The United Kingdom financial regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), today warned that it believes a UK-based company under the name CTOption has been providing financial services or products without regulatory permission, according to an FCA announcement.
Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised by the FCA.
The address details of the suspicious company are: 2 Woodberry Grove, London, N12 0DR, and it can be found under the web address https://ctoption.com. The site is owned and managed by InfiniCore Ltd. Saint Vincent.
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A visit to the broker’s website reveals its attempt to mislead investors that it is offering a legal product through providing indirect hints about its regulatory status. However, the FCA confirmed today that the firm lacks such authorisation and secondly that CTOption should have been licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, according to the current regulatory framework of binary options trading in the UK.
The FCA noted in its warning that although not all financial service providers in the UK market need to be authorized, most of them are, however this is not the case with CTOption. It went on to remind market participants that victims of fraudulent entities will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
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 would be regulated by the financial watchdog, in line with practice across most of the EU.
Finance Magnates reported recently on the British watchdog when an FCA executive told the FT that it is considering the approval of a “small but significant number of firms” that use blockchain technology within the fintech industry.