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17 April 2024

DFSA fines GFS ex-official $70,000

The DFSA helps maintain business standards within the DIFC. (DENNIS B MALLARI) 

By Staff Writer

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) yesterday said it has penalised former GFS Investments Compliance Reporting Officer Roberto Da Silva $70,000 (Dh257,100) for lapses of misrepresentation and falsification by GFS.

This follows DFSA's investigation into Da Silva's conduct between May 17, 2007, the date that GFS was licensed, to October 31, 2007, the date of his resignation from GFS, the regulator said yesterday in a statement.

The GFS investigation had resulted the firm's operations being suspended in September and some employees banned from operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) for five years. GFS was asked to pay $502,000 to investors who suffered losses because of its misconduct, the DFSA said. The firm was licensed to provide online foreign exchange and commodities trading facilities.

The DFSA statement yesterday said Da Silva acknowledged the regulator's concerns about his conduct as an authorised individual of GFS. "The DFSA was concerned that Da Silva contravened the principles for such individuals and was involved in contraventions, by GFS, of the principles for authorised firms. The DFSA was concerned that Da Silva failed to carry out his duties as a Compliance Officer adequately," the statement said.

In September, Alfred Tang, Licensed Director and Finance Officer at GFS, agreed to resign from his job and not offer financial services from the DIFC again, the regulator said. Five employees, including Senior Executive Director Mike Leung, were fined $5,000 each, while four others were penalised between $3,000 and $4,000.

DFSA Chief Executive Paul Koster said: "The DFSA has an important role to maintain business standards within the DIFC and relies upon Compliance Officers to maintain high standards of conduct in authorised firms.

"Compliance Officers are the first line of regulatory defence against those who choose not to adhere to proper standards of governance and conduct in financial services."

Last year's investigations determined that GFS conducted business with non-eligible retail clients and misrepresented the eligibility of clients, including the falsification of client particulars.