FSCO Freezes Accounts of Nelbar and Essex

March 22, 1999 (Toronto, Ontario) --The Superintendent of Financial Services, Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) today issued freeze orders on the bank accounts of two Toronto companies -- Nelbar Financial Corporation and Essex Capital Management Ltd.

The Superintendent was responding to information that Nelbar was accepting deposits from the public without being registered under the Loan and Trust Corporations Act. Essex is an investment dealer affiliated with Nelbar.

The Superintendent also recently issued an immediate temporary cease and desist order against Nelbar and its president, George Nelson Allen. The order prohibits Nelbar and Allen from conducting any commercial or financial business in Ontario.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is responsible for the day-to-day administration and enforcement of provincial legislation governing pension plans, the insurance industry, credit unions, loan and trust companies, and mortgage brokers.

FSCO is continuing its investigation into this matter and has taken these steps to protect the public, said Dina Palozzi, Superintendent and CEO of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

"We feel this action is in the best interest of the public," said Ms. Palozzi.

Any persons who have deposits with Nelbar can contact the FSCO investigator at 590-7285 or toll free at 1-800-668-0128 extension 7285.

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Media contact: Kathleen Harford, (416) 590-7230