OneCoin issued cease and desist by Austrian FMA
After observing violations the Banking Act (Bankwesengesetz), the Austrian Financial Market Authority has issued OneCoin with a cease and desist.
OneCoin stands accused of “carrying out (unauthorized) banking transactions” within Austria.
The FMA are Austria’s top securities regulator. The regulator identify OneCoin as a Bulgarian company, operating out of Sofia.
As per the Banking Act, the FMA may only issue a cease and desist if the offending party “has given cause for such action”. Although what specific violations OneCoin were observed carrying out in Austria is not specified.
Nonetheless, the FMA deem it necessary to warn the general public that OneCoin
is not entitled to carry out banking transactions in Austria that require a licence.
The provider is therefore not permitted to conduct the issuance and administration of payment instruments such as credit cards, banker’s drafts and traveller’s cheques on a commercial basis, with no limitation applicable to the term of crediting in the case of credit cards.
One possibility that comes to mind is OneCoin’s many shell companies using Austrian banking services to launder stolen investor funds.
In addition to the FMA cease and desist, Austrian Public Prosecutors announced a criminal investigation into OneCoin back in May.
The Austrian Consumer Protection agency also issued a separate warning against OneCoin investment in April last year.