Plus500 secures authorisation as investment firm in Estonia

abdelaziz Fathi

Plus500 has obtained a license in Estonia, joining a growing number of UK brokers that have secured permission from the nation to further strengthen their regulatory status in the post-Brexit era.

Estonia

The Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority (Finantsinspektsioon) said on its website it issued authorisation to ‘Plus500EE AS’ to operate as an investment firm. Per the FI’s announcement, the approval allows Plus500’s subsidiary to provide various investment and other ancillary services. It also permits the company to offer investment advisory to private investors and to execute their securities orders.

“The company will have the right under the authorisation to accept securities orders and to send them, to execute securities orders in the name of clients or in its own name, and to trade with securities on its own account. The ancillary services to investment services give the company the right to hold and manage the securities of clients and to provide services relating to foreign exchange if they are linked to the provision of investment services,” the statement reads.

The members of the management board of Plus500EE AS are Kerli Lõhmus, who was appointed as a chief financial officer (CFO), and Sigrid Aljas. The latter had most recently served as the head of compliance at Admirals (formerly Admiral Markets) for nearly two years.

Estonia, a Baltic state in north-eastern Europe, came under the spotlight after Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest lender, was accused of watching $230 billion through a tiny Estonian branch. The country has recently tightened checks on crypto firms, having revoked licenses of 500 cryptocurrency firms, roughly 30 percent of total approved providers, as it continues to tighten its grips on risky activities.

The Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the regulator issuing the licenses, said the regulatory crackdown is not meant to curb cryptocurrency industry but rather regulate the field more thoroughly to prevent risks related to money laundering.

Plus500 gives shareholders confident forecasts

Plus500 said last month it expects annual revenue and earnings to be ahead of analysts’ estimates even as it posted a dip in its fourth-quarter metrics. In particular, the company expects to report full-year revenue at $718 million, down from $872 million in 2020 but much better when compared with analysts’ expectations of $655 million.

The Israeli-based, but London-stock market listed had still seen healthy numbers of new customers sign up with 33,000 joining in the fourth quarter, up from 26,169 in the prior quarter. It also onboarded 196,150 new clients in the FY 2021, growing its active customers to 406,000 (Q4 2021: 171,000).

The CFDs broker was encouraged by its entry into the futures and trading markets following acquisitions of Cunningham Commodities, a futures commission merchant, and CTS, a technology trading platform partner.

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