According to the latest update from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, the regulator has added an entity to its alert list, which it believes to be unlicensed in Hong Kong, and is believed to have been targeting investors within the country, and/or claim to have an association with Hong Kong, as described in the alert.
The name of the firm in the SFC alert dated April 1, 2014, is ‘Universe Citizen Limited’ (trading as FXCitizen), under the fxcitizen.com website, and the alert described the firm as using an address belonging to an accounting firm in the region.
Forex Magnates’ reporters reached out via the live chat function on the fxcitizen website, and asked about the firm’s advertising FX offering in which it describes itself as a ‘registered forex white label broker’, and a chat representative said the firm uses igofx.com, which appears to be described as a New Zealand registered FX brokerage according to that website. We reached out to FXCitizen’s administrative contact, as per the suggestion of their chat representative, around the time of publication we are still awaiting feedback.
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It was also noted by the SFC, how unlicensed entities often use names similar to legitimate companies to confuse investors. The SFC is one of four regulatory agencies with shared repsonsibility for certain areas of the country’s financial markets, in a quadruple peak regulatory structure. SFC regulates brokers, investment advisers, fund managers and intermediaries carrying out the following activities:
- Dealing in securities
- Dealing in futures contracts
- Leveraged foreign exchange trading
- Advising on securities
- Advising on futures contracts
- Advising on corporate finance
- Providing automated trading services
- Securities margin financing
- Asset management
- Providing credit rating services
The alert is provided as an early warning service to investors, but not a substitute for clients doing their own due diligence on the entity in question. However, the SFC provides further details on boiler rooms, scam websites and phishing tactics used to dupe investors.
The SFC asked residents of Hong Kong that if they have been contacted by an unlicensed firm, it would be of assistance to them if information can be provided on related dealings with such firms by completing the SFC’s on-line reporting form. The structure of the regulators in Hong Kong can be seen in the diagram below excerpted from the Hong Kong SFC’s website: