In another example of a an unregulated forex broker promoting itself as a licensed entity, the Australian financial services regulator, ASIC, has issued a public warning to consumers to be wary of foreign exchange broker, FirstForex. Marketing itself to Chinese and other Asian clients, according to ASIC, FirstForex, and related entities Fifx and FIFX Global using the domain www.fifx.com are falsely claiming that their services are “under the regulation of Australia (Regulation No. 290600).” The claimed license is that of home loan financing firm, FirstMac, which doesn’t offer brokerage services.
Commenting in the public warning, ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, “Neither First Forex, FiFx or FiFX Global are registered Australian companies, nor are their services regulated as a financial services business under Australian law.”
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Only last week the regulator took action against Global Derivative Serives (GDS) for multiple license breaches and has issued several public warnings over the course of 2014 regarding vigilance over margin foreign exchange providers and discretionary advisory services.
The current warning follows an ongoing trend where we are seeing unregulated brokers marketing themselves falsely as licensed entities, often cloning another firm’s regulatory status as their own. In this case, we can surmise that FirstMac was chosen to be cloned due to the similarity in their name.