Warnings against binary options brokers seem to be raining down on the retail sector worldwide, as Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) is yet another regulatory body to update its list of unauthorized companies in this sector.
On Monday FSMA once again warned the public against the activities of various companies operating illegally on the territory of Belgium, most of them in the binary options, forex products and/or CFD sectors. The authority provided a list of unauthorized investment firms or credit institutions in Belgium, which is not exhaustive. It includes the following:
- Banque Investissement
- CapitalCourtage, Eich Invest Ltd, 10 Spheres Media Ltd and First Consulting SCS
- E Trade Securities (cloned firm)
- FXSEP, SEP Global, Hedge Funds Liège 2015 and Fonds d’investissement Liège 2015
- G.M. Marketing Group Limited, Tradesolid and G.M. Software Solutions Limited
- GCI Financial LLC and GCI
- Lau Global Services Corporation, MXTrade and Taris Financial Corp.
- NG-Bank, Arian Financial, Alborg Trading Inc. and Kalahouse Limited
- Option500, Option Solution Group Limited and Option Solution Online Limited
- Service Qualité des Plateformes Boursières (SQPB)
- Stock Binary (cloned firm) and STB
- Swiss Investment (cloned firm), Global Capital Ltd, T.T.F. and SwissPartners AG
- Trading Technologies Ltd and Consorfx
- Zulutoys Ltd, RBOptions and RB Secured Processing Ltd
The above-mentioned firms are not allowed to provide banking and/or investment services in or from Belgium. Besides, these companies have not met the requirement to publish a prospectus approved by the FSMA, before any public offering of investment instruments.
Furthermore, FSMA warns that many binary options/forex /CFD trading platforms operated by the aforementioned companies are used for fraudulent purposes and the funds invested could be misappropriated. The real piece of bad news is that, investors are unable to recover the amounts they invested, and their recourse against these illegal providers is generally limited since the latter are located abroad.
Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority is yet another regulator to warn against binary options companies in particular. Today the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced it has added 23 foreign forex and binary options to its RED list of “Registration Deficient” companies, which now includes more than 40 foreign entities. Earlier in March the French regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) published a list of new websites offering trading in binary options without authorization.
Meanwhile, on Thursday previous week the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) released a circular which tightens the requirements for the binary options brokers regulated by it. In general, regulatory bodies across the globe are issuing warnings against this or that binary options broker: Earlier in April the Financial Services Agency, Japan’s financial regulator, published a warning against Cheshire Capital Ltd., operating the website TR Binary Options; Canadian financial watchdog, the Manitoba Securities Commission, has recently issued a warning against the binary options company Option Ventures, which has reportedly scammed a widow. The list seems endless.
That is why investors are advised to verify the identity of the company, check whether it holds an authorization or license for its activities, be wary of requests to transfer money to a State without any connection to the company and of any (promises of) disproportionate returns.