South Africa Tribunal overturns FSCA case against deVere CEO Nigel Green
This, or variations of it, has been the headline that has gone around the world’s financial press in the last few days.
Bloomberg, International Adviser, International Investment, News24, and South Africa Financial News, amongst many other esteemed media outlets, have covered the news that the Tribunal of South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has overruled officials at the watchdog in a case against me after the regulator had imposed a debarment order and penalty order following alleged contraventions of specific financial services laws by deVere South Africa.
I had consistently and robustly denied all the allegations made against me.
In his ruling at the Tribunal, Judge Harms stated: “It is declared that the applicant, Mr Green, did not contravene sec 2 of the Financial Institutions (Protection of Funds) Act, No. 28 of 2001 during the period he had been a director of deVere SA.”
Whilst we were surprised by the FSCA’s initial decision, “we are not surprised by the Tribunal’s ruling,” as I told the press.
It’s clear that the case was overturned on the basis of both factual inaccuracies in the FSCA’s case against me and an incorrect application of laws.
A Tribunal’s final ruling declares, it was found that I did not contravene the law and, therefore, the regulator was wrong to consider any action against me.
In addition, the FSCA was criticised by the Judge at the Tribunal for changing the alleged offences of which I was accused on several occasions – even up to two weeks before the case was heard – and for failing to understand its own laws.
I believe that the regulator has demonstrated that, for whatever reason best known to itself, it was out to bring me personally into disrepute.
As I was quoted by the various media as saying: “In this case, the South African financial regulator appears to have lost the objectivity and impartiality expected of a public body discharging a public function.”
However, the Tribunal came to the only coherent ruling.
I now look forward to putting this behind us and moving into what promises to be an exciting year ahead for deVere.