The Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), the financial regulatory body of Spain, announced today in a statement that it has added to its warning list two domains that are illegally offering financial services to Spanish citizens.
The financial watchdog today blacklisted www.forex.cat and www.forextrading.cat. Neither sites are operational platforms but the latter seems to be an old URL for LiteForex’s Spanish offering, as shown by a Google cache. The company may have tapped this previous domain name, though .cat is intended to be used only by certain Catalan institutions.
As of the time of publication, LiteForex has taken down all website pages and the aforementioned link leads to another Spanish-language site that also belongs to the same forex broker. It’s not clear if the site was taken down as a result of the warning or leading up to it.
The CNMV recommended in a statement that investors should avoid trading with these sites as they are not authorised to provide the investment services detailed in Article 140 of the Securities Markets Law, nor auxiliary services.
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Although the financial watchdog didn’t provide specific details, the inclusion of both domains means that they are not officially registered in Spain and are thus not authorized to offer trading services to local traders.
This is why the CNMV advises Spanish investors to check its registers before they deposit any fund with a broker, especially if the related broker used aggressive marketing techniques.
Earlier this year, the CNMV issued a circular setting a host of new rules regarding trading costs and risk disclosure, leverage and advertising requirements. In essence, the new guidance concerns companies that offer forex, contracts for difference (CFDs) and other speculative products such as binary options among retail investors in Spain.
More specially, the CNMV notes that any broker offering ‘excessive leverage’ greater than 10:1 needs to explicitly warn investors that it believes that such products are not appropriate for retail investors due to their complexity and the risks involved.