The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) is warning Islanders to be extra vigilant if they are considering making or changing investments during the current economic climate.
As the Covid-19 crisis continues to bring uncertainty, the island’s financial regulator is concerned that there may be an increase in cases of local investors losing money, as they seek higher rates of return without understanding the risks.
Martin Moloney, JFSC Director General commented: “Many islanders won’t consider themselves investors but anyone who has a bit of money put aside and needing to make a decision about what to do with it is an investor. We want all islanders to be informed, smart and safe when they make decisions about their money and their future. Reducing the risk to local investors is a key responsibility for the JFSC and we care very much that local residents understand the potential risks, as well as the opportunities, involved in making investment decisions. It is impossible for any regulator to prevent every single case of investors losing money, but we can raise awareness about the risks. We ask islanders always to question carefully whether an investment recommendation is actually in their best interests.”
Kerry Petulla, JFSC Acting Director of Enforcement added: “In times of economic uncertainty, such as Covid-19 or the financial crash of 2007/8, we do unfortunately see trends of an increase in frauds/scams and also poor professional conduct within the finance industry with people being mis-led into making high-risk investments choices that aren’t suitable for their risk appetite. We see first-hand the devastating consequences of islanders losing their life savings so we hope, by raising awareness, people will make sure they are fully informed before parting with their money.”
The JFSC’s warning comes as the regulator takes part in the fourth World Investor Week campaign, a global public awareness initiative to promote investor education and protection that is supported by more than 90 jurisdictions across the globe.
During the campaign, which starts on 5 October and will this year run into November, the JFSC will be sharing educational videos and information on its social media channels and in the local media. All the JFSC’s activities are designed to re-emphasise the basics of investing and address any questions Islanders may have about mis-selling, financial grooming and virtual currencies.
For more information about how the JFSC is participating in World Investor Week 2020, visit the regulator’s website.