FCA Exposes Clone Broker Janus Options for Using Authorised Firm’s Details

Janus Options is clearly banking on attracting newbie investors who are not aware of the existence of regulatory registers.
Photo: Bloomberg

The United Kingdom’s financial markets watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), today unmasked another fraudulent entity, this time bringing to light the clone firm Janus Options / Kinetex Limited which was added to its warning list of unregulated entities, according to an FCA statement.

The watchdog states in its announcement that the suspicious company is situated at 80-83 Long Lane, London, EC1A 9ET, and that it operates through the website www.janusoptions.com, which is owned and managed by RST Capital LTD, Gnetsch 47, 9496 Balzers, Liechtenstein. Although not blatantly claiming to be FCA regulated, it is clear from visiting its website that Janus Options is indeed attempting to mislead investors that it is offering a legal product through using the details of an authorised firm operating under the name Janus Capital International Ltd.

The named broker is a common type of fraud known as ‘cloned firms’, which usurp the identity of an existing authorized entity in order to give the appearance of trustworthiness or legitimacy, thereby convincing investors of its legitimacy.

Janus Options is clearly banking on attracting newbie investors who are not aware of the existence of regulatory registers and are ill-informed to take investment decisions.

The growth of the binary options market and concerns about consumer protection have prompted the UK Government to consult on proposals to treat binary options as a financial rather than a gambling product. This would mean binary options will be regulated by the financial watchdog, in line with practice across most of the EU.

Besides clarifying that the firm in question lacks the proper authorisation to be targeting British customers, the FCA also said in its official statement that it strongly advises investors to only deal with financial firms that are authorised, and check the Financial Services Register to ensure they are. The UK watchdog further added: “You should be aware that if you give money to an unauthorised firm, you will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.”

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