The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today issued several warnings to local investors highlighting unauthorized firms known to have been soliciting customers in the UK jurisdiction. The regulator also pointed out that one of the brokers highlighted in the latest flurry against unauthorized firms is offering FX and cryptocurrency-related services to British residents without being authorised to do so.
Cryptenix is posing as an authorised company and claims to be a trading name of Finplex Group LTD. Additionally, the company is targeting UK investors with a full range of offshore investment services, including FX, commodities and stocks trading products.
Britons that have been approached by Cryptenix should contact the FCA, and anyone that has transferred money to the firm should report the incident to Action Fraud, the regulator further states.
Moreover, the City watchdog emphasized that anyone who deals with an unauthorized firm is not protected by the UK lifeboat scheme, and thus cannot complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
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The FCA warning comes a few weeks after the UK government proposed to bring the promotion of crypto-assets into the scope of the FCA’s existing oversight, rather than creating a new framework specifically for these products.
Citing concern over investor protection, the economic secretary to the Treasury & City Minister, John Glen, said that even companies that sell regulated investments with an underlying cryptocurrency element might need FCA authorization to do so depending on their activities.
Providing the FCA with power to regulate the promotion of certain types of cryptoassets, for the first time, would be the quickest way of doing this and stamping out misleading advertising.
The FCA has been sharpening its focus on retail investment and trading brokers as financial scams are becoming more sophisticated in hiding their true corporate details and contacts. Recently, the watchdog highlighted its concerns over financial promotions that falsely implied that all of a firm’s activities were regulated by the FCA or other regulators, when in fact they were not.
Furthermore, there have been a number of high profile incidents in the wider financial services industry over the last few years, many of which have led to the collapse of firms.