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FSS to limit unlicensed investment consulting via Kakao, Telegram

FSS headquarters in western Seoul (Yonhap)
FSS headquarters in western Seoul (Yonhap)
South Korea’s financial watchdog has decided to restrict unlicensed investment advisers’ activities on instant messaging apps like KakaoTalk and Telegram, financial authorities said Thursday.

The Financial Supervisory Service made the decision Wednesday to eliminate messaging app chatrooms from among the list of eligible platforms where such advisers can work. The option would be deleted on the business plan the advisers are required to submit to the watchdog.

The current law bans unlicensed advisers from giving one-to-one private consulting or investing advice to clients. However, recently, instant messaging app chat rooms have been serving as platforms for illegal consulting, charging fees to specific clients who seek real-time stock advice.

The FSS has deemed the act “one-on-one” private consulting.

On top of banning the advisers’ illegal activities in chat rooms, the FSS said they are now required to submit plans on how to prevent illegal consulting when planning to use remaining platforms such as text messaging and video streaming services.

But an FSS official added that the decision doesn’t seek to ban all such chat rooms, which initially existed for educational purposes and to boost safe and accessible stock investment.

“We would need to further discuss with the (regulatory) Financial Supervisory Service on the matter of managing and operating such stock chat rooms,” the official said.

By Jung Min-kyung (