Tracking Down Clone Firms: a Trip to BlackRock Crypto Asset Management

This Friday afternoon, Finance Magnates paid a visit to the offices of the latest firm on the FCA's warning list.

We here at Finance Magnates have spent a great deal of time valiantly warning the public against trading with unregulated brokers. Another danger posed to retail traders, however, comes in the form of clone firms.

These are websites that mimic legitimate businesses in order to trick clients into parting with their hard-earned cash. This Friday, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial regulator, warned the public against trading with BlackRock Crypto Asset Management Limited.

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The name was clearly designed to convince potential customers that BlackRock, the famous asset manager, had some kind of cryptocurrency business. If the ridiculous name was not enough, the FCA’s warning should serve to keep any members of the public away from the firm.

Tracking down the clones

This reporter happened to be close to the firm’s office this afternoon. In order to get an idea of what BlackRock Crypto Asset Management is up to, I left the cosy confines of my Soho office and headed down to Regent Street to see what I could find.

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Feeling like a young Sherlock Holmes, I was able to enter the building along with some construction workers. Heart pounding, the elevator took me to the third floor where I found…nothing.

The Regent Street lobby of fake BlackRock

An office worker informed me that the company, like so many unscrupulous firms in the UK, only has a virtual office registered at the Regent Street address. Yes, I can imagine your disappointment as I type these words – I too had hoped for some sort of James Bond-esque street chase or, at a minimum, a gun fight.

Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Nonetheless, it was first-hand evidence that the company is making an effort to hide its true origins with a reasonably flashy London address.

What’s the moral of all of this? Stay away from clone companies kids, especially ones that make you waste 10 minutes of your day and lead you to buy a Pret coffee at 5 pm on a Friday.

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