ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has clarified that mere registration of a company with SECP does not authorise it to seek deposits from the general public.

Deposit taking by companies other than banking companies is illegal in terms of section 84 of the Companies Act 2017. Furthermore, financial services including car financing, leasing, acceptance of deposits, house financing etc. can only be offered by specialised companies holding valid licence and regulatory approvals. The  public is advised in their own interest to be careful, not to deal and invest in illegal schemes offered by companies involved in any illegal deposit taking, unauthorised investment or Multilevel Marketing (MLM).

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The SECP while exercising its regulatory powers to curb illegal deposit-taking in the country has taken stern actions against Shaukat Marwat Group comprising the following companies found involved in illegal deposit-taking:

Shaukat Marwat Group of Companies (Private) Limited

Shaukat Marwat Estates and Builders (Private) Limited

Shaukat Marwat Transports (Private) Limited

Shaukat Marwat Imports/Exports (Private) Limited

Shaukat Marwat Restaurants (Private) Limited

Shaukat Marwat Hotels (Private) Limited

SECP has observed that the aforementioned companies are using their registration with SECP and FBR to win public confidence and are soliciting financing through unauthorised investment schemes through Facebook groups and posts on social media.

SECP has issued a direction under section 474 of the Companies Act, 2017 to the aforementioned Companies to refrain from soliciting deposits and refund the amount, if any, collected from the general public; It has initiated penal action under section 84(2)(b) of the Companies Act, 2017 against the said companies for invitation of deposits from the public and; disqualification of directors/CEO for illegal deposit taking under section 172 and section 189 of the Companies ACT, 2017.

SECP has also approached the relevant regulatory authority and the relevant law enforcement agencies to take appropriate action against the aforementioned companies.

The SECP has made public a list of companies, involved in similar un-authorised business activities, including illegally collecting deposits from investors by making false promises of exceptionally tantalising returns.

The writer is a member of staff
The reporting desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk

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