The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today issued several warnings to local investors highlighting unauthorized firms known to have been soliciting customers in the UK jurisdiction.
In an update published on its website today, the City watchdog has blacklisted MarketPluse, operating through https://marketpluse.com, saying the firm was found to target Britons without having the authorisation to do so.
To be sure, MarketPluse is owned and operated by IQ Global Evolution LTD, which claims to be a registered company in the Marshall Islands. Although using similar names, but this website is not associated with MarketPulse, which provides daily news and analysis for forex, commodities, indices, and other financial markets. MarketPulse is operated by OANDA, which has its subsidiary registered in England and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority,
On their official website, the City watchdog posted, “This firm is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK. Based upon information we hold, we believe it is carrying on regulated activities which require authorisation.”
The FCA has been sharpening its focus on retail investment and trading brokers in recent months. The regulator appears determined to protect consumers not only from fraud but also from losing small fortunes to regulated firms that may offer “products causing similar harms.”
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City regulator has other concerns
In a Dear CEO letter sent to asset managers and brokers earlier last year, the FCA said it would undertake further supervisory and regulatory work in key areas it had identified, including ensuring cost disclosures to investors are up to scratch.
The watchdog also highlighted its concerns over financial promotions that falsely implied that all of a firm’s activities were regulated by the FCA or other regulators, when in fact they were not.
Retail FX/CFDs brokers have also come under the spotlight with the closure of two regulated brokers in a single month. SVS Securities Plc (SVS), which was set-up in 2002, acted as a regulated financial services broker, holding significant amounts of client money and assets. The second case involved AFX Markets Ltd (AFX), which was set up in 2011 and FCA-authorized since May 2012.
There have also been a number of high profile incidents in the wider financial services industry over the last few years, many of which have led to the collapse of firms.