The Central Bank of Ireland has today (16 October 2020) published warning notices against eight unauthorised firms that hold no authorisation from the Central Bank.
Please see names of unauthorised firms below and press releases attached:
- Mutual Lending Mate
- Friends & Pro Limited (T/A Friends Loans)
- Easy Money for Cash
- Panther Loans (Clone)
- Cash2All (Clone)
- Davlog Group Private Lender/Davlog Group
- Smart Loans (Clone)
- Nat International Funds PLC (Clone)
A list of unauthorised firms published to date is available on the Central Bank website.
Consumers should take the SAFE test before making any financial decisions or providing any personal information:
- S – Stop: Stop, think and ask yourself – What? Who? Why? Do I feel rushed to act?
- A – Assess: Make sure the firm is legitimate
- F – Fact check: Seek advice to ensure service or product is genuine
- E – Expose and report: Any concerns, contact the Central Bank
It is a criminal offence for an unauthorised firm/person to provide financial services in Ireland that would require an authorisation under the relevant legislation for which the Central Bank is the responsible body for enforcing. Consumers should be aware that if they deal with a firm/person that is not authorised, they are not eligible for compensation from the Investor Compensation Scheme.
There are some general steps that individuals should take before dealing with firms / persons which purport to offer financial services:
- If you are buying a financial product such as a loan, insurance, investment or pension, or engaging a financial service such as investment advice, only deal with a Central Bank authorised firm / person – check our Register to see if the firm / person is registered. Always access the Register from our website, rather than through links in emails or on a firm’s / person’s website.
- Always double-check the URL and contact details of a firm / person in case it is a ‘clone firm / person’ pretending to be an authorised firm / person, such as your bank or a genuine investment firm.
- Check the list of unauthorised firms. If the firm / person is not on our list, do not assume it is legitimate – it may not have been reported to the Central Bank yet.
Any person wishing to contact the Central Bank with information regarding such firms / persons may telephone (01) 224 4000. This line is also available to the public to check if a firm is authorised.