In December, Plus500 announced that it would be on track to once again onboard new customers to its UK regulated entity starting in January. Today, the firm has reported that they are beginning this process and are officially onboarding new customers again to the UK unit.
Operating in tandem with the broker’s units that also include Cyprus and Australian regulation, the FCA licensed UK division has been the company’s largest revenue driver and their flagship brand. However, due to compliance problems and investigations from the FCA, Plus500 was forced to hire additional compliance staff as well as revamp its customer onboarding process. As a result, the firm temporarily halted all new onboarding in the UK and froze existing trader accounts that hadn’t finished the upgraded compliance onboarding process.
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During the disruption period, Plus500 was able to onboard a portion of its new customer base to its non-UK units. However, with the UK a large portion of Plus500’s target market, and Western Europe overall accounting for 75% of the firm’s total revenue in Q3 2015, having the ability to onboard in the UK is an important factor for the broker.
Looking ahead to 2016, one factor we are watching is how much last year’s compliance problems will affect Plus500’s brand and conversation rates and the overall acquisition costs for new customers.