Crackdown? Russian Central Bank Blacklists Top Foreign FX Brokers

The list contains the names of 1,820 financial services companies.

The Central Bank of Russia, the country’s top financial regulator, has published a long list of foreign financial services companies on Tuesday that are blacklisted from operating in the country.

The list includes names of 1,820 companies offering financial services, around 500 of which are forex brokers. The Russian regulator has barred many foreign forex brokers, no matter how big or small they are.

The regulator did not detail the methodologies involved in compiling the list, but the inclusion of some big internationally licensed entities, like Interactive Brokers, Swissquote, Forex Club, FxOpen and Alpari, raises questions.

Additionally, the list includes many cryptocurrency trading platforms and companies offering binary options.

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The Russian central bank highlighted that the names on the list show signs of being financial pyramids and illegal lenders. Moreover, the regulator will block access to all companies added to the blacklist and work with law enforcement for further actions.

Is It a Crackdown on the Industry?

Also, it clarified that any financial services company willing to operate in Russia needs to obtain a license from the central bank or have to be registered with it. “If this condition is not met, then, most likely, the organization operates illegally, and consumers can be deceived,” the announcement stated.

In a press conference attended by the Central Bank of Russia’s First Deputy Governor, Sergey Shvetsov, and the Director of the Department for Countering Unfair Practices, Valery Lyakh, the regulator put forth its works in countering illicit financial market activities.

“We analyzed several years of our experience in recent years in suppressing illegal activities [of professional participants] and came to the conclusion that the stage of identifying and collecting evidence is about 30% of the entire process to suppression, which is the longest stage due to various procedural reasons. Thus, we made a decision to inform our citizens about [already] identified illegal participants before their activities are suppressed,” Shvetsov said (translated from Russian).

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