Warning: Exercise extreme caution when dealing with General Equity

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued a warning to the public about General Equity (previously named General Equity Building Society), a New Zealand building society.

FMA warns any persons dealing with General Equity to exercise extreme caution before obtaining any financial services, or acquiring any financial products, from General Equity. In particular, FMA warns those persons to take into account that:

  • In FMA’s view, General Equity has engaged in conduct and has made statements that are misleading and deceptive in connection with its status as a financial markets participant and how it is regulated in New Zealand.
  • General Equity is not a licensed financial markets participant in New Zealand, does not have to meet any prudential requirements (including minimum capital requirements) in New Zealand and is not a New Zealand bank or a non-bank deposit taker.
  • In FMA’s view, General Equity has engaged in conduct and has made statements that are misleading and deceptive in connection with The General Equity Asset Builder Fund No 1 (ABF1). In FMA’s view, the ABF1 does not hold the assets General Equity claims it holds and was used by General Equity to give a misleading impression of adequate asset backing to support the issuance of letters of credit by General Equity.
  • Most of General Equity’s business is conducted outside of New Zealand. That business is subject to the laws of, and oversight of financial markets regulators, of those places where it conducts that business. FMA has limited ability at law to take action in connection with financial services provided by New Zealand entities outside of New Zealand.

FMA regulates New Zealand's financial markets. Our main objective is to promote fair, efficient and transparent financial markets. To find out more about us and for help with investing see www.fma.govt.nz.