British investors have been warned not to take out any financial services with FSM Smart after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today said the company operates in the country without its authorization.
Thursday’s announcement is the latest in the FCA’s series of warnings about unregulated firms posing as legitimate, approved businesses to con UK consumers into making payments for investment services.
FSM Smart, operating online under the URL http://www.fsmsmart.com, offers investors several trading assets including securities, derivatives, cryptocurrencies, precious metals, and other commodities and shares.
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In addition, the FCA and the Canadian provincial regulator MSC has previously warned the public against investing with FSM Smart as the company is running unauthorized forex and binary options services. The broker also offers managed accounts which the watchdog says complainants were told they would make up to 20 percent return on investment per week. The website, however, avoids making any guarantees on profit.
Prohibiting the sale of crypto derivatives
A senior investigator with the MSC explains that the regulator received complaints from Manitobans targeted by FSM Smart, and his investigation turned up numerous red flags and inconsistencies. They also claim they’ve been in business for over a decade, but some investigative work on the regulator’s side suggests they’ve been around less than one year.
Last month, the FCA published the findings of independent complementary research which showed that UK consumers buying virtual coins are often looking for ways to ‘get rich quick.’ Many of those interviewed perceived crypto assets as a shortcut to easy money and wealth.
The City watchdog is already weighing a potential ban on the sale of derivatives based on cryptocurrencies, in what would be its first major intervention in the nascent market. The aforementioned consultation could lead to prohibiting the sale of derivatives, including CFDs, options and futures, based on cryptocurrency prices to retail investors.