The Financial Markets Authority has placed an interim stop order on a financial advice provider following the cancellation of its licence for serious misconduct last year.

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) said the interim order was necessary to prevent Wisdom House Investment Partners and owner Yuen Pok Loo – who also uses the name Paul – from causing harm through “dishonest and misleading” activities.

Wisdom House and Loo came under fire in December last year when it was revealed that the owner-operator was misappropriating funds in his work with financial services firm FoxPlan – gaining $36,000 from FoxPlan between July 2018 and November 2020 in the process.

The stolen funds were discovered when the FMA censured Wellington-based FoxPlan back in July 2021 over the issue of allowing one of its unregistered employees – Loo – to provide investment advice. 

Revoked financial advice provider’s licence

Loo was dismissed immediately, and the funds have since been returned to FoxPlan. The FMA revoked Loo’s financial advice provider’s licence in December 2021.

Today, however, the FMA said that Loo was found to be telling potential Wisdom House clients in an email that he was a financial adviser – which is strictly prohibited.

The email contained statements that either directly or indirectly referred to the supply, or possible supply, of a financial advice service and was “reasonably likely to induce persons to request the supply of a financial advice service”. 

Also attached to the email was a letter claiming to be from the FMA and confirming that the market regular had granted Wisdom House a financial advice provider (FAP) licence.

The FMA said both the email and forged FMA letter were “false and misleading” and contained errors of a “material misdescription” due to the communication around the supply of financial services.

As the market watchdog regulator investigates the case, the FMA said it advised the public not to engage with, provide money to or accept offers of financial services from Loo or Wisdom House.

The interim stop order was issued under the Financial Markets Conduct (FMC) Act 2013. It remains in force until Sept 5, when the FMA may issue a permanent stop order.