The Cyprus Financial regulator CySEC has just informed the public that the suspension of the Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) license handed down to AirFinance Pro Ltd, formerly known as YTF Trade Limited, has been extended one more time, the decision being made at the meeting dated 26 September 2016.
The regulatory action comes amidst a sustained crackdown on unregulated and less-than-reputable brokers operating in Cyprus, as the regulator attempts to protect customers from unlicensed brokers that exhibit predatory practices.
AirFinance Pro Ltd, the owner of several binary options brands and other financial services providers, had its licence temporarily suspended back in June after CySEC raised concerns over practices by the company that the regulator deemed potentially not compliant with its reporting and filling obligations.
CySEC then extended the punitive measures in August as the firm was still accused of acting contrary to clients’ and investors’ interests, and more broadly the regular operation of capital markets. The suspension was extended until mid-September, during which time AirFinance had the opportunity to comply with the CySEC provisions and apply to reactivate their license once more.
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In the official release, the CySEC explains that the suspension, originally put in place in June, prohibits any of the websites owned by the company, which include BuzzTrade and UpTrade7, as well as Area and CFDRoyal, from doing any business or onboarding new clients.
In addition, AirFinance Pro must, if existing clients so wish, close any open positions in relation to clients’ contracts (on time or earlier if the client wishes so). It will be also required to return to existing clients all of their funds and profits earned, if and when the clients so wish.
In the meantime, AirFinance has uploaded notices regarding the suspension of its license onto all of its sites, though the company has yet to comply.
Airfinance operates multiple binary options and CFD trading online platforms including Porto F.C. sponsor Buzztrade, which also has been on notice since the initial suspension.
While the violations are mostly related to noncompliance in reporting and filing obligations, the holding company has one month to address these concerns and take the steps necessary to solve the identified problems. If the broker ultimately fails to fix the compliance issues set forth by CySEC, the regulator will trigger the procedure for the revocation of all the operation’s authorisations.