“The Financial Services Board (FSB) commented on a circular dated 6 August 2013, issued by Frontier Asset Management to debenture holders and shareholders who have acquired their rights in terms of Schemes of Arrangement involving a number of Sharemax companies.
The Schemes were sanctioned by the High Court on 20 January 2012.
The Circular may be read as suggesting that the FAIS Ombud no longer has jurisdiction to deal with complaints of former Sharemax investors, not only against the Sharemax companies themselves, but also against their directors or functionaries.
Further, that pursuing claims through the offices of the Ombud may be interpreted as that such claimants have abandoned and repudiated their claims arising from the Schemes of Arrangement.
The FSB cautions, without suggesting a particular alternative, that views on the above issues are still subject to adjudication by the FSB Appeal Board and until this has been decided upon, investors are well advised to consult their legal representatives before taking a decision on the matter.
A number of determinations by the FAIS Ombud have been made against Sharemax, persons or entities associated with it and independent intermediaries who had advised their clients to invest in the Sharemax product.
Many of these determinations have been taken on appeal to the FSB Appeal Board where they are still pending. In one such instance the Chairman of the Appeal Board has granted leave to appeal.
The FSB is trying its best to have this appeal heard as soon as possible. However, nothing prevents any former investor in Sharemax from lodging a complaint with the FAIS Ombud against any party considered to be liable for any loss suffered.
Once the outcome of the appeal referred to, is known, the FSB will issue a follow-up media release in order to guide former Sharemax investors as to their further options.”