Swiss Regulator FINMA Warns Against Binary Options Broker Geneva Option

The unauthorized firm is owned and operated by a Marshall Islands-based entity called HAS Group Ltd.
Photo: Bloomberg

FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, has updated its blacklist of companies that are illegally conducting financial services targeting Swiss residents.

The newly-listed company is a binary options broker named Geneva Option. The Swiss authority located the company address via its website www.genevaoption.com which reveals that the firm is owned and operated by a Marshall Islands-based entity called HAS Group Ltd, 96960.

Although the financial watchdog didn’t provide specific details, the inclusion of Geneva Option means it is not officially registered in Switzerland and was thus not authorized to offer its trading services to Swiss traders. GenevaOption also claimed to have offices in London but after some research on our side, it became clear that the firm isn’t regulated either by the FCA as a forex broker nor by the UK Gambling Commission as a binary options provider.

In the ‘About Us’ section, GenevaOption makes reference to global offices. ‎However, the company didn’t claim any specific regulatory status in these jurisdictions. On its website though, the unregulated firm has only this statement to reassure its clients: “Client’s funds are held in a segregated account. Funds are used only for trading options through our website upon client’s instructions and are never used for any other cause. Our liabilities and exposures are professionally handled and we guarantee payouts of your profits based on our terms.”

Back in October, Finance Magnates reported on FINMA when the authority confirmed that Central Option never obtained Swiss financial license. It also came to the regulator’s attention that the brokerage firm, which operates via www.centraloption.com and lists both UK and Hong Kong head office locations on its website, and offers binary options trading on a variety of assets including currencies, commodities, indices and stocks, has been pulled up by several regulators of late.

Got a news tip? Let Us Know