The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today issued several warnings to local investors highlighting unauthorized firms known to have been soliciting customers in the UK jurisdiction. The regulator also pointed out that some of the brokers highlighted in the latest flurry against unauthorized firms are actually clones of UK-approved providers, which makes it difficult for unsuspecting investors to know or see the difference.
In an update published on its website today, the City watchdog has blacklisted TD Global Finance, InterCryptos, and Money Sense Market. The FCA has also flagged a bogus firm called TRADING212, which was found to be a complete clone of Trading 212, a fintech company and FCA-regulated broker.
The FCA also slammed InterCryptos with a regulatory warning for posing as the authorized firm Uphold Europe Limited. InterCryptos claims to be a financial management firm that deals with Crypto assets, claiming to have onboarded more than 60,000 clients.
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The FCA warning comes just two days after Prime Factor Capital Ltd., the first UK-based crypto hedge fund manager has shuttered all operations. The UK Government has also proposed earlier this week to bring the promotion of crypto-assets into the scope of the FCA’s existing oversight, rather than creating a new framework specifically for these products.
The FCA has been sharpening its focus on retail investment and trading brokers as financial scams are becoming more sophisticated in hiding their true corporate details and contacts. The regulator appears determined to protect consumers not only from fraud but also from losing small fortunes to regulated firms that may offer “products causing similar harms.”
Recently, the watchdog also highlighted its concerns over financial promotions that falsely implied that all of a firm’s activities were regulated by the FCA or other regulators, when in fact they were not.
There have also been a number of high profile incidents in the wider financial services industry over the last few years, many of which have led to the collapse of firms.