Consob's Crackdown: Italy Blocks Access to 5 Illegal Websites

by Arnab Shome
  • The regulator is now blocking 945 illegal financial services websites.
  • The latest blocked websites are using the names of reputed brokers.
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Italy's financial market regulator continued its action against suspicious and fraudulent financial service providers by blocking access to five websites in its latest move. Announced today (Friday) the platforms were illegally offering services in Italy.

Clones of Legitimate Brokers

The blocked names include FP Invest, XTB Empire Ltd, PRIMUSLTD, and Simple Trading or Simple Trade. These names are similar to some reputed brands in the retail trading industry, meaning these illegal platforms can be labeled as 'clones'. Earlier, too, the regulator took action against several other clones of big brands.

As always, the shady websites offer risky financial instruments, which include margin forex and contracts for differences (CFDs) of the indices, bonds, shares, and even cryptocurrencies . One of the websites also claims to have an office in London.

Actions of Regulators

Italy's Consob has been actively flagging financial services platforms that are operating within its jurisdictions illegally. Since July 2019, the regulator added 945 names to its blacklist.

The Italian lawmakers passed legislation to authorize Consob with the power to take action against financial fraud. It also gave Consob the authority to block access to these websites at a domain level.

"The Authority made use of the powers deriving from the 'growth decree' on the basis of which Consob can order Internet connectivity service providers to inhibit the access from Italy to websites through which financial services are offered without the necessary authorization," Consob stated (translated from Italian).

"Site blackout activities by internet connectivity providers operating in Italy are underway. For technical reasons, actual darkening may take a few days."

Consob is not the only financial market regulator to flag the names of illegal platforms. Its counterparts in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and Spain regularly publish names of illegal websites offering illegal services. These regulators further take action against any lapses by regulated entities as well. For instance, the regulator in Cyprus, home to several FX and CFDs brokers, metered out fines to brokers and even suspended licenses in extreme cases.

Italy's financial market regulator continued its action against suspicious and fraudulent financial service providers by blocking access to five websites in its latest move. Announced today (Friday) the platforms were illegally offering services in Italy.

Clones of Legitimate Brokers

The blocked names include FP Invest, XTB Empire Ltd, PRIMUSLTD, and Simple Trading or Simple Trade. These names are similar to some reputed brands in the retail trading industry, meaning these illegal platforms can be labeled as 'clones'. Earlier, too, the regulator took action against several other clones of big brands.

As always, the shady websites offer risky financial instruments, which include margin forex and contracts for differences (CFDs) of the indices, bonds, shares, and even cryptocurrencies . One of the websites also claims to have an office in London.

Actions of Regulators

Italy's Consob has been actively flagging financial services platforms that are operating within its jurisdictions illegally. Since July 2019, the regulator added 945 names to its blacklist.

The Italian lawmakers passed legislation to authorize Consob with the power to take action against financial fraud. It also gave Consob the authority to block access to these websites at a domain level.

"The Authority made use of the powers deriving from the 'growth decree' on the basis of which Consob can order Internet connectivity service providers to inhibit the access from Italy to websites through which financial services are offered without the necessary authorization," Consob stated (translated from Italian).

"Site blackout activities by internet connectivity providers operating in Italy are underway. For technical reasons, actual darkening may take a few days."

Consob is not the only financial market regulator to flag the names of illegal platforms. Its counterparts in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and Spain regularly publish names of illegal websites offering illegal services. These regulators further take action against any lapses by regulated entities as well. For instance, the regulator in Cyprus, home to several FX and CFDs brokers, metered out fines to brokers and even suspended licenses in extreme cases.

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