Fraudulent binary options firms continue to target Belgian investors despite ban

Maria Nikolova

Several fraudulent firms keep soliciting Belgian investors in the face of prohibition on offering of binary options that has been in place since August 2016.

Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has earlier today issued another warning to the public against the activities of several entities that are unlawfully offering binary options on the Belgian market in the face of a ban on such offers that has been in place since August 2016.

The FSMA reminds the public that, since August 18, 2016, no investment firm (authorized or not) has been permitted to distribute binary options within the territory of Belgium. The entities that are the subject of the latest warning do not comply with the relevant rules. Moreover, consumers who have invested in these firms could not recover their investment. Therefore, such activities most likely constitute a case of investment fraud.

The FSMA therefore strongly advises against responding to any offers of financial services made by the following:

  • Go Capital FX (Go Capital 123 – Lancelot Equity Ltd.) (gocapitalfx.com, or gocapital123.com);
  • Vipwayzone (vipwayzone.com).

Let’s note that on July 1, 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced it would not renew the temporary prohibition of the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients in the European Union (EU).

ESMA has been lately issuing a raft of positive opinions regarding the ban on binary options introduced by many NCAs. The latest regulators to get such a positive opinion include Cyprus, to mention one (important) example.

ESMA has taken product intervention measures regarding binary options, imposing a temporary prohibition on their marketing, distribution or sale, in Decisions (EU) 2018/795, (EU) 2018/1466, (EU) 2018/2064 and (EU) 2019/509. The temporary prohibition automatically expired at the end of the day on July 1, 2019.

As most national competent authorities (NCAs) have taken permanent national product intervention measures relating to binary options that are at least as stringent as ESMA’s measure, ESMA will not renew its temporary prohibition, the regulator said.

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