Category Archives: Company News

INDUSTRY ALERT: Bit24 Added to Warning List

October 13, 2017: Financial Commission adds Bit24 to its Warning List

 

 

 

About Warning List

The warning list is to inform the public of companies that we do not recommend to trade with, following numerous reports and complaints filed by customers regarding non-member firms concerning fraud or wrongdoing, which includes the conduct listed below:

  • Ponzi scheme, Pyramid Scheme, or a High-Yield Investment Program
  • Theft or misappropriation of funds
  • Fraudulent or unlicensed offering
  • False or misleading statements about a company
  • Other fraudulent conduct

Financial Commission Announces Acceptance of Cryptocurrencies as Payment for Services

October 9th, 2017, The Financial Commission (FinaCom LTD), a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, and cryptocurrency markets, today announces acceptance of Bitcoin and Ethereum as a payment method for companies using Financial Commission services.

Invoices payable in Bitcoin or Ethereum

The range of compliance services offered by Financial Commission to existing members and third party companies, including membership and technology certification, are typically paid in either US dollars, Euros, or other equivalent amount of fiat currency.

 

Companies now have the option to pay their Financial Commission dues and related service fees in Bitcoin or Ethereum, and with more supported cryptocurrencies expected to be made available before the end of the year.

Blockchain Economy

Financial Commission acknowledges the emergence of the digital asset economy and the importance of vendors being able to accept and remit digital assets for the purpose of payment for services, and following the launch of its ICO Certification service aimed to help Financial Technology (Fintech) companies.

Financial Commission Chairman, Peter Tatarnikov, said: “Following the launch of our ICO Certification service last quarter, and our certification of Genesis Vision, it was a logical step to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method for the services we provide to companies.”

“The ability to accept and remit cryptocurrencies is an important first step for companies participating in the new blockchain economy, and Financial Commission is pleased to support companies that wish to use their digital assets, including bitcoin and ethereum, as payment for our services.”About Financial Commission

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, Financial Commission is an industry-supported and fully independent Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) whose members join on a voluntary basis, subject to approval and strict adherence to membership rules in order to maintain good standing.

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, supported by Financial Commission’s Dispute Resolutions Committee (DRC). Financial Commission’s ICO certification service provides accelerated due diligence for mature and emerging blockchain startups seeking crypto financing through ICOs, based on certification standards established by Financial Commission’s ICO Certification Committee (ICC). To learn more about Financial Commission, visit Https://FinancialCommission.org or contact us directly at info@financialcommission.org

 

Financial Commission Warns of Pseudo-Clone and CTOption

October 3, 2017: Financial Commission, a leading external dispute resolution (EDR) organization, operated by FinaCom PLC, today warns the public of CTOptions and a pseudo-clone entity mimicking Financial Commission in an attempt to clone Financial Commission’s brand and masquerading with purported services.

Financial Commission was recently contacted with information indicating that aforementioned clone entity and a representative claiming to be from CTOptions.com was impersonating Financial Commission’s brand and services by using a like-minded logo while purporting to offer fictitious services in what appears to be an attempt to scam customers.

A copy of the documents that were shown to Financial Commission can be seen here below, which we have affixed the word “Clone” to highlight this warning to the public:

 

 

Financial Commission has taken measures to notify parties that the perpetrator is a pseudo-clone not associated with Financial Commission in any way and may be operating a fraud as victims indicated the entity was offering insurance in connection with the brokerage account trading.

The aforementioned parties including CTOptions and the clone are not members in any way or affiliated with https://FinancialCommission.org and we informed the public with this announcement that the entities may be unlawfully impersonating Financial Commission.

The great lengths that companies may go to help perpetrate a fraud can be difficult for even the most cautious investors to detect. Be sure that the .org suffix is at the end of the URL when searching for our website, or clicking on related links when attempting to visit Https://FinancialCommission.org and contact us to verify any email you receive from anyone claiming to be affiliated with Financial Commission.

Financial Commission Certifies Broker Pilot Trading Technology Provided by IndigoSoft LTD

October 2nd, 2017, The Financial Commission, a leading financial services independent external dispute resolution (EDR) organization, today announced the successful certification of a web-based monitoring and risk management platform – Broker Pilot.

The Financial Commission conducted its rigorous review of Broker Pilot monitoring and risk management platform, to ensure they met the technical information requirements of the Commission’s technology certification evaluation process. The Financial Commission established a comprehensive list of points to verify including system security, capacity, business disaster recovery and a continuity plan, as well as reporting and record keeping, among other fields deemed important to certify.

 

Financial Commission Chairman Peter Tatarnikov said regarding the new certification, “Broker Pilot platform is the latest technology certified by the Financial Commission and we will be happy to see more software providers certifying their products with us. Today we gladly announce successful certification of Broker Pilot monitoring and risk management platform provided by IndigoSoft LTD and believe it is a great step to leverage its credibility and grow its business globally.”

About Broker Pilot

Provided by IndigoSoft LTDBroker Pilot is a web-based monitoring and risk management platform which aggregates data from many trading servers in realtime. This is a virtual Chief Dealer, which automates the work of dealers and instantly responds to various situations in emerging markets, minimizing the company’s financial losses. It facilitates convenient and simple integration into the broker backend API.

About Financial Commission

The Financial Commission is an external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for consumers/traders who are unable to resolve disputes with financial services providers that are members of the Financial Commission. The Financial Commission set out to provide a new approach for traders and brokers alike to resolve any issues that arise in the course of trading the Forex market. The Financial Commission was established to be a neutral 3rd party committee to fairly review and resolve complaints in an effort to facilitate a simpler, swifter resolution than through industry regulators and the legal system.

Technology developers seeking membership status with the Financial Commission can learn more about the process and expected requirements as part of the technology certification process in advance of applying for membership or in the preparation of submitting an application.

For more information, please contact The Financial Commission: info@financialcommission.org

Financial Commission Appoints Valery Dolgov to its Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC)

September 29, 2017: Financial Commission, a leading External Dispute Resolution (EDR) organization, operated by FinaCom PLC, servicing online Forex and CFD brokerages and technology providers within the financial services industry, today announces the appointment of Valery Dolgov to its Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC).

Enhancing the DRC structure

Valery Dolgov is the latest industry expert to join the Financial Commission’s DRC – which consists of a diverse panel of industry professionals, who follow a non-bias protocol to process and resolve complaints from our members’ clients.

 

Valery Dolgov has finished a postgraduate degree in the Saratov state Technical University, specializing in IT. Since 2003 he has created trading algorithms, platforms, liquidity API for hedge funds, managing companies and brokers. He has many years of successful trading experience in financial markets and great experience as a Chief Dealer. Valery has earned a reputation as one of the best professionals in the industry.

Peter Tatarnnikov, Financial Commission Chairman, said “We are extremely pleased to welcome Valery Dolgov to the Financial Commission’s Dispute Resolution Committee. Valery is a proven industry expert whose experience will help boost our dispute resolution process.”

About Valery Dolgov

Valery has created his own IT-company, IndigoSoft LTD, which has united a team of highly skilled specialists in the field of broker software development. The accumulation of extensive practical experience and skills has allowed him to create a new unique product – Broker Pilot. This is a corporate web-platform, which takes the technological level of dealing to an unprecedentedly high level of quality. This platform has realtime monitoring, risk management and automatic management of broker business processes. Valery’s goal is to create new technologies and provide them to management companies and brokers.

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, Financial Commission is an industry-supported Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) whose members join on a voluntary basis, subject to approval and strict adherence to membership rules, to maintain good standing.

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.

HDForex (Tbilisi Traders Club) Rejoins Financial Commission

September 26th, 2017, The Financial Commission (FinaCom PLC), a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, and cryptocurrency markets, today announces that HDForex (Tbilisi Traders Club) has re-joined Financial Commission as category B member.

HDForex had previously held membership status from March 2015 through September 2016, and now re-joins with approved membership status effective as of September 25th, 2017 after acceptance FinaCom PLC’s board.

 

As a category B Member, HDForex and its customers are entitled to a wide range of services and membership benefits including, but not limited to, protection for up to $5,000 per submitted claim, backed by the Financial Commission’s compensation fund.

The Financial Commission is an industry-specialized independent organization that provides a cost effective and efficient method for processing and resolving disputes that arise with consumers of firms that hold approved membership status.

Commenting on the new membership approval, Financial Commission Chairman Peter Tatarnikov said, “We are pleased to see HDForex return to Financial Commission and reapply for membership. Over time, brokerages and technology providers see the long term value of being members with Financial Commission, to help demonstrate transparency, self-regulatory efforts, and provide their clients access to DRC-processed complaints and compensation fund eligibility.

The door is open for firms that left on good terms and not from expulsion, just as we encourage new and existing market participants to consider the ancillary benefits of Financial Commission membership”

About HDForex

HDForex is a broker that offers a wide range of products and services, such as currencies, commodities, indices, CFDs and a variety of accounts including self-directed trading and PAMM accounts. HDForex aims to provide excellent service, analytics, and quality trading education, while  giving clients the best trading experience across available financial markets. HDForex equips traders with innovative products, services and knowledge. To learn more about HDForex, please visit https://HDForex.com

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, Financial Commission is an industry-supported Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) whose members join on a voluntary basis, subject to approval and strict adherence to membership rules in order to maintain good standing.

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. To learn more about Financial Commission, visit Https://FinancialCommission.org

Financial Commission Appoints Vitaly Bulychev to the ICO Certification Committee

September 21st, 2017, The Financial Commission, a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, and cryptocurrency markets, today announces the addition of Vitaly Bulychev to Financial Commission’s Initial Coin Offering Certification Committee (ICC).

The ICC was recently founded by Financial Commission Chairman Peter Tatarnikov, and joined by FinaCom’s board member Alexey Pavlenko, DRC member Simon Grunfeld – who is the acting head of the ICC, Steven Hatzakis, Avi Mizrahi, Dmitri Turkevich, Bryan Feinberg, Theodosis Mourouzis followed by Vitaly Bulychev

Commenting on the announcement, Financial Commission Chairman, Peter Tatarnikov said: “We are pleased to welcome Vitaly Bulychev to the ICC and glad to see that the ICC is attracting a diverse range of blockchain industry experts and thought leaders across fintech. Vitaly Bulychev brings extensive experience to help support our efforts of improving standards and establishing a baseline of best practices that every ICO issuer should demonstrate as part of the ICO Certification process.

ICC members volunteer to help improve ICC standards for ICO issuers that apply for Financial Commission’s ICO certification service, by following an extensive due diligence process while verifying whether issuers can demonstrate compliance to meet all standards including mandatory criteria as required for approval.

Vitaly Bulychev is known as an entrepreneur, investor and researcher in the field of distributed ledger technology since 2012. Inspired by the opportunities of decentralization and synergy of cross-disciplinary competencies, Vitaly invested in a number of crypto-related projects, including industrial-scale mining and the management of a private investor pool. At the moment, Vitaly is working on Pandora Boxchain, a project on global decentralized economy of artificial intelligence, and also consults and participates in the implementation of a number of projects, in particular, the processing platform, delegated democracy tools and solutions in the field of cybersecurity.

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, Financial Commission is an industry-supported Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) whose members join on a voluntary basis, subject to approval and strict adherence to membership rules, to maintain good standing.

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.

The ICO Certification service is offered out of Financial Commission’s St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) entity, FinaCom Ltd. To learn more about Financial Commission’s technology certification services, including the ICO Certification service for Fintech companies, click here or visit https://FinancialCommission.org

Financial Commission Announces Carrax as Latest Approved Member

September 20th, 2017, The Financial Commission, a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, and cryptocurrency markets, today announces  Carrax as its newest approved Member.

Carrax’s status as a B-category Member of the Financial Commission took effect on September 19, 2017, following the approval of its membership application by FinaCom PLC’s board, thus allowing the company and its customers access to a wide range of services and membership benefits including, but not limited to, protection for up to $5,000 per submitted claim, 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 and foreign exchange (forex) markets, Financial Commission helps facilitate a simpler, swifter resolution process than through typical regulatory channels such as arbitration or local court systems.

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

About Carrax

Founded in 2010, Carrax is a licensed and regulated by FSA online Broker-Dealer. The company Carrax is ECN / STP Forex broker providing services on the international Forex market for online trading. The company provides uninterrupted access to the best Forex quotes instant and market execution for ECN / STP technology from today’s best service provider partner of the Company AMTS Solutions. The company offers its our clients honest ECN-trading and access to the best liquidity flows. Carrax highly appreciated among traders from around the world that use algorithmic trading systems and advisers. Perfectly formed trading conditions make feel comfortable for any trader, from beginner to professional. Carrax widely presented in regions such as Asia, Africa, CIS, middle and far East.

For more information please contact Carrax at info@carrax.com

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 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 info@financialcommission.org

Financial Commission Appoints Bryan Feinberg and Theodosis Mourouzis to the ICO Certification Committee

September 19th, 2017, The Financial Commission, a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, and cryptocurrency markets, today announces the addition of Bryan Feinberg and Theodosis Mourouzis to Financial Commission’s Initial Coin Offering Certification Committee (ICC).

The ICC was recently founded by Financial Commission Chairman Peter Tatarnikov, and joined by FinaCom’s board member Alexey Pavlenko, DRC member Simon Grunfeld – who is the acting head of the ICC, Steven Hatzakis, Avi Mizrahi, Dmitri Turkevich, followed by Bryan Feinberg and Theodosis Mourouzis.

Commenting on the announcement, Financial Commission Chairman, Peter Tatarnikov said: “We are delighted to formally welcome Bryan and Theodosis to the ICC and glad to see that the ICC is attracting a diverse range of blockchain industry experts and thought leaders across fintech. Bryan and Theodosis each bring distinct skillsets needed to complement ICC’s existing foundation and its ongoing effort to improve a minimum set of standards for ICO issuers.”

ICC members volunteer to help improve ICC standards for ICO issuers that apply for Financial Commission’s ICO certification service, by following an extensive due diligence process while verifying whether issuers can demonstrate compliance to meet all standards including mandatory criteria as required for approval.

 

Mr. Feinberg is CEO and founder of Etheralabs, Zephyr, and P2Primex, all three early-stage launchpads catering to the blockchain industry. Mr. Feinberg is a licensed investment banker holding series 7, 63, and 79 FINRA license designations, and is a founding partner of The-blockchain.com a leading news source for digital assets. Mr. Feinberg is also on the board of the Blockchain Intelligence Group and provides advisory services to mature and emerging fintech startups within the blockchain industry.

 

Dr. Mourouzis is the Director of the MSc in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics at the Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM), and is a research fellow at the UCL’s centre for Blockchain Technologies (UCL-CBT), and has independently advised multiple blockchain companies including BitJob, Greeneum, and Crypto20. His skillset includes cryptanalysis and data analytics in fraud prevention and blockchain security and regulation. Dr. Mourouzis holds a BA/MA in Mathematics: University of Cambridge, UK, a Master of Advanced Study in Mathematics: University of Cambridge, UK, a Master of Research (MRes) in Security Science from University College London (UCL) and a PhD in Information Security and Cryptography from University College London (UCL). Dr Mourouzis is the recipient of the UK University Cipher Champion 2013 award.

 

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, Financial Commission is an industry-supported Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) whose members join on a voluntary basis, subject to approval and strict adherence to membership rules, to maintain good standing.

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.

The ICO Certification service is offered out of Financial Commission’s St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) entity, FinaCom Ltd. To learn more about Financial Commission’s technology certification services, including the ICO Certification service for Fintech companies, click here or visit https://FinancialCommission.org

Mifid II: number of liquidity sources, selection process and counterparty reporting

 

Best execution policy under MiFID adopts a multi-faceted approach that addresses, amongst other things, quality of execution, trading conditions extended to clients and the counterparty selection process. It also provides directions and guidelines on how best execution can be achieved.

The execution policy, set forth in MiFID II rests on several main pillars and I will briefly describe my findings on these below.

1. How many counterparties should a broker have? 1 or 5?

The broker may use a single counterparty as long as, by using this counterparty, the broker is able to deliver consistently best execution to its clients (Please note that this order execution should be supported by relevant data and internal analysis). If the broker is not able to consistently achieve best execution for its clients through one venue, then they should deploy multiple liquidity providers and report the top five counterparties by volume on an annual basis (see point #2).

“Investment firms transmitting or placing orders with other entities for execution may select a single entity for execution only where they are able to show that this allows them to obtain the best possible result for their clients on a consistent basis and where they can reasonably expect that the selected entity will enable them to obtain results for clients that are at least as good as the results that they reasonably could expect from using alternative entities for execution. This reasonable expectation should be supported by relevant data published in accordance with Article 27 of Directive 2014/65/EC or by internal analysis conducted by these investment firms.”

2. Reporting the top five trade-executing venues by volume 

Under this best execution criteria rule, if a broker sends its order flow to other parties for execution, it should produce an annual report disclosing its top five counterparties based on the volume of client trades executed. The company should also be able to provide such statistics upon a reasonable request from the client.

“Article 64 Best execution criteria (Articles 27(1) and 24(1) of Directive 2014/65/EU)

In particular, when the investment firm select other firms to provide order execution services, it shall summarize and make public, on an annual basis, for each class of financial instruments, the top five investment firms in terms of trading volumes where it transmitted or placed client orders for execution in the preceding year and information on the quality of execution obtained.

Upon reasonable request from a client, investment firms shall provide its clients or potential clients with information about entities where the orders are transmitted or placed for execution.”

3. Document counterparty selection process

Brokers will be required to, both, create and retain a summary of their counterparty selection process as well as their criteria for defining best execution policy for their clients.

“a summary of the selection process for execution venues, execution strategies employed, the procedures and process used to analyze the quality of execution obtained and how the firms monitor and verify that the best possible results were obtained for clients.”

4. Conduct extensive due diligence on all potential counterparties, taking into consideration the industry expertise and market reputation of the counterparty in question.

Apart from obvious considerations in selecting a liquidity provider, such as pricing and execution, market practices, business model and other trading conditions, brokers should also evaluate intangibles like domain expertise and market reputation.

“In particular, Member States shall require investment firms to take into account the expertise and market reputation of the third party as well as any legal requirements related to the holding of those financial instruments that could adversely affect clients’ rights

Speed, likelihood of execution and settlement, the size and nature of the order, market impact and any other implicit transaction costs may be given precedence over the immediate price and cost consideration only insofar as they are instrumental in delivering the best possible result in terms of the total consideration to the retail client.”

5. Emphasis on Best Execution on a consistent basis.

MiFID II is now forcing brokers to take into consideration the multiple factors impacting trade execution, not just the price, by focusing the emphasis on the consistency of the overall client experience.

“least establish the process by which it determines the relative importance of these factors, so that it can deliver the best possible result to its clients. In order to give effect to that policy, an investment firm should select the execution venues that enable it to obtain on a consistent basis the best possible result for the execution of client orders”.

6. Collecting Market data

In order to prove best execution practices, brokerage firms will need to gather relevant market data to verify OTC prices, offered to clients, against the interbank market benchmark.

“As best execution obligations apply to all financial instruments, irrespective of whether they are traded on trading venues or OTC, investment firms should gather relevant market data in order to check whether the OTC price offered for a client is fair and delivers on best execution obligation.”

While the number of changes to requirements might seem overwhelming, in my opinion a lot of these can be addressed by working with reputable and experienced partners, those that are experienced and can cover these new requirements from all angles and, in turn, provide the fair and completely transparent execution for traders. For some guidelines on the appropriate questions to ask a potential liquidity provider during the due diligence process, please click here.

To learn what other high-impact changes MiFID II brings, download a list here

© Natalia Gunik