The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has announced that the license of Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) Atlas Capital Financial Services Ltd, which is the parent company of ACFX, has been suspended.
According to the regulatory announcement there could be enough evidence for non-compliance with a set of regulatory provisions. The announcement comes after a report by Finance Magnates earlier this month that Chinese clients of the firm have been experiencing issues with their withdrawals.
Chief Marketing Officer Leaving
The company’s Chief Marketing Officer has left the company, Finance Magnates confirmed. The Managing Director of ACFX Petar Gazivoda was not immediately available for a comment.
After a sharp increase in the overnight interest rate charge on holding positions in oil contracts, a number of Chinese clients of ACFX have been complaining that their withdrawal requests have not been processed.
While the initial commentary by ACFX to Finance Magnates was that the withdrawals will be processed after an internal review, to date the issue appears to be persisting.
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Numerous Violations Suspected by CySEC
CySEC suspects alleged violations on a number of counts including the “non-compliance with continuity and regularity in the performance of investment services”. The charge is most likely related to clients of the brokerage claiming that ACFX has increased the overnight interest rates on oil contracts drastically and charged interest rates on their positions in retrospect.
In addition, CySEC states that ACFX could have been lacking “effective procedures for identifying, managing, monitoring and reporting of risks”. This coincides with the position of ACFX that it incurred losses from a number of traders that it had suspected of arbitrage.
lack of adequate arrangements for safeguarding of clients funds
The final count on which the Cypriot watchdog is reprimanding ACFX is related to lack of “adequate arrangements for safeguarding of clients funds”. Since a number of clients are reporting that the firm has not been complying with their withdrawal requests, suspicions about the liquidity of the brokerage are now in place.
Despite the warning, the website of ACFX still isn’t displaying a license suspension notice. Within this month, if any of the clients of the company demand it, the brokerage must close all their open positions and return their existing client funds and profits earned.
The order management system of the brokerage must be suspended and the company is prohibited from carrying out its CIF activities within and outside of Cyprus.