SFC Freezes Brokerage’s Client Account Amid Suspected Market Manipulation

The Hong Kong regulator has taken action against an Interactive Brokers client's account in the interest of the public.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today issued notices to both Interactive Brokers and Interactive Brokers Hong Kong, prohibiting them from dealing with or processing certain assets held in a client account which the watchdog suspects are the proceeds of market manipulation and/or fraud, conducted in conjunction with unauthorised internet trades in hacked securities accounts at other firms between 7 and 15 October 2015.

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The notices prohibit both companies from dealing with the suspected proceeds and the processing of any instructions from the client and any other authorised representatives for these proceeds, including entering into securities or futures transactions, withdrawing securities, futures or cash and/or transferring sales proceeds of securities or futures without the SFC’s prior written consent. Each company is required to notify the SFC if they receive any account instructions.

The SFC has taken the action of issuing the notices as it considers this to be in the interest of the investing public and in the public interest but points out that the companies, which are licenced to deal in securities, futures contracts and leveraged foreign exchange trading regulated activities, are not under investigation and that the notices do not affect the operations of either companies and their clients.

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