It’s a day ending in ‘y’ which means another regulator has found an unregulated broker offering illicit services to customers within its jurisdiction. On this occasion, it is the Austrian Financial Markets Authority (AFMA) who, this Tuesday afternoon, issued a statement warning against trading with Sun Capital Limited.
The AFMA noted that Sun Capital is offering trading and investment services to Austrian clients. To do this, the firm requires regulatory approval from the AFMA which it does not have.
Like so many of its unregulated peers, Sun Capital is based in a far-flung corner of the earth, well away from probing, regulatory eyes. Its head office is in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a country whose economy, as you can see below, is dominated by the luxury pleasure craft industry.
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While its owners may or may not be living the high life in the Caribbean, Sun Capital purports to have offices in Europe. The firm’s website, tradeu2.com, lists contact numbers in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.
It is, however, doubtful that the company has any physical presence in those countries. Unregulated brokers regularly set up fake offices and phone numbers to give the impression they are based in countries with a more established financial services industry.
More amusingly, the site has listed almost every major financial services company in the world at the bottom of its homepage. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are just two of the companies that have their names stamped on the tradeu2 homepage to lend the broker a facade of legitimacy.
Although it can be fun to trawl through such sites and point out just how ridiculous they are, these firms damage what is otherwise a legitimate industry. Warnings such as the AFMA’s serve to protect not only customers from fraudsters but, as they divide the legitimate from the illegitimate, the reputations of honest firms.