Late Friday, the German financial regulator BaFin released a moratorium to suspend business at broker FXdirekt Bank. The broker had been part of an expose story in October by business portal Wirtschafts Woche which interviewed customers and existing and former clients. According to the story, FXdirekt had basically fine-tuned the activity of scamming clients. This included the usual aggressive marketing and claims of large profits but also several other methods. One of them was the use of delayed feed for its demo platform where sales people who were watching the real prices would be on the phone with prospective clients and walk them through winning trades knowing in advance where the market was headed. At the time of the expose story, Forex Magnates had also reported that the BaFin was investigating the broker.
Presently, BaFin had determined that following a period of operating losses during 2012, FXdirekt Bank no longer had adequate capital to continue operating. As a result, the regulators put the broker into liquidation mode and ordered the company to cease operations. On its home page, FXdirekt has posted the directive from the BaFin. According to the BaFin press release, as of December 18th, the broker had total assets of €37.4 million with €17.2 million in customer funds and had 3200 active traders.
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In its report, the BaFin omitted any mention of the allegations and legal actions taken against the bank. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the BaFin’s actions were affected by the broker’s malicious activities or were simply a result of number crunching.