Why wasn’t IronFX’s license suspended? This appears to be the angle highlighted by a senior member of Cyprus’ party AKEL, General secretary Andros Kyprianou, after he announced that a letter has been sent to Mrs. Dimitra Kalogerou, Chairman of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), after reports on electronic media surfaced – including allegations of violations of relevant laws and regulations – against the Cypriot Investment Firm (CIF) IronFX Global Ltd., according to a press release issued by the party yesterday.
Cyprus has attracted significant investment in recent years with regard to online brokerage operators and in particular foreign exchange and binary options companies, as a newly emerging regulatory hub that has since evolved as the number of its regulated firms grew. After that growth and expansion CySEC is now dealing with retroactive compliance matters which also occurs at a number of other regulatory agencies including in the US and Hong Kong, and many more, as an example, since breaches are often detected in hindsight.
Recently the agency has been cracking down with enforcement and issuing hefty penalties over violations, yet, what appears to have caught the attention of local politicians is the treatment of how IronFX’s recent investigations have unfolded, when compared to other firms that have been cited for non-compliance or related suspicions.
Compares Pegase Case
The letter compared how IronFX had not seen the same treatment against it over similar matters that were noted against the CIF Pegase Capital, which Finance Magnates wrote about when CySEC initially suspended its license, referencing the March 4, 2016 decision to suspend the CIF Pegase Capital authorization over suspicion that it hadn’t complied with provisions required during the one-month probation period.
Meanwhile, corresponding information was not sent for the CIF IronFX Global Ltd. based on the above comparison, and the letter asked if CySEC has taken or intends to take control of the CIF’s compliance for IronFX Global Ltd with the provisions of the relevant decision of the 27th November 2015, according to the press release.
IronFX Media Reports
An excerpt (translated from Greek) from the letter that was cited in the press release, noted: “With concern we have noticed that lately reports and related posts on electronic media include allegations of violation of relevant laws and regulations of the CIF IronFX Global Ltd. Note that the ECC (CySEC) relevant decision dated November 27, 2015 that announced that it had reached a compromise with the Company for which there were reasonable suspicions of having committed possible infractions of the Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Law of 2007 (the ‘Law’) and Directives pursuant to it.”
The press release noted Article 28 (1) regarding a CIFs compliance obligations, and Article 36 (1) regarding its conduct of business obligations when providing investment and ancillary services to clients. In addition, Article 38 (1) was cited with regard to the execution of orders and fair dealing on behalf of clients.
Why Hasn’t IronFX Been Suspended?
The press release detailed that if CySEC has found that IronFX committed violations with the relevant regulations and directives, including provisions of risk-management, protecting client interests while executing orders, and related to the use of customer margin, it emphasized how it’s already been over two months since the November decision, and noted that the CIF, regardless of whether they have been fined or reached a settlement, they must meet the two-month compliance period proceed to get up to speed and take necessary corrective actions to demonstrate regulatory compliance with the required mandates.
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Following the press release from the Party yesterday, CySEC already announced another suspension today of Atlas Capital Financial Services Ltd (ACFX), as reported by Finance Magnates earlier this Thursday in Europe.
General secretary Andros Kyprianou is a prominent person in Cyprus’s leading political party AKEL (Progressive Party of the Working People) which maintains second place majority of the current government, after the DISY (Democractic Rally) party – by just one seat. He was last re-elected in November 2010 and he has held the role since the start of 2009. According to his profile description, he is a member of numerous committees, and Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Internal Affairs, and was also the Head of the Delegation of the House of Representatives to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, among other public office roles.
In April 2008, he was unanimously elected as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the year 2008, and today he is a member of the National Council, a role that he’s held since February 2008. On the 21st of January 2009 he was elected General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL and was re-elected at the same position in the 21st Congress of AKEL on November 2010, and thus has been at the forefront of political developments and policy within Cyprus for some time already.
The message to CySEC may be a tipping point or foundation for future political reform with regard to the local capital markets laws, if such measures are taken to help ensure improved compliance and enforcement coupled with administrative efficiency to help firms meet their obligations in a manner that both serves their business while protecting their clients best interests.