The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued over the weekend separate statements in which it warned against unauthorized binary options broker Sigma Option, a brand of BR23 Ltd., and forex broker IBA Markets, operated by International Brokers Association Markets.
Neither of the two brokers is authorized to provide financial services on the territory of the UK. Nevertheless, they have both been targeting local citizens and are carrying on regulated activities which require authorization. They could knowingly run investment scams and traders should deal with great caution when engaging with them
The two brokers provide addresses in London.
Sigma Option, www.sigmaoption.com, provides no information regarding authorization or licensing. It offers binary options on currencies, commodities, indices and stocks with a payout of up to 300% of the invested amount. There is a required minimum deposit of $250 and new users can claim a first deposit bonus of up to 100%. In addition to trading, the company also provides banking services.
IBA Markets, www.ibamarkets.com, offers trading in forex, contracts for difference (CFDs), indices, equities, and commodities. The broker claims to be in the process of obtaining a license from Germany’s financial watchdog, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), and is regulated by Russia’s Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS). However, the FFMS ceased operations in September 2013 and the German regulator’s website contains no data regarding IBA Markets.
The broker offers several types of trading accounts with a minimum initial deposit starting from $500.
In April this year, IBA Markets was also included in the warning list of Spain’s financial regulatory body CNMV for operating in the country without the required authorization.
The UK regulator keeps a register of authorized forex and binary options brokers where investors can look up a broker prior to engaging with it.
When engaging with unauthorized and non-regulated brokers traders are putting their investments at higher risk. We strongly advise you to only deal with regulated forex brokers, authorized by reputable regulatory bodies like CySec, FCA, and CFTC/NFA, among others.