Validus claims it will ‘stick around for a long time,’ but withholds full details on withdrawals

Validus Oceania vice president Tracey Burgess has told investors the controversial financial company did not “fight regulators if it was not planning to stick around for a long time.”

Burgess was speaking to investors during a series of on-line calls from the company’s leadership to field complaints about difficulties they were having in withdrawing money.

In February, the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority issued an interim stop order against the company and associated members, which effectively banned it from operating.

The company is now fighting the FMS in the High Court, but details have been suppressed at the company’s request.

Members of Validus have faced difficulties withdrawing their money from the company, with delays in April and May.

The company has not fully explained why investors cannot get hold of their money, but has attributed problems variously to security and IT issues and a need to restrict withdrawals to a certain level.

The company employs a points system, which requires members to convert their points into a crypto currency which can be subsequently exchanged into currency.

National Business Review said it had seen a number of messages from Validus members around the world complaining they still had not received their funds. They said e-mails to the company’s support team had gone unanswered.

The company recently held an online conference for investors. During the call to Asia-Pacific investors, Validus president Mansour Tawafi said he could not go into details about the problem during the call.

He asked members who had tried to withdraw money in May to be a “little bit more patient”.

“Yes we will, for sure, 100% fix it, it is just a matter of hopefully a few days, maybe even by tomorrow or the day after but I can’t promise that,” Tawafi said.

Meanwhile, Validus members were urged to keep recruiting new members.

Validus has been popular with the Tongan community, despite warnings that its activities resemble those of a pyramid scheme. It has also established a foothold in Tonga.

The company has been the subject of several warnings by financial authorities in New Zealand and Australia.

 In February this year the FMA warned that there was a real risk of investor harm arising from activities of Validus and its associated persons, which it described as “dishonest and misleading.”

In February the Financial Markets Authority banned Validus from making any offer to sell, accept applications, advertise any financial products or services under the Validus name.

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