Maputo, 10 Mar (AIM) – The Bank of Mozambique has warned of the proliferation on the domestic market of entities aimed at attracting deposits from individuals without being licensed for this purpose.
“Generally, institutions acting illegally in the financial field adhere to the financial pyramid scheme. Financial pyramids are fraudulent business schemes that are characterized by the promise of making money in the short term, usually in the form of interest on deposited amounts. These interest rates are often much higher than the average practiced on the market and increase with the recruitment of more depositors by the people involved”, reads the central bank’s alert.
According to the document, the entry of new people to make deposits appears to offer income to all those involved. However, as the pyramid grows, as a result of the trust of the depositors in the scheme, there is not enough money to pay everyone, and in the end most people lose out.
“Therefore, resorting to these entities represents a high risk and can result in serious losses for those involved, since they are not subject to the information duties and prudential limits that safeguard the interests of the consumer and the stability of the financial system”, the Central Bank warns.
The collapse is mathematically inevitable. A pyramid scheme recruits members via a promise of payment for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than any investment or sale of goods. This is clearly unsustainable, since the scheme quickly runs out of recruits.
So that citizens will not fall for these schemes, the Bank of Mozambique warns that illegal financing entities can be detected through characteristics such as “lack of licensing; demand for money without exchange of a financial asset, product or provision of services; promise of payment of excessively high interest, in a short period of time and apparently at low risk”.
The bank advises members of the public to consult its list of duly licensed financial agencies before taking any decision on joining any financial scheme or buying any financial product.
Any institution that is not on the central bank’s list “is taking deposits from the public illegally, which is a crime”.
Those promoting pyramid schemes often call themselves “investors”, “winners”, or “millionaires”, and offer high commissions or other goods for recruiting new customers.