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FCA U-turns on fraud warning for fledgeling fintech Lanistar

Despite the FCA issuing a fraud warning last week, Lanistar appears to have fallen back in favour with the regulator following talks between the UK regulator and the company.

a person sitting in a field of flowers with a bird on the shoulder

Gurhan Kizlioz/Lanistar

In just a matter of months, digital banking fintech Lanistar has ruffled a few feathers in the fintech world, no less with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) but things do seem to back on track with the UK financial regulator 

The fintech launched a social media campaign last week that saw it catch the eye of the FCA and resulted in it getting slapped with a fraud warning

The FCA said in a statement last week: “This firm is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK. Based upon information we hold, we believe it is carrying on regulated activities which require authorisation.” 

However, following the social media frenzy surrounding Lanistar, the FCA has since changed its mind and late on Friday deleted its initial statement.  

In an updated message posted to its website, the FCA said: “Following the FCA receiving a number of consumer reports, on Wednesday 18 November we issued a consumer warning against Lanistar.” 

“Today, the firm agreed to add an appropriate disclaimer to its marketing materials updating its regulatory status to confirm that it is not conducting regulated activities. The firm is also going to amend certain aspects of its website." 

Lanistar falsely claimed that it was approved by the regulator and that customers had protection of up to €100,000. 

Back in March of this year, Lanistar made waves in the fintech world after CEO and founder Gurhan Kizlioz confidently announced that it “fully expected to become the next £1bn fintech company” and disrupt the current banking arena. 

Shortly afterwards, the fintech announced a £15m funding round from Turkish VC fund Milaya Capital, owned by Yasam Ayavefe, only for the investor to pull out of the deal in October, rather Kizlioz would be raising the cash from family and friends. 

The financial regulator also confirmed that following Lanistar’s rocky start, the fintech will be working closely with the FCA ahead of its launch, which is billed for early 2021. 

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