FXCM and Alpari Adjust to New Reality as Prime Brokers Contract

Citibank going after FX traders that could not cover negative balances post SNB crisis, ThinkForex acquiring Admiral Markets’ Middle Eastern

rp_BestStoriesoftheweek1-300x300.pngThe stories that made the most impact in the online forex trading industry included plans by some brokers to expand internationally while others are still reeling from the CHF crisis. Additionally, it was discovered that criminals are targeting traders with a new type of fraud.

FXCM Faces Tough Options

rp_fxcm-logo-150x150.jpgIt was discovered on Tuesday that senior FXCM figureheads are taking steps to protect themselves in case they will be driven out of the company.  The four, founder-directors, Drew Niv, David Sakhai, William Adhout and Eduard Yusupov entered a severance  agreement which offers additional protection.

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Under the terms, the four will benefit from receiving a compensation package that includes two-times their salary and their target bonus in case their employment is terminated.

Meanwhile on Friday, FXCM UK has updated its master trading agreement with regard to the negative balance protection policy for retail forex traders. The broker’s client agreement now insurs traders only up to the first $50,000 losses, “regardless of market conditions.”

Scam Recovery Rooms

WarningOn Monday, the financial watchdog of Belgium has issued a warning against a new type of forex and binary options related fraud. After customers of broker services lose their money, a group of unknown entities activate a scheme to allegedly return funds to those unfortunate traders.

Similar practices have already gained fame and have a specific name – “recovery rooms”. Typically, victims are contacted after they have already been scammed. The caller presents himself/herself as capable of recovering the losses incurred in the initial scheme only to extort more money.

Banks React with Vengeance

Citibank-LogoIt was reported Thursday that, in contradiction to most of the retail FX trading world where brokers decided to “forgive” negative balances caused by the CHF crisis, Citibank is going after traders who did not have enough collateral at margin call.

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Citigroup Inc filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court last Friday against a hedge fund founded by two former Goldman Sachs partners for $25 million because of their failure to cover a negative balance created by the SNB flash crash.

At the same time, the Prime Brokerage space has taken a blow with banks either consolidating or completely withdrawing from the space. The events of the 15th of January added salt to the wounds of users as banks up-the-tempo making the VIP club, even more difficult to enter.

Banks responded to the Swiss franc crisis quickly, with several PB clients receiving notices of changes to their accounts with some benefiting from simple changes in leverage, and others facing the brunt with termination notices.

Alpari Looks Ahead

rp_Alpari-logo-300x196-300x1961111-300x1961-150x150.jpgOn Wednesday it was discovered that, international broker Alpari has started actively exploring its options to obtain licensing within the E.U. to passport its license across the continent.

According to the company’s Director of International Development, Sergey Vyazmin, Alpari is currently in the process of establishing a subsidiary in one of the European Union’s popular jurisdictions.

This news came only a day after it was reported that the ongoing saga between Alpari UK clients and creditors, as administered by KPMG, has reached a new turn Tuesday, with the first tranche of Alpari UK clients with negative balances being covered.

ThinkForex Acquires Middle Eastern License

ThinkForexAlso reported on Tuesday, ThinkForex, an FCA regulated FX, metals, and CFD provider, has acquired Admiral Markets’ subsidiary in Dubai, as well as its regional license, according to information obtained by Forex Magnates reporters.

Speaking with Forex Magnates Dmitri Laush, CEO Admiral Markets Group commented: “Admiral Markets has been rapidly expanding geographically during last three years. Dubai had been chosen as a strategic location from which to service Arabic clients within the region. However, after almost one year of operations a decision was made to sell the UAE company along with the licenses it was holding.”

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