It was merely a couple of weeks ago, when Plus500 added two new registered people to the company’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register page under the individuals list. Now according to an unnamed company’s representative it turns out that a human error that they have unearthed spurred them to undertake the enhanced documents review.
On April 28th, Francine West and Gareth Darbyshire were appointed as compliance officers. Francine West has been put in charge of money laundering reporting, while Mr. Darbyshire is currently serving as head of compliance. According to his LinkedIn profile he has previously been in charge of compliance for the U.K. and Europe at CMC Markets.
The last position which his professional social media profile shows is at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he is listed as Senior Manager of Financial Services Risk and Regulation. PwC of the company serving as auditor of Plus500 Ltd.
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Business Insider is quoting unnamed Plus500’s press representatives’ answers to several questions regarding the accounts freeze. According to them, the review was prompted by “hired compliance advisers in February”, who have “recommended undertaking this document verification project due to uncovering some human error.” Finance Magnates was unable to verify the claim of the unnamed press representatives.
The lengthier verification procedures that the company has adopted may affect the successful rate at which Plus500 (LON:PLUS) is on-boarding and retaining clients. One of the biggest costs for the firm is affiliate marketing. The relatively easy sign-up process has most certainly been a factor for opening an account with the broker.
In its annual report for 2014, the company reported that it on-boarded over 60,000 new clients, yet the total figure of active accounts has increased by 20,000 to 106,000. This is due to the relatively short life span of clients of the broker as most of the users who are trading with Plus500 are not experienced traders.
Shares of the brokerage are trading close to recent lows, currently 15% lower on the day trading at their lowest level since October 2014.