It has been a busy past couple of weeks for the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), and the Italian regulatory body shows no sign of slowing down. This Monday, the regulator posted another set of unregulated FX firms offering illicit services to Italians.
Unlike the usual unregulated brokers, whose websites resemble Windows 95 clip-art, the firms CONSOB warned users against today are operating fairly slick websites. This is worrying given that a more professional looking website is more likely to fool inexperienced investors into handing their money over to the shady figures running unregulated brokers.
The first broker CONSOB warned users about today is Capital Markets Banc. The firm purports to have offices in Dominica and Bulgaria, but it is unclear as to whether they have any physical presence in either country. User reviews, outside of the site itself, report that the site is a scam operation, with users complaining that they cannot withdraw their funds from their site accounts.
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100 Percent Fake
Next up on the list is 100XFX. Based in that hub of commercial activity, St Vincent, and the Grenadines, the firm claims that it uses Barclays, HSBC, and CitiBank as liquidity providers. Despite also listing a phone number in the UK, the firm appears to be Russian in origin. Based on CONSOB’s warning, and a litany of negative reviews, this author strongly advises against doing any business with 100XFX.
The owners of Capital Markets Banc appear to be operating another site that CONSOB warned about today – Centro Banc. Operating out of Liechtenstein, the firm offers almost the same services as Capital Markets Banc. Given that it is exactly the same people running the site, there seems to be no reason that this site is legitimate.
With unregulated brokers seemingly upping their game, it’s vital that regulators stay on top of them and warn investors against trading with them. Such firms tarnish the reputation of an industry that is already viewed with suspicion, or even disdain, by many people today.