The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission has once again stepped up its fight against unauthorized binary options brokers. The Cypriot regulator on Monday published a warning against two unregulated firms, Binarytradeplus and Acetradeoptions, that have unlawfully offered this form of high-stakes trading to retail traders.
While many providers claim to be Cyprus-based, the CySEC said it believed these companies were based overseas and providing false addresses, adding that it would look into taking further action if companies were actually based within the country.
More broadly, the online trading sector is under review by European regulators, who recently extended their total ban on binary options.
The CySEC added that the two brands are misleadingly claiming affiliation with B.O. Tradefinancials Ltd, a subsidiary of TechFinancials (LON:TECH), which the regulator has wholly withdrawn its CIF License earlier this year.
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TechFinancials (LON:TECH), a UK-listed trading technology provider for the financial industry, has already announced plans to sell its Cyprus-based business as the company moved away from the binary options industry. TradeFinancials, which first entered the space in 2009, has notified the Cypriot regulator in March of its intention to renounce its CIF authorization.
Faking the Regulator Itself
The move came a few weeks after the CySEC refused to approve the sale of its OptionFair brand to another Cyprus based company called S Win Holdings Ltd, which is held by a group of private investors.
Many of the providers on its list of unauthorized firms claim to be operated or owned by separate overseas companies, with trading addresses registered in countries with loose regulations such as Belize and the Marshall Islands.
Last month, the CySEC warned of fraudsters that are claiming to be representatives of the regulator in an attempt to solicit personal information from consumers and scam investors.
According to a statement released by the Securities regulator, the fraudsters are claiming to be officers or appointed representatives of CySEC. By doing this, they are trying to scam investors into paying fees in exchange for the settlement of fake compensation claims.