinguishes between the audit firms that recorded a turnover of less than 15% of the national PIE turnover in 2022 and those that, on the other hand, have a turnover above this threshold and which, as in recent years, are still represented by the so-called "Big four" (Deloitte & Touche Spa,Ernst & Young Spa, KPMG Spa and Pricewaterhousecoopers Spa).
In fact, Article 16, paragraph 3, of the Regulation (EU) 537/2014, on the statutory audit of Public Interest Entities (PIEs), which came into force on 17 June 2016, requires the supervisory authorities of statutory auditors to publish annually a list containing all the audit firms that undertake PIE assignments whose turnovers in the previous calendar year were less than 15% of the total turnover recorded at national level.
This provision was introduced to prevent the entities whose PIE turnover is less significant from being excluded from the selection procedures for the assignment of auditing tasks on PIEs.
The list shows in alphabetical order both the audit firms and statutory auditors who recorded a PIE turnover of more than 15% during 2022, and those with a turnover of less than 15% of the relevant national turnover.
The document refers to the specific "Statutory Audit" section of the website of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance - MEF, the list of the names of the remaining audit firms and the statutory auditors, natural persons who do not currently carry out assignments on Public Interest Entities and who therefore have registered a turnover of zero from PIE assignments.
In this regard, it should be noted that the list of statutory auditors to be referred to during the task assignment process is the Register kept by the Ministry of Economy and Finance pursuant to Chapter III of Legislative Decree no. 39/2010 referred to at the following link: https://www.revisionelegale.mef.gov.it/opencms/opencms/Revisione-legale where it is possible to view and extract the data of all the audit firms and auditors registered in the aforementioned Register.
The supervisory authorities of United Kingdom (Financial Conduct Authority - Fca) and Spain (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores - Cnmv), report the companies and websites offering investment, financial and insurance services without the required authorisations.
Reported by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - United Kingdom:
- Mega Crypto Exchange (www.megacryptoexchange.online);
- Cryptfxmining (www.crypfxminning.org);
- Trendfx Pns (www.trendfxpns.com);
- Power 2 Fx (www.power2fx.com).
Reported by the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) – Spain:
- Vastwealth / Vallencio Llc (https://www.vastwealth.live/es/Home), clone of a licensed company;
- Corny Solutions Llc (http://www.apricusfx.com);
- Csr Finance Services Ltd (https://csrfinance.co.uk);
- Nexus Llc (https://cuarto.capital);
- Gmi/ Global Market Index Limited (https://gmimarkets.com);
- Hotbit (https://www.hotbit.io);
- Ka Capital Emporium (https://kacapitalemporium.com);
- Solidarity Iq Trade (https://solidarityiqtrade.com);
- Everest Capital Ltd (https://tr-universal.com);
- Orionda Financials Ltd (https://tradecare365.com/index-SN.html);
Query confirmatory of the absence of the obligation to promote a mandatory takeover bid, pursuant to Article 106, paragraph 3, letter a) of the Consolidated Law on Finance and Article 45 of the Issuers' Regulation Communication no. 0045269/23 of 11 May 2023.
The list of auditors and statutory audit firms for audit of PIEs has been updated (decision of 18 May 2023).
The supplement to the registration document of Banca Sella Spa, drawn up pursuant to Article 10, paragraph 1, and 23 of Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 has been approved (decision of 18 May 2023).
Order, pursuant to Article 7-octies, letter b) of Italian Legislative Decree no. 58 of 24 February 1998 (Consolidated Law on Finance) to cease infringement of Article 18 of Consolidated Law on Finance, put in place by:
- Global News through the website https://globalnewstrade.top and page https://webtrader.glblntrd.top (resolution no. 22702 of 18 May 2023);
- Tredouxcapitalltd247 through the website https://tredouxcapitalltd247.io and its pages https://client.tredouxcapitalltd247.io and https://webtrader.tredouxcapitalltd247.io (resolution no. 22700 of 18 May 2023);
- MarkersFin Limited through the website www.markersfin.com and its page https://cabinet.markersfin.com (resolution no. 22701 of 18 May 2023).