Regulatory Roundup

UK Watchdog Starts Including Scams in Financial Register for the First Time

Also today, the Hong Kong financial markets regulator warns about two unlicensed entities.

Regulatory updates from two ends of the earth were announced today. The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a new Financial Services Register, and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued warnings against two unlicensed entities.

The new British Register is designed to make it easier to find information on firms, individuals and other bodies that are, or have been, regulated by the FCA or the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority.

Interestingly, firms that the FCA have been told are providing regulated products or services without the required authorisation – or that are knowingly running a scam – are included in the Register for the first time.

These firms are highlighted in search results by red text and a warning symbol to make clear that the FCA thinks that the public should avoid dealing with them or any of the individuals involved. Further information on unauthorised firms includes the different details being given out by them, and whether they are falsely claiming to be from a genuine, authorised firm.

Hong Kong Watchdog Warnings

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong today the financial markets regulator issued warnings about the binary options brand OptionRally and an MT4 broker called Market Big Bear. The firms in question seem to have been allegedly operating in the Chinese territory without the appropriate license.

Regarding OptionRally, the SFC says that the company gives out a Hong Kong address, but it is not actually located there. The company is also listed on the Investors Warning List of the Ontario Securities Commission, the Investment Caution List of the British Columbia Securities Commission and the Warning List of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

As for Market Big Bear, the group behind the brand is located in Belize but provides a Hong Kong telephone number and fax number on its website. It also uses a Hong Kong bank account for settlement.

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