Italy stamps out domains of SmartTrade CFD, UeTrades and Tradebaionics

abdelaziz Fathi

The Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has shut down five new websites in an ongoing clampdown against firms it accuses of illegally promoting trading products in the country.

Fraudsters could pass themselves off as regulated financial services providers as a result of the ability to register domain names under relevant suffixes such as ‘.bank’ and ‘.fin’, it says.

The Italian market securities market regulator has been on a rampant crackdown to protect retail investors by making illegal financial services inaccessible.

Additionally, this includes product offered by firms holding licenses in other jurisdictions. The strict actions on these unauthorized actors in the market come as offshore brokers continue to chase online trading business in Italy.

In its latest crackdown, the Consob has contacted Italy’s internet service providers, requesting them to block access to:

  • – Surreptitious Group LLC (website https://fincloud.world);
  • – “Smart Trade Cfd(website https://smarttradecfd.com and related page https://platform.smarttradecfd.com);
  • – “Tradebaionics” (website www.tradebaionics.net);
  • – “UeTrades” (website https://uetrades.com and related page  https://secure.uetrades.com);
  • – Trustgarden Ltd (website www.trustgarden.net and related page https://webtrader.trustgarden.net).

The number of sites blacked out since July 2019 when Consob got the power to ban the websites of financial intermediaries it deems unregulated has risen to 736.

“If you are contacted by or if you come across a domain/website which offers you the opportunity for trading online (i.e. trade on binary options and / or forex transactions) please verify first of all if it is authorized. Every authorized subject must be included in the SIM list kept by CONSOB. To check with the list click here. On the CONSOB website you can also control the list of all the EU investment firms operating in Ital,” the watchdog said.

Consob consults on crypto regulation

Consob has refined its process for identifying non-compliant companies, becoming the only EU regulator with the approach to blocking the websites of scams and unauthorized providers.

Recently, the regulator went after a handful of CySEC-licensed brokers and ordered them to cease operations in the country. Moreover, the decisions prevented Cypriot intermediaries from soliciting customers or continuing their current relations with Italian clients.

On the crypto front, Italy’s securities regulator recently held a webinar with “some major players” in the financial market to probe the regulation of securities token offerings.

Not many details were revealed about the matter, but Consob is actively working on regulations that might one day permit so-called tokenization, which allows a crypto token to represent a traditional asset like stocks.

Although the Italian watchdog was busy chasing unregulated crypto firms, it has yet to come up with specific regulations. Until now, Italy has sought pan-European initiatives to police crypto activities as a benchmark to begin with.

Finally, the authority has warned even authorized firms against falsely advertising unregulated products as being regulated by Consob. The watchdog added that these financial promotions were unlikely to provide consumers with the clarity required by its rules and could leave them unable to understand whether the promoted products or services were beyond its remit.

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