Italy’s Consob orders blocking of website operated by Hoch Capital

Maria Nikolova

Through the website www.tradeatf.com, Hoch Capital Ltd is violating the ban imposed on it by Consob in December 2019.

Italy’s Companies and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) today announces that it has ordered the blackout of www.tradeatf.com, as the website has been used by Hoch Capital Ltd, a Cyprus-based investment company, in violation of the ban imposed on it by Consob in December 2019. The website belongs to TradeATF, a broker operated by Hoch Capital.

According to the regulator, Hoch Capital is using the website to continue to provide investment services, to solicit and to acquire new customers in Italy as well.

The aforementioned order of blackout was adopted pursuant to the new power recently attributed to Consob by the National Legislator pursuant to Article No. 4, paragraph 3-bis, of the Law-Decree No. 162 of 30 December 2019 (introduced by the Conversion Law No. 8 of 28 February 2020).

For technical reasons, it can take a few days to implement the blocking of the website.

In December 2019, Consob adopted a precautionary measure against Hoch Capital Ltd banning it from exercising activities in Italy. The prohibition, aimed at ensuring the protection of Italian investors, was necessary given the recurrent violations of Hoch Capital Ltd of the regulations in force, despite the measures adopted by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), following the reports sent by Consob to CySEC.

The present provision forbids in a precautionary way to Hoch Capital Ltd to provide investment services in Italy, to solicit and acquire new customers in our Country as well as to carry on their relations with Italian customers. In December 2019, the company was asked to close the accounts of Italian customers in accordance with the instructions given by the customers themselves.

The prohibition was imposed following a number of complaints transmitted to Consob by Italian investors, complaining about serious irregularities made by the Cypriot intermediary. The reports of these representatives concern, in particular, activities like Contracts for Difference (CFDs).

The complaints refer, among others, to situations such as the total loss of the invested capital, the classification of the investor as a professional client in the absence of prerequisites and the pressures exercised by the personnel of the company to acquire additional deposits.

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