OANDA acquires TMS Brokers while under pressure from NFA

Rick Steves

The deal is part of OANDA’s growth plan and only the first in a number of strategic acquisitions the multi-asset broker is looking to complete to strengthen its reputation in the retail sector. 

OANDA Global Corporation has acquired TMS Brokers SA (TMS) after receiving approval from the Polish Financial Supervision Authority earlier this week.

TMS boasts thousands of products including currencies, indices, commodities, equities, cryptocurrencies, and exchange-traded funds from the world’s major exchanges in its trading offering. The oldest multi-asset broker in Poland also provides access to advisors, education, and trading tools.

Gavin Bambury, Chief Executive Officer of OANDA, commented: “The TMS acquisition marks the start of an exciting new era of growth for OANDA, creating scale in the Polish market while allowing us to further extend our footprint throughout the Baltics and Eastern Europe. In addition, the purchase will also enable us to strengthen our end-to-end offering, benefiting clients all over the world. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the TMS team to OANDA.”

Marcin Niewiadomski, Chief Executive Officer at TMS, said: “Backed by a world-class brand and a legacy of integrity, OANDA has long combined a passion for innovation with ground-breaking technology in order to deliver an exemplary online trading experience for clients all over the world. As such, we’re delighted to be joining the OANDA family at such an exciting time in the firm’s 25-year history.”

Artur Haze, Managing Partner of ForeVest Capital, stated: “I am convinced that TMS, with its strong position in Poland and a deep product and service offering, will fit perfectly well in the global technology-driven OANDA Group and wish the management of OANDA and TMS all the best in their common growth journey.”

OANDA’s institutional-grade execution across a wide range of asset classes, enabling clients to trade global market indices, commodities, treasuries, precious metals and currencies on one of the fastest trading platforms in the market.

The firm remains committed to helping clients become successful self-directed traders, providing an award-winning education program, up-to-the-minute market commentary and a host of advanced charting applications and trading tools.

The TMS acquisition is OANDA’s second investment in Poland over the last year, after having established a shared services center in Kraków in early 2020. The center currently employs almost 100 people.

The deal is part of OANDA’s growth plan and only the first in a number of strategic acquisitions the multi-asset broker is looking to complete to strengthen its reputation in the retail sector.

OANDA was founded in 1996 and was one of the pioneers of web-based currency trading five years later. TMS Brokers is also a historical brand, the oldest multi-asset broker in Poland. Since 1997, TMS has provided service to thousands of Polish and European customers offering trading on FX, CFDs on indices, cryptocurrencies, single stocks, and commodities with MT4/MT5 platforms and a proprietary mobile app.

OANDA faces expulsion or suspension from NFA membership

Earlier this month (March 8), the NFA has issued a complaint against OANDA Corporation and gave the retail FX broker 30 days to respond to the NFA’s complaint.

If the complaint reaches a formal proceeding, the broker faces possible expulsion or suspension from NFA membership, plus a monetary fine not to exceed $500,000 for each violation found.

The NFA found that ever since OANDA was acquired in 2018 by a subsidiary of a private equity firm (CVC Capital Partners), the broker increased the number and degree of deficiencies occurring at the firm.

On separate occasions, the regulator instructed OANDA to correct the deficiencies and that continued deficiencies could subject the firm to disciplinary action.

Among the deficiencies are failures to comply with AML requirements. OANDA staff did not follow protocol and failed to notify OANDA’s AML Compliance Officer and the NFA following the hacking of a customer’s account.

OANDA’s ISSP was insufficient as it did not include numerous required sections, including training, risk assessment, incident response, and access controls. The broker also failed to provide all required employees with training on the ISSP.

Other counts include failures to properly handle customer complaints and inaccurate unrealized profit/loss (UPL) figures in six daily forex reports, as well as failures to diligently supervise its forex business and its employees.

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