France’s financial regulatory bodies Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) published a list of unauthorized websites and entities offering forex trading on the French market.
The two watchdogs warn that those unauthorized websites can change quickly and the list is not exhaustive:
– www.activmarkets.com – ACTIVMARKETS
– www.brokers500.com – MARKET CITY INTER. SRL
– www.cvcgroups.com – CVC LTD
– www.icmarkets.com – INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL MARKETS PTY LTD
– www.zarforex.com – RGV MEDIA LTD
A quick check of SMN Weekly showed that of all five brokers, only International Capital Markets has provided exhaustive and verifiable regulatory information. It is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Regulation (ASIC) and has an Australian Financial Services License Number 335692, which checks out. This would mean that it is not regulated in the EU, but is otherwise a legitimate broker.
The other brokers on the list either claim they are a “fully regulated trading company in many countries with stringent compliance requirements”, without specifying the regulating body, or do not bother with such claims at all.
The second site on the list, www.brokers500.com, is somewhat more intriguing than the others. It provides a registration number with the ASIC, but it is in a different format than the regular ASIC numbers. A search of the number and the name of the company shows that, besides brokers500, there is also www.umifx.com – also a broker, with identical menus, font and text content. The only difference between the two sites are the copyright dates – 2015 and 2014, respectively, the color scheme and the logo.
Another interesting detail is that the company that owns the sites – Market City Inter. SRL. has two addresses in the UK – in London and Evesham. There is also the Market City International SRL, with an address in Bucharest and a different one in London, for which two regulatory watchdogs – the Ontario Securities Commission and Italy’s National Commission for Companies and the Exchange (Consob) – issued warnings in 2015. The brokers in question back then were www.tntoptions.com and www.tradect.com (Brokers 500).
The ACPR and the AMF advise the public to check with their local regulatory bodies, before signing up for trading accounts.
Earlier this week another EU regulator – Bulgaria’s Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) – issued a warning notice against 18 unauthorized entities, including Russia-based forex broker InstaForex and Mauritius-based HotForex. The regulator noted that the companies are not licensed and are not authorized to operate in Bulgaria.