Valutrades, a foreign exchange (forex) broker regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has opened a new entity in Seychelles, VALUTRADES (SEYCHELLES) LIMITED, Finance Magnates has learned.
The entity is regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) and was incorporated in June of 2018. However, the broker has only now launched a service offering, which is similar to its UK counterpart, with different leverage levels available to retail clients.
“The reason for the long delay is we wanted to make sure we had all the prerequisites to making sure the offering comparable to those in any other highly regulated jurisdiction. This meant waiting to open bank accounts with tier 1 global banks, multiple payment provider options, a bricks and mortar local office in Seychelles and employing new dedicated staff,” Graeme Watkins, the CEO at Valutrades Limited, told Finance Magnates.
In addition to opening the new entity, Valutrades has also launched a new group website, which includes details of the broker’s UK and Seychelles entities at www.valutrades.com.
So why did the FX broker choose to set up shop in Seychelles? According to Watkins, the decision came down to two driving factors – regulation and banking. Namely, the broker needed somewhere that had a robust regulatory framework where it could work closely with the regulator as well as satisfy client requirements.
Banking was also important to Valutrades. Therefore, Seychelles was chosen because it has a good reputation for being able to secure bank accounts at tier 1 banks, the CEO of the broker highlighted.
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When asked who is leading the new entity, Watkins said: “The Seychelles entity has common shareholders with Valutrades UK and so will follow the same guiding principles and goals as Valutrades UK – transparent business model providing super competitive pricing and excellent customer support.”
“There are two directors of the Seychelles, myself and Ferhad Annas while we have hired Kendra Sofola to head our Seychelles office. We are just in the process of hiring a sales and business development team to lead the business forward.”
EU regulation drove demand outside of Europe
Nowadays, when a broker sets up shop offshore, many market participants associate tightening EU regulation with the move. However, according to Watkins, ESMA was not directly responsible for the broker’s move; however, it did likely contribute to changes in client demand, which ultimately led the broker to establish its Seychelles entity.
“Before we set this up we were very proud to sell an FCA only business where all clients could be onboarded through the FCA entity and we supported the measures introduced by ESMA to create a more stable client base and weed out bad operators from our industry.
“Unfortunately, the event of almost all other brokers creating offshore options lead to a huge demand for us to do the same particularly from regions in Asia and Latin America that are more comfortable dealing with offshore entities.”
Future plans of Valutrades
What does the future have instore for Valutrades? Lots of plans, according to Watkins.
“We have a lot of plans for 2020 including offering new products like equities and ETF’s as well as new white label solutions utilizing our proprietary client area technology. We don’t see at this time that meaning more entities but we are a client first organization and will continue to respond to client demands,” he concluded.