Admirals fined €20,000 over regulatory reporting failures
The Estonia’s top financial markets supervisor has fined FX brokerage firm Admirals (formerly Admiral Markets) €20,000 for failures in its regulatory reporting governance.
Admirals revealed the enforcement action in a corporate statement, and said it resolves the Finantsinspektsioon’s concerns about errors in the broker’s mandatory regulatory reporting of transactions.
“The Estonian Financial Supervision Authority has forwarded a misdemeanour decision to Admiral Markets AS, according to which the company has violated the Securities Market Act and Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (EMIR) and a fine of twenty thousand euros has been imposed,” Admirals said.
Per Admiral Markets AS, the lapses occurred due to outsourcing its reporting operations to a third-party professional service providers. The firm is citing this fact to reflect it has not intentionally disregarded its reporting obligations. Additionally, Admiral said it started to correct errors immediately upon detection, but this was not technically possible within the appropriate timeframe for regulatory submission.
The company added that appropriate measures were taken to avoid a recurrence of such situations in the future, including hiring additional compliance staff and changing its external auditor.
Admiral overhauls CFDs offering
Earlier in September, the Estonian watchdog hit Admiral Markets with a €32,000 regulatory fine, citing legal infringements in providing its services. In particular, the company “substantively” changed the terms of trading financial instruments on its platforms without prior notice. More specifically, it changed methodologies used in calculating crude oil spot prices and also raised swap charges.
The Finantisinspektsioon said these actions were non-transparent from a client’s perspective, which led them potentially making losses or missing out on gains.
Admiral Markets’ offering has seen dramatic changes in the past few months. The Estonian-based firm, which celebrates its 21st anniversary in March, has recently made headlines after undoing its previous decision to slash the fees it charges on some stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to zero.
Admirals decided to discontinue the zero-fee trading offer for Stock CFDs and ETF CFDs and started to levy a commission. The multi-asset broker has also introduced dramatic changes to its trading terms around stock and ETF CFDs, effectively banning purchases of the risky securities.
Admirals is licensed by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). The regulatory approvals allow the brokerage firm to offer a set of financial services and also approved to provide cross-border services across the EU / EEA under European passport rights.