The Dubai Financial Services Authority, which regulates financial services businesses operating within the Dubai International Financial Centre, has issued a warning to “members of the financial services community and members of the public” about what it says are “false claims” to being DFSA-regulated by David Harding and the Harding Capital Group.
In a statement on its website, the DFSA says it “strongly advises that you do not communicate with Mr Harding, or anyone from the Harding Capital Group, and under no circumstances should you send any money to him or to the Harding Capital Group”.
Harding, according to the statement, “claims to be the managing director of Harding Capital Group…
“The DFSA believes that Mr Harding may reside in the UAE, and may be offering financial and investment services through Harding Capital Group.
“The DFSA informs you that Harding Capital Group does not have, and has never had, offices in the DIFC; and is not, and has never been, licensed by the DFSA.”
An online search for a Dubai-based organisation going by the name of “Harding Capital Group” didn’t produce any results, making it impossible to obtain a response from the company, or from Harding.
Peter Saulnier, managing director of New Jersey, US-based Harding Capital LLC, told International Investment that his company was not related to the company mentioned in the DFSA warning, and expressed concern that his company’s name might be “sullied” by its similarity to that of the other business.
“There is no relation to Harding Capital LLC, which is a NYC corporation now based in Harding Township, New Jersey,” he said.
“Harding Capital LLC has not done any business to date in Dubai or, for that matter, the United Arab Emirates.”
Scam warnings ‘routine’
Warnings of scammers that claim to be regulated are fairly routine on the part of the DFSA and other major financial services regulators, as they seek to help investors to avoid such entities, some of which have been known to claim to be regulated in jurisdictions in which they are not.
In its statement today, the DFSA invites those interested in learning more about how to avoid being scammed to visit a page that addresses this matter on its website.
It also encourages such individuals “to refer to the list of [DFSA] regulated firms and authorised individuals licensed by the DFSA” on the DFSA’s public register.