Regulators across the globe have been working hard last year to warn investors about possible scams or simply about brokers operating without the proper paperwork and we’ve been working hard to bring to your attention these warnings. Welcome to 2017! Not much has changed (yea, the year is still young): brokers are operating without authorizations, watchdogs are warning about it and we gather all these warnings in one place to make them more accessible to you. Read and keep your money safe.
The Big List of Warning by CySEC
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) regulates most brokers that operate in the European Union and has recently issued a list that contains alerts about over 100 Binary and Forex websites that operate without proper licences and authorization. Dealing with unauthorized firms means exposing your investment to a bigger risk than necessary but also means that you can’t complain to CySEC or another regulator in case you are being mistreated by the brokerage. The list contains names like Bloombex Options, GOptions and many others. Source and full list: SMNWeekly.
Warnings Across the Globe
Canadian provincial watchdog British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) recently warned that binary options broker BSDOption, (owned by YDBM< and operated by Lybss Ltd.) and BinaryOnline (operated by Bulgarian-located firm Zola Ltd) are not authorized to offer investment advice or to trade securities in British Columbia (remember that Binary Options are considered securities in Canada). Of course, the lack of authorization has never stopped brokers before, so why start now? Source and full story: SMNWeekly
BCSC also extended a warning regarding Bulgaria-based BinaryBook (owned and operated by Tech SB Ltd.), mentioning that the broker is not authorized to offer trading services or advice in securities throughout the territory of British Columbia. The same broker appears on a warning list issued by Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF); also Bulgaria’s Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) noted that Binary Book is not authorized by them. Source and full article: SMN Weekly
Swiss regulator Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) added binary options broker Geneva Options to its blacklist of companies that are illegally targeting Swiss residents. The brokerage is owned and operated by HAS Group Ltd, located in the Marshal Islands but it is not authorized or regulated by FINMA. The regulator also warned back in October 2016 about Central Option, a brokerage that never obtained a Swiss licence and has been flagged by other regulators as well. Source and full story: Finance Magnates
The Italian regulator Commissione Nazionale per la Societá e la Borsa (CONSOB) recently extended its blacklist and warned against dealing with Binary Brokerz, Evolution Trade Lp (www.exxonfx.com), Gmi Bq Ltd (www.gmibanque.com) and Profit Maximizer (www.profitmaximizer.com). These entities are not only operating without proper licences but have been listed as potential scams by other European financial watchdogs.
Part of its new campaign against unregulated entities, the Italian regulator suspended Service Merchant Corp. (offers trading in Forex, advertising services and also acts as a collective fund that provides investment services) from offering various financial services to citizens for a period of 90 days. CONSOB also warned against binary options brokers Ayrex and Option888 as well as Forex broker Broker Yard, mentioning they are not authorized to offer their services in the country. Source and full articles: Finance Magnates, SMN Weekly, SMN Weekly.
French regulator Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) added five new websites to its warning list, mentioning they lack the proper authorization and that investors should be careful when dealing with these entities. The companies are Financika (Sharp Trading) Ltd, Gn Invest Ag, Investing Secure International Ltd, Mrt Technology Limited and Thrust Markets. Some of the corresponding websites were inactive at the time of writing. Source and full article: SMN Weekly
Polish watchdog Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) has issued warnings against several entities that are not licensed to offer financial services to polish citizens but do so nonetheless. The list includes Alpha Finex Ltd., Bloomfx sp. and Joshua Consulting Ltd. among others. For full list and article, visit Finance Magnates.
The Bottom Line
As you can see the waters are murky and a lot of entities are still offering binary options, forex trading and other financial services without having the necessary authorization. It’s like opening a restaurant and selling food to people without any Food & Health inspection, without supervision from a restaurant watchdog. Would you eat there? I wouldn’t.