The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) wishes to alert members of the public in Hong Kong to a suspected fraudulent website with the domain name www.paramountbank.net. The website is operated by an alleged "Paramount Bank," which claims that it has a head office in Hong Kong and an office in London, and is regulated by the UK financial regulator and offers various banking and investment services.
The public should be aware that the alleged "Paramount Bank" is not authorized under the Banking Ordinance to carry on banking business or the business of taking deposits in Hong Kong. Nor does it have a representative office in Hong Kong. The HKMA has verified with the UK financial regulator that the alleged "Paramount Bank" is not authorized to conduct the regulated activities of accepting deposits in the UK.
It has also come to our notice that there is a legitimate bank in the USA, which operates under the name of "Paramount Bank". The HKMA has therefore confirmed with both the related bank and the financial regulator in the USA that the suspicious website noted above is not affiliated with Paramount Bank, Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA or its official website (www.paramountbank.com).
The HKMA has reported the case to the Hong Kong Police Force for investigation. The HKMA has also referred the case to the UK financial regulator. Anyone who has dealings with the alleged "Paramount Bank" should contact any local Police Station or the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force at 2860 5012.
"Given the global nature of the Internet, fraudsters will continue to make use of similar techniques to defraud consumers in different countries or cities including Hong Kong. Members of the public in Hong Kong are reminded to verify the status of any organisation making use of the Internet to solicit deposits from the public," said an HKMA spokesperson. "Only authorized institutions regulated under the Banking Ordinance are allowed to carry on banking business or the business of taking deposits in Hong Kong. A list of authorized institutions is available on the HKMA's website (www.hkma.gov.hk). Members of the public may also check the status of any entity in Hong Kong which solicits deposits from the public with the HKMA by calling its public enquiry hotline 2878 8222".
For further enquiries, please contact:
Kevin Ip, Manager (Press), at 2878 1687 or
Thomas Chan, Senior Manager (Press), at 2878 1480
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
10 November 2003