The broker fraud saga continues. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) just warned against a firm that claims to be regulated. It turns out that ApexTrade Options Ltd, a Forex broker, was not a Maltese entity at all.
According to the watchdog’s recent warning, the agency didn’t even know of, let alone authorize, the firm. It also reported that it didn’t allow the firm to provide any type of financial service in Malta.
On the broker’s website, it included the logos of Germany’s BaFin, the UK FCA, Italy’s Consob, and other European authorities. However, the Mediterranean watchdog is questioning whether or not it’s actually working under these approvals.
If Mediterranean investors are hesitant about the services of a financial firm, MFSA advises them to look into them. The firm’s official website is on mfsa.com.mt/licenceholders.
MFSA previously warned trading firms of advertising unregulated products in Malta as if they were supervised. Those who weren’t in the regulators’ lists were unlikely to provide ideal services for their consumers. They were also likely to abuse their false power, which could leave customers to be unable to understand their products.
Previous MFSA Moves
It looks like this was in lieu of the agency’s efforts to follow other European regulators’ landscape revamping.
It first applied stricter measures for cryptocurrencies in October of last year. As per the country’s Virtual Financial Assets Act, it provides a set of rules for businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies.
The watchdog also implemented a few changes for Category 2 Investment Services License applicants, including a higher capital requirement. This surged to €730,000 in recent years compared to €125,000 under the previous rules.
Tighter regulations came from an increasing number of Category 2 firms that were assuming risks similar to Category 3 investment firms. However, this was for a short time, at least until they transferred such instruments to the respective opposite position.