Russian antimonopoly authorities to check InstaForex ads

Maria Nikolova

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service has launched a probe into ads by InstaForex disseminated via Yandex.

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has launched a probe into ads of online trading company InstaForex distributed via Yandex. The advertising message says “InstaForex- official website – broker licensed by the Central Bank”.

The authorities remind the public that an entity cannot advertise services and products that it is not licensed to offer. FAS has concluded that InstaForex does not have the necessary license by the Central Bank of Russia. Hence, the ads in question violate the Law on Advertising.

The respondents in this probe are Yandex and the representative of InstaForex. The first hearing into the matter is scheduled for July 3, 2019.

If the breach is proven, the respondents face fines from RUB 100,000 to RUB 500,000.

Back in December 2018, shortly after the Central Bank of Russia annulled the licenses of several FX dealers, FAS said it would seek to deter the advertising of services of the Forex dealers that have had their licenses revoked. In a comment provided to Russian information agency RIA Novosti, FAS commented that:

“The advertising of services subject to licensing is not allowed when an entity is unlicensed. In case of discovery of advertisements distributed in violation of the Law on Advertising, the antimonopoly authorities will take action to stop such advertisements”.

Under the Central Bank’s decisions from December 27, 2018, the Forex dealer licenses of Alpari Forex, Forex Club, TeleTrade, Fix Trade and TrustForex are annulled. The regulator explained that the five brokers had repeatedly violated the Russian securities law. The violations range from providing false accounting statements to failures to follow the instructions issued by the Central Bank.

Russian information agency TASS has reported that the activities of the five companies that were slammed by the Central Bank of Russia were focused on aggressive advertising and referring Russian clients to foreign jurisdictions. This explanation has been provided by Larisa Selyutina, Head of the Securities Market and Commodity Market Department.

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