The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has clarified that mere registration of a company does not authorise it to accept deposits from the public.
Deposit taking by companies, other than banking companies, is illegal in terms of section 84 of the Companies Act. 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.
General public is advised, in their own interest to be careful, not to deal and invest in illegal schemes offered by such companies.
In this regard, the SECP, while exercising its regulatory power to curb the menace of illegal business practices in the country, has taken stern actions against Lasani Oil Traders (Private) Limited and New Lassani Chicks & Chicken (Private) Limited. SECP has promptly initiated legal proceedings for the winding up of these companies in terms of section 301 read with section 304 of the Companies Act, 2017, and disqualification of directors thereof in terms of section 172 of the Act.
SECP has observed that both the companies are using their registration with SECP and FBR to win public confidence and are publicising unauthorised investment schemes through Facebook groups and posts on social media. In an attempt to block companies’ access to general public, SECP approached PTA to block Facebook/Twitter pages, cell phone numbers registered in the name of companies and its directors. The SECP has also made reference of the case to the relevant law enforcement agency.
The SECP has made public a list of 50 companies, involved in similar unauthorised business activities, including illegally collecting deposits, from investors by making false promises of exceptionally tantalising returns.