FCA bans Cypriot firms that used unauthorised celebrity endorsements
The FCA bans Cypriot Firms that used to fake celebrity endorsements on social media as part of their marketing. The firms are the following:
- Hoch Capital Ltd (trading as iTrader and tradeATF),
- Magnum FX (Cyprus) Ltd (trading as ET Finance),
- Rodeler Ltd (trading as 24option)
- F1Markets Ltd (trading as Investous, StrattonMarkets and Europrime)
The FCA estimates that UK investors have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in these investments.
None of the firms and their operators have any actual presence in the UK and the firms have addresses in Cyprus.
The FCA took action because consumers were not provided with sufficient information as to the nature of the investments, some were pressured into making increasingly large investments in CFDs, which referenced bitcoin, foreign exchange, shares and indices, and some were even encouraged to take out credit to make the payments.
Mark Steward, FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said:
‘The FCA has removed passporting rights for these firms which effectively stops them from continuing to provide these types of products in the UK. We welcome the further action taken by the CySEC. The FCA’s investigations into the sector are continuing.’
Following the FCA’s action, and on the basis of information supplied by the FCA, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has fully suspended the regulatory authorisations of Rodeler Ltd and Hoch Capital Ltd and partially suspended the regulatory authorisations of Magnum FX (Cyprus) Ltd and F1 Markets Ltd.
The CySEC action means that Rodeler Ltd and Hoch Capital Ltd must cease all regulated activities entirely. Magnum FX (Cyprus) Ltd and F1 Markets Ltd, may only provide investment services to their existing non-UK-resident clients, and must not promote the provision of their investment services or take on new clients. They are also explicitly prohibited from providing investment services to existing or new UK resident clients