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Philippines securities regulator issues warning against investing with Peak Finance

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is advising the public against dealing with Peak Finance. As the adoption rate of digital assets increases massively, several entities have sprung up as investment platforms. One such entity is The Peak Finance, a so-called blockchain firm with enticing investment products. Nonetheless, the Philippines SEC has released an advisory, noting that the platform is neither registered nor regulated by the government.

The SEC made the announcement via a press release posted on its official website, stating that Peak Finance had not received regulatory clearance to provide investment products to the public. In addition, the financial watchdog noted that the platform is not registered with them, nor has it procured any operating license.

In light of this, the financial regulator advised the public to be cautious when transacting with individuals affiliated with Peak Finance.

“The public is further advised NOT TO INVEST or to STOP INVESTING in the investment scheme being offered by the subject entity or its representatives,” the SEC added.

Speaking further, the regulatory body mentioned that individuals promoting the unregistered and unlicensed entity could be criminally charged under Section 28 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). These include agents, salesmen, dealers, and brokers. According to the SEC, such individuals could face a maximum fine of PHP5 million, 21 years imprisonment, or both penalties.

In addition, the SEC says it will forward the identities of individuals affiliated with the platform to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). It expects the Bureau to assess the suitable penalties and/or taxes. Conclusively, the SEC asked the public to send any intel on the platform to the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) of the body.

The Philippines SEC is actively combating digital asset-related scams

According to reports corroborated by information on their website, The Peak Finance Consultancy Services claims to be an investment platform, offering individuals unbelievably mouthwatering returns on different investment schemes up to 500% return on investment in one year. The entity also littered information regarding its products on its Facebook page.

Its mode of operation suggests that it is a pyramid scheme which uses funds from new investors to settle older ones. Per data obtained from its website, users will receive a 500% interest on their “initial contribution” in BTC and other digital assets in one year. It also promises 120% returns on “initial contribution” in six months on locked-in investments. Other investment products are also available.

The Philippines SEC remains on its toes when it comes to combating digital asset-related pyramid schemes and scams. The regulatory body has been active in busting these fraudulent entities. On June 11, the SEC and the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) nabbed 19 individuals connected with the Decentra Ponzi Scheme in Quezon City.

Digital asset adoption has seen significant progress in the country. This rise has underlined the urgent need for proper consumer protection measures in the industry. The financial authorities have been attempting to set up these measures. Most recently, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced that it would be suspending virtual asset service providers license applications for three years.

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