Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today updated its Alert List with the addition of another brokerage after it was found to be offering forex trading services to the public without being authorised to do so, according to a SFC statement.
Forex Paradise Limited is the latest company to come under scrutiny by the watchdog for promoting its trading services without a licence. The broker is operating from the site http://www.forexparadise.biz/, and lists its addresses at Hong Kong and London. However, the SFC said that the cloned firm is not located in Hong Kong although it is using the details of an authorised firm in the U.K.
A brief review of the Forex Paradise’s website reveals that it offers investment services on a wide range of financial instruments, ranging from equities, forex, to asset management solutions. However, the company tries to mislead investors as it claims to offer a legal product and to be governed by the UK’s FCA. On this website, the clone firm is using the authorised firm’s FRN and registered address.
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Drawing attention to suspicious operations
Cloned firms are a common fraud in which companies usurp the identity of an existing authorized entity in order to give the appearance of trustworthiness or legitimacy and thereby convince investors of their legitimacy.
Hong Kong’s financial regulator helps keep investors informed by drawing attention to suspicious operations and unregulated entities that market participants should abstain from doing business with.
The Alert List contains entities which have come to the attention of the SFC because they are unlicensed in Hong Kong and are believed to be, or to have been, targeting Hong Kong investors or claim to have an association with Hong Kong.