The Financial Commission has been notified by concerned traders regarding the companies and associated websites of Primetrade, Alpha24trade, Highoption, and Diamondforexoptions.

Upon reviewing the submitted information from potential customers of these brokers, the Financial Commission has determined that the indicated companies and associated websites may be used to scam and defraud traders and investors. As such, the Commission does not recommend to do business with any of the above-mentioned companies neither individuals purporting to represent these brokers on social media and in private messages on popular messaging apps. Given this information, Primetrade, Alpha24trade, Highoption, and Diamondforexoptions placed on the Financial Commission’s Warning List.

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Italy’s financial markets regulator, known as the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has announced the blacklisting of seven more unauthorized firms known to have been operating in Italy and soliciting clients. The firms have now been blacklisted by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to protect clients in the future.

The firms in question are:

With the addition of these firms, the total number of websites blocked by CONSOB is now 268. In its notice, the Italian regulator also mentioned websites and companies which have been reported to provide services without authorization by other international regulators, including the FCA, SFC, FSMA, CNMV, and others.

Traders should save this link in order to check on future notices from CONSOB if they are concerned about their broker offering services in Italy. In the meantime, brokers’ statuses can be checked using our simple ‘Check Your Broker’ directory.

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The institutional powerhouse based in the US, StoneX Group Inc. (NASDAQ:SNEX) has announced today via press release that they have completed the acquisition of GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GCAP) for $236 million. The all-cash merger creates opportunities for both firms in a new combined format with GAIN’s leading the retail FX market place in several key markets, while StoneX focuses on institutional and advisory services.

Sean O’Connor, CEO of StoneX, indicated that “this is the beginning of an exciting new era for our company as we add two of the largest and best-known retail financial-services trading brands in the world to our global financial services network, in the process more than doubling the number of active retail accounts we serve to 295,000 worldwide. We expect the integration of GAIN’s businesses to drive transaction volumes and create new cross-selling opportunities across all of our platforms – ultimately driving our financial performance in the process.”

The merger, which was first announced in February of this year will allow both firms to complement their individual offerings. Yet it is still unknown what synergies will take place going forward to ensure the growth of the retail segment with complementary technology, pricing, or other services from StoneX’s extensive institutional operation.

Financial Commission approved broker member SamTradeFX has announced that it has secured licenses in the United Kingdom and Australia, according to Finance Magnates. The brokerage indicated that it had been registered and authorized as an Appointed Representative by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under reference number 929921. According to the UK regulator’s register, Samtrade UK International Limited is the company that has been authorized as of the 15th of July 2020.

In addition, Samtrade UK International Limited is now authorized as an appointed representative, Samtrade FX also said today that it had obtained an Australian Financial Services (AFS) license from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) under registration number 001281861.

Sam Goh, Founder and CEO, Samtrade FX commented: “these added layers of regulation – on top of the existing licences that Samtrade FX already holds, reinforces our commitment toward setting the highest possible standards in corporate governance, trading experience, and client satisfaction.”

According to our colleagues at Finance Magnates FX and CFD brokers around the world continue to post solid financial results for the first half of 2020, largely impacted by elevated trading activity, interest in trading from the public and market volatility. To this end Japanese service provider Monex Group, which operates a number of brokerages and Polish broker XTB have reported solid revenue and income for the first half of the year.

Monex Group, Inc. published its financial results on both a Group level and also for its subsidiary Monex, Inc. Monex Group’s fiscal 2021 year stretches for the 12 month period ended on the 31st of March 2021. Therefore, the first quarter of this fiscal year ranges from the 1st of April 2020 until the 30th of June 2020. Monex, Inc. the Japanese brokerage of the Group, the subsidiary achieved net operating revenue of ¥6.773 billion during Q1 of fiscal 2021. This is higher by 18.8 percent on a yearly comparison.

Operating income for the first quarter was considerably stronger in fiscal 2021, with the broker achieving a result of ¥868 million. Weighing this against the same period of the prior year, operating income has risen by 66.7 per cent.

Polish XTB experienced about a 6X surge in its total operating revenue which jumped to $137.0 million (PLN 518 million) from the PLN 88 million the company posted a year earlier. Specifically, the publicly-listed broker said the retail business segment generated PLN 428 million or 82% of the group’s total volumes, while institutional traders commanded approximately 18% after yielding PLN 89 million in revenues.

XTB said its operating revenues were primarily influenced by the commodities CFDs segment as the asset class generated 40% of the company’s total revenue compared to only 7% a year earlier. Meanwhile, revenues from FX CFDs amounted to 8.6% of total revenues relative to 6.2% in 2019; and stock CFDs 49% and 84% respectively.

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July 28, 2020, The Financial Commission today announces execution certification for Samtrade FX, an approved member of the Commission using Verify My Trade, a “value-added” service launched several years ago to promote pricing and execution transparency in the Forex market.

Verified order execution quality

Following the launch of order execution verification with Verify My Trade (VMT) in September of 2018, Financial Commission broker members continue to apply for certification of their order execution quality as a step to increase transparency regarding execution speed and pricing.

Today, Samtrade FX becomes the latest Financial Commission member to have successfully completed the VMT certification, having satisfied all execution quality standards set out for all members of the Commission. Trades can now view the execution audit results for Samtrade FX directly on our website, by clicking here.

Check your broker’s status

All interested parties can now view the execution audit results for members of the Financial Commission using VMT certifications by visiting our Members page or the profile pages of brokers listed in our Members section. Certified brokers will be highlighted with a unique badge as displayed below.

By clicking on the badge users will navigate to a dedicated webpage for each broker that will indicate the last time an audit was performed, how many orders were analyzed, and whether the results satisfied the order execution standards established by VMT.

If you are interested in using the VMT service or would like more information, please reach out to us at [email protected].

About the Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges, and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

The Australian-based brokerage Pepperstone Group Limited has sent out alerts to current customers warning them of potential clones, according to Finance Magnates. Apparently Pepperstone has experienced a data security incident in which “a small subset of our client contact details was compromised around the 20th of July. The incident was limited to client names and contact details – no trading accounts, passwords, or client ID documents were impacted”, the broker said.

As a result, the parties who illegally obtained the data are purportedly using the information to contact the impacted customers, according to Pepperstone. In their communications, the unknown parties are either claiming to be representatives of the brokerage or a third party and indicating to customers that the broker has ceased trading or that the customers should seek alternative trading services.

Such fraudulent requests most often seek to obtain customer funds, as is the case with the current situation, as Pepperstone pointed out in their message to customers, stating that “third parties are requesting clients of the firm to transfer their funds and, in some instances, have asked clients to use a remote desktop viewer.”

Customers should be vigilant in their communications with their broker at all times, as sophisticated clones, website copies and fake representatives continue to pose a risk to the global Forex and CFD trading community. If you are not sure about something, don’t hesitate to ‘Check Your Broker’ or reach out to your local regulator for help!

Gain Capital Holdings Inc (NYSE:GCAP), the popular US broker which operates the brand has published its quarterly financial results for Q2 2020 indicating that the positive income and revenue streak the broker began earlier in 2020 is still continuing.

The broker reported GAAP net revenue of $101.0 million, which resulted in $14.3 million in net income and adjusted net income of $15.2 million. Adjusted EBITDA was $28.9 million. GAIN Capital noted that “another quarter of high volatility due to the ongoing economic concerns over COVID-19” affected its retail performance in a positive manner. Likewise, direct active accounts generated by the broker increased 34% from the same quarter last year to a record 93,433.


Glenn Steves, GAIN Capital CEO noted that: “client metrics in the second quarter further improved over the strong first quarter, as 42% more clients placed their first trade compared to the first quarter, an increase of 141% over prior year. These new clients, together with increased engagement from the large client base who opened accounts with us in 2019, helped improve our 3-month trailing active accounts by 34% over last year to a new record level. In addition, we look forward to the closing of the acquisition by StoneX Group (formerly INTL FCStone Inc.), which remains on track to complete later this quarter”.

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IG Group Holdings PLC, the international online brokerage for Forex and CFDs, headquartered in London, UK have just announced their fiscal 2020 financial results, reporting solid earnings growth, and other key metrics. The broker’s fiscal year ended on May 31st, 2020.

In its report the broker noted a 36% increase in net trading revenue, a 52% increase in profits before taxes and solid earnings, and dividends per share for holders of the company’s stock. The broker also noted “exceptional volumes in Q4”, indicating that that IG Group, like many others, has profited from recent market volatility witnessed in the spring as a result of the spread of Covid-19 and associated global disruptions. To this end the broker indicated that account applications in fiscal Q4 increased 181%, client interactions doubled (100%) and payment transactions increased 85%.


June Felix, Group CEO indicated in the report several key reflections based on the positive financial data, including “outstanding performance in FY20 positions us well to deliver on our medium-term targets” and “our response to Covid-19 shows the resilience of our people, systems and business model”.

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As brokers around the world adjust and adapt their regulatory and licensing statuses to the current industry and global economic realities, there is much going on at the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), with some firms applying for Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) authorizations and others renouncing them.

This is the case with several firms – Hoch Capital Ltd (trading as iTrader and tradeATF) and Rodeler Ltd (trading as 24option) who have notified the Cypriot regulator of their intention to renounce their license and stop onboarding customers through the jurisdiction. A notice was published on CySEC’s website informing the public of the regulator’s approval of steps to wind down authorized operations before the regulator would officially revoke the licenses.

Some can recall that the firms mentioned above had previously been barred from the United Kingdom, where the the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the companies were engaging in unauthorised endorsements by celebrities in order to promote CFD trading to investors. Unfortunately, according to FCA estimates many customers who had traded with the brokerages had lost hundreds of thousands of Pounds as a result.

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July 21st,  2020, The Financial Commission today announces its invitation to online brokerages and traders of all experience levels to participate in the upcoming TradeON Summit 2020, which will take place virtually on July 28th, 05:00 – 23:00 EEST. The event is a unique opportunity for traders to communicate directly with the world’s leading online brokerages and also find trading ideas, strategies, and education from industry thought leaders and visionaries.



The TradeON Summit provides a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity for traders and brokerages alike to communicate directly on a variety of topics important in the industry today. Summit attendees will be able to use chat and video conferencing, as well as access content on-demand from anywhere in the world during the 18-hour live event to explore services, get educational content, and market ideas from world-class analysts.

The TradeON Summit is also a unique opportunity for online brokerages and the Financial Commission encourages such companies to take part in the event in order to engage with its customers and thousands of other traders directly, to network and learn from their trading experiences in an effort to grow and improve retail trading operations for all market participants.

To find out more about the event, including how to attend, please visit the TradeON Summit page.

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges, and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

Spain’s financial regulator, CNMV has published a warning to investors indicating unauthorized firms who are known to have operated in the country. The list includes the following Forex and digital asset firms, which has also previously appeared in warnings from the United Kingdom and Australian regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC).


Investors are advised to exercise caution if approached by representatives of such firms and should take care to protect their funds. Those traders who have already opened accounts at these companies and wish to return funds should file a notice or complaint with their local regulator.

If you are not sure about the status of your broker, use our ‘Check Your Broker’ directory.

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Embattled Australian broker Forex Capital Trading Pty Ltd (Forex CT), which recently had its license canceled by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is now in further legal trouble as the financial regulator indicated they are filing a civil suit against the brokerage for “unconscionable conduct” and “conflicted remuneration” as a result of actions taken by one of its employees.

ASIC alleges that Shlomo Yoshai, a director of ForexCT allegedly engaged in the below conduct, which warrants civil penalties of up to $420,000 for an individual and $2,100,000 for a corporation.

Further to this, ASIC will attempt to prove that the following additional violations took place, which warrants a fine of up to $1,000,000 for the company.

While this case may not be of precedent for Australia, it does indeed highlight the aggressive nature of pursuing penalties against firms that are accused of wrongdoing during their time of offering FX and CFD services as an authorized online brokerage firm in the country, echoing concerns raised previously by many local market participants in the country.

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a report highlighting the work of National Competent Authorities (NCAs) in enforcing the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) regulations that were launched in mid-2018. Much has been said and debated regarding the impact MiFiDII regulations would have on online brokerages in Europe and the UK and the possible sanctions and fines that could be dealt out.

The findings in the report suggest that member NCAs have “cautiously” approached reprimanding firms for failures or breaches of MiFiDII directives and accounted for only €1.8m in fines imposed on financial firms in 2019. A review of statistics by country in the report suggests that some EU nations have issued a significant amount of sanctions, yet did not prescribe a fine. In other cases, countries like Italy, Poland, Sweden, and others, where a considerable number of online and FX brokerages continue to operate, no sanctions or enforcement measures were recorded (see list below).

Nonetheless, ESMA indicated that some enforcement actions are actually still in progress and may have not been included in the report, as they are ongoing. This suggests that the review and enforcement of MiFiDII directives can be burdensome on all parties in some cases and take a significant amount of time to resolve or face sanctions.

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July 13th, 2020, The Financial Commission, today announces BalansFX as its newest approved Member. The company becomes the 49th broker to join the ranks of the self-regulatory organization, highlighting the increased interest and demand for independent external dispute resolution (EDR) services among FX industry participants.

BalansFX status as an Approved Broker Members of the Financial Commission took effect on July 10th, 2020, following the approval of its membership application by the Financial Commission, thus allowing the companies and its customers access to a wide range of services and membership benefits including, but not limited to, protection for up to €20,000 per the submitted complaint, backed by the Financial Commission’s Compensation Fund.

Financial Commission provides brokerages and their customers with an unbiased 3rd party mediation platform that helps resolve complaints in instances when parties are unable to directly come to an agreement over disputes.

For approved members and their clients participating in CFDs, foreign exchange (forex), and cryptocurrency markets, Financial Commission helps facilitate a simpler, swifter resolution process than through typical regulatory channels such as arbitration or local court systems.

BalansFX joins a diverse range of brokerages and independent service providers (ISPs) that utilize the services of the Financial Commission and as part of their commitment to their clients while upholding membership requirements.

About BalansFX

BalansFX operates in European countries since 2011 and entered the Turkish financial markets in 2018. Founded in London with the collaboration of the industry’s leading investors, the company provides services in the fields of Forex, Commodities, Stocks, and Cryptocurrencies with its expert team and experience.

BalansFX meets the demands of investors in a complete and timely manner with all the trading platforms developed with the latest technology by considering all the investors’ needs.

For more information about BalansFX, contact them directly.

About Financial Commission

Financial Commission is an independent external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for consumers/traders who are unable to resolve disputes directly with their financial services providers that are members of the Financial Commission. Financial Commission initially set out to provide a new approach for traders and brokers alike to resolve any issues that arise in the course of trading electronic markets such as Foreign Exchange, and then expanded into CFDs and related derivatives, in addition to certifying technology platforms used for trading.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].