Bogus Letters

This notice is issued by the Financial Supervision Commission (“the Commission”) in accordance with the powers conferred upon it under Section 22 of the Financial Supervision Act 1988.


Bogus letters falsely purporting to have been issued by the genuine Isle of Man Banking Licence Holder HSBC Bank PLC, Douglas, Isle of Man

The Commission has previously issued general advice regarding bogus letters falsely purporting to have been issued by genuine Isle of Man institutions. The earlier advice may be read on the following link /lib/docs/iomfsa/PublicWarnings/bogusLetters.pdf

The Commission has recently become aware of letters falsely purporting to originate from the genuine Isle of Man Banking Licence Holder, HSBC Bank PLC. The bogus letters appear to have been generated by reproducing in facsimile the letterhead of the genuine institution. The letters also include a facsimile of the signature of a former employee of the genuine institution. It has been confirmed from identifying details that the alleged signature has been copied from genuine correspondence.

For identification purposes we reproduce below extracts from the text of the bogus letters (the text in bold has been added or amended by the Commission in order to preserve the anonymity of the recipients ).

Re: Bond number 1234/05 and attendant Bond and declaration(s) attaching issued to (ABC Limited)

“This Support Agreement Letter (“Support Agreement”) serves to confirm to (ABC Limited), (“(ABC)” or the “Beneficiary”) that (AN Other Limited), registered office at (address witheld) is a client of long standing and has superior technical ability and the adequate financial capacity to meet their obligations in a proper and timely manner.

We further attest that the company, (AN Other Limited) is the holder, from our institution, of financing facilities, and deposits that can be utilized, at their discretion, in support of, and to meet the obligations arising from certificates attaching to the bonds issued under contract numbers 1234/05. In respect of these facilities, and deposits we confirm notation of Bond number 1234/05 and Bond Declarations issued in respect of the Purchased Policies of (ABC).”

The correspondence seen by the Commission has been accompanied by an alleged notice purporting to verify the credit of €120,000,000 to an account of (AN Other Limited). This alleged notice also appears to have been generated by fraudulently reproducing in facsimile the letterhead of the genuine Isle of Man Banking licence holder HSBC Bank PLC.

Any persons receiving correspondence purporting to originate from Isle of Man Financial Institutions and who have any doubts about the authenticity of the correspondence should contact the alleged originator who should be able to rapidly confirm whether or not it is genuine. Persons should not rely on telephone or fax numbers included within the suspect correspondence as these may have been entered by the forger of the document. You should contact the institution using a telephone, fax, email or postal address that you already know to be genuine or as an alternative one that you have obtained via a trusted third party. The Commission website at details of all of our licence holders including details of their genuine postal addresses. These details may be used to contact the relevant institution or be used to obtain other genuine contact details by trusted methods.

Persons who have received correspondence matching that described above and who have concerns may contact the Enforcement Division on +44 1624 689313 or by email to

Any persons who have paid away funds or given credit in relation to correspondence matching the above description, and which they have established by contacting the alleged originator is not genuine, should consider contacting their local police fraud unit without delay.

FSC Reference: JPM/02/2006