The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has announced that it is temporarily suspending the license of AFX Capital Markets for ten days. The move comes almost a year after the company reached a settlement with the regulator about a different matter related to misleading information on marketing materials.
The decision is also affecting the firm’s STO brand, which states on its website to be using both the CySEC and FCA licenses of AFX. In its decision, the Cypriot regulator mentions that the company could have violated regulations governing the safeguarding of client money.
“There are suspicions of an alleged violation of section 22(1) of the Law due to the Company’s possible non-compliance at all times with the authorization condition in section 17(9) (organizational requirements) of the Law, as specified in paragraphs 4, 6 and 9 of Directive DI87-01,” the CySEC’s statement reads.
The decision has been taken to mitigate the risks arising from non-compliance with the law and the alleged violation “causes concern and risk relating to the protection of the company’s clients.”
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Commenting to Finance Magnates, a spokesperson for AFX stated that the firm is cooperating with the regulator and is working with its legal team to resolve the matter and address any concerns which the CySEC might have.
According to the Cypriot watchdog’s statement, within ten days, the company has to take actions to comply with the aforementioned provisions. During this period, the company is not permitted to provide or carry out investment services and activities.
AFX Capital Markets can’t accept new clients nor enter into any business transactions. The company also has to suspend any advertisements that state that it is a provider of investment services.
If existing clients of the company demand so, the firm can complete all its transactions and those of its clients that have been placed before the decision and per client instructions. Should the firm’s clients request a return of all funds and financial instruments which are attributable to them, the company has to comply with the requests.