On Thursday, the financial markets watchdog of the United Kingdom said that it had placed Financial.org, a UK-registered firm, on an investor alert list, warning the investors from dealings with the company.
The warning of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the latest from regulators across the globe that involves the company, a sponsor of Williams, a Formula One team.
In a notice that was posted on its website, the FCA said that it believed that Financial.org “has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorization.”
Offering investment services in the absence of regulatory permission is considered as a criminal offence in the United Kingdom.
Williams did not issue a response to a request for comment.
It was reported by Reuters that Financial.org, which describes itself to be an educational platform, is managing hundreds of thousands of dollars for Asian and Middle Eastern investors even though it is not given a license to engage in financial transactions.
Seventeen people from Indonesia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates have said that they had each given between $3,000 and $400,000 (2,221 and 296,181 pounds) to Financial.org.
Most of them said that their money had been invested in blue-chip stocks in the United States. The most recent notices on a website described as the official news site for Financial.org say that that the company is also offering a cryptocurrency that is called FOIN.
According to a notice that is posted on its website and seven investors, Financial.org has informed investors that it will close their accounts and take 20 percent of their money if failed to increase their minimum investment to $10,000 from $3,000.
One of the investors said that the deadline for this has been extended to the end of this month. He provided a screenshot of the latest notice that was posted on a password-protected, members-only section of the website of the firm.
The investor also said that attempts to withdraw their money had failed. The person, who refused to be named because of concern regarding their investments, provided screenshots of an account page that shows that withdrawal requests had been rejected.