The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has published, through its consumer website MoneySmart.gov.au, issued warnings against forex broker LM Swiss Direct Ltd., also known as SwissFX Pro, and against binary options broker Up and Down Marketing Ltd., trading as OneTwoTrade. The two entities provide financial services in the country without authorization, as is required.
SwissFX Pro, www.swissfxtrading.com, offers trading in forex and contracts for difference (CFDs). According to the British Columbia regulator, SwissFX Pro is based in the UK. The provided website, on the other hand, indicates Swiss Fx Trading is a brand of LM Swiss Group Ltd., an entity based in the Marshall Islands.
OnеTwoTrade, www.onetwotrade.com, offers binary options on various instruments – currencies, stocks, commodities and indices. The broker claims it is “fully licensed and regulated” by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The entity indeed holds a Class 2 MGA license (see right). However, binary options are regulated in the country, but not by the MGA. On its website, the regulator explicitly says “Spread betting and Binary options do not fall within the remit of the MGA”. This type of instrument fall under the authority of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).
OneTwoTrade has entered the warning lists of other regulators, too. Just last month, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong also issued a notice that the broker operates unauthorized within the region.
In Australia, local citizens have reported the loss of $3.0 million in total to binary options scams since the beginning of the year alone, according to the ASIC. At the time, the regulator referred to binary options as being speculative and risky and warned that there are groups of scammers who use binary options to lure investors into making money through asset price movement and steal their money.
In Australia, financial investment companies, including forex and binary options brokers, are forbidden to operate without a local license. Investors who engage with unregulated brokers put their funds at risk. The regulator maintains a register with all authorized entities and regularly issues warnings against unauthorized entities.
We strongly advise you to only deal with regulated forex brokers, authorized by reputable regulatory bodies like CySec, FCA, and CFTC/NFA, among others.