Latest series of blocking orders issued by Italy’s Consob target five unauthorized investment websites

Maria Nikolova

The number of websites blocked by the Italian regulator under the so-called “Growth Decree” has thus reached 189.

Italy’s Companies and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) today announces that it has ordered the blocking of access to five more unauthorized investment websites.

In ordering Internet service providers to block the websites, the regulator made use of the powers resulting from the “Growth Decree” (‘Decreto Crescita’, Law no. 58 of 28 June 2019, Article no. 36, paragraph 2-terdecies).

Below is a list of the websites whose blocking was ordered by Consob today:

  • Finance Activity Group (www.capo-invest.com);
  • FXTrading Corp (https://fxtradingcorp.trade);
  • Tradefxzone Ltd and SolutionsCM Ltd (https://tradefxzone.com);
  • ForTradersFx Ltd (www.fortraders-fx.com);
  • OGAM Ltd (www.ogamfx.com).

Thus, the number of websites blocked by Consob since July 2019 when the “Growth Decree” got into effect has risen to 189 starting. The regulator notes that the implementation of the blocking may take several days to implement due to purely technical factors.

Earlier in April, Consob said it 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.

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).

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