Samtrade FX answers concerned clients questions in FAQ: deposits, withdrawals, overseas investors

Rick Steves

In early January, Samtrade FX suspended immediately its local and overseas business operations of their “key operating entities and other affiliated entities” to address a joint investigation by Singapore’s authorities CAD and MAS.

The probe covers the trading services offered by Samtrade FX, which is run by Samtrade FX Limited, a company registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines. It also extends into its related Singapore entities, namely Samtrade FX LLP and Samtrade FX (SG) Pte Ltd.

The FX and CFD broker, which suspended account opening, account changes, settlements, payments, opening, and closing of trades, has addressed concerned users’ questions by releasing a FAQ in relation to the issue and the media coverage.

“This FAQ is intended to answer questions arising from our recent corporate statement in relation to the media release dated 3 January 2022 by the CAD and MAS of Singapore. If you have not done so, please read it here”.

Samtrade FX addresses status of deposits, withdrawals, and overseas investors

Q1: Where is the status of customers / investors’ deposits now?

A1: The management and the officers of the companies cannot access the relevant account(s) where the customers / investors’ deposits currently reside. CAD has also issued prohibition orders against the companies’ management from accessing such accounts.

The companies and its officers are seeking legal advice to consider options related to gaining access to the clients’ deposits to meet any withdrawal request by customers / investors based on contractual obligations on a best-efforts basis.

Hence, we have currently suspended all local and overseas business operations of our key operating entities and other affiliated entities. We will review this on an ongoing basis.

Q2: What is the status of the companies’ transaction process (deposit, withdrawals etc) and operations? If so, was it carried out by the authorities?

A2: The management of the company was compelled to suspend the companies’ business operations, including but not limited to account opening, account changes, settlements, payments, due to the prohibition orders imposed by the Authorities on the management.

Q3: Is there any way customers / investors can withdraw their deposits or have the deposits returned to them?

A3: We refer to A1 above.

The companies and its officers are seeking legal advice to consider options related to gaining access to the clients’ deposits to meet any withdrawal request by customers / investors based on contractual obligations on a best-efforts basis.

Q4: Is there any specific timeline where customers / investors can have their deposits returned to them?

A4: We refer to the media release dated 3 January 2022 by the Authorities which stated that investigations commenced on 28 December 2021. We are unable to provide any specific timeline given that investigations are ongoing.

Q5: As MAS is an authority in Singapore, how would overseas investors be impacted, if any?

A5: MAS regulates financial institutions and entities in Singapore and/or financial institutions and entities which have business operations in Singapore. Presently, as stated in the Authorities’ media release dated 3 January 2022, the joint investigations by the authorities are in relation to the online trading platform, Samtrade FX run by Samtrade FX Limited and its related Singapore entities, Samtrade FX LLP and Samtrade FX (SG) Pte Ltd. Overseas investors are impacted because of the prohibition orders placed by the Authorities on the companies’ management on the operations of these entities pending the outcome of the investigations.

Q6: Is there an information portal that customers / investors can refer to for further information?

A6: We will continue to post updates on this matter on our corporate website [https://www.samtradefx.com/news] on a best-efforts basis.

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Singapore’s MAS added Samtrade FX to caution list in July 2021

According to MAS, the agency will further review and take necessary actions if its inspection uncovers lapses or Samtrade FX had breached regulations. Of the group companies, no entity is regulated in Singapore as a capital markets services licensee.

In July 2021, MAS added Samtrade FX to its caution list and issued a direction to prohibit the company from onboarding new investors.

Finally, the police and MAS advised the public to beware of firms working outside the law and without the proper necessary approvals and licenses.

They can also check MAS’ Investor Alert List, which features the names of businesses that have come to the attention of the watchdog because they are unlicensed in Singapore and are believed to be, or to have been, targeting local investors, or claim to have an association with the city-state.

“Members of the public can verify if an entity has a valid licence by checking MAS’ Financial Institutions Directory. They can also check MAS’ Investor Alert List , which is a list of unregulated persons and entities who, based on information received by MAS, may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or authorised by MAS. MAS’ regulatory framework seeks to ensure that only competent and professional persons may provide regulated financial services. If you choose to deal with unregulated entities or persons, you will forgo the protection under MAS’ regulations,” it said.

Below is a prior statement from Samtrade FX in regard to the issue.

IN RELATION TO

MEDIA RELEASE DATED 3 JANUARY 2022 BY COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT AND MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

 

  1. We refer to the media release dated 3 January 2022 by the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (collectively “Authorities”) in relation to investigations into Samtrade FX Limited, Samtrade FX LLP and Samtrade FX (SG) Pte Ltd.
  2. We and our officers will co-operate fully and render all assistance to the Authorities in their investigations.
  3. We have also retained Messrs Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP (https://sg.rajahtannasia.com/) as our Singapore corporate legal counsel to advise us on all legal matters relating to the ongoing investigations.
  4. In view of the above circumstances, we will be taking immediate steps to suspend local and overseas business operations of our key operating entities and other affiliated entities, including but not limited to account opening, account changes, settlements, payments, opening and closing of trades.
  5. To protect the interests of all stakeholders, we are in the process of making applications to the Singapore courts to place certain entities into judicial management and to seek the appointment of Mr Goh Thien Phong from GTP Advisory PAC and Mr Chan Kheng Tek from PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Pte Ltd to be appointed jointly and severally as interim judicial managers (“Interim JMs”). Pending the determination of the judicial management applications, the Interim JMs will independently and professionally oversee all matters and affairs relating to these entities.
  6. As investigations by the Authorities are ongoing, we seek the understanding of stakeholders that we will not be in a position in the meantime to process any requests or instructions (including for trades, payments or withdrawals). The Interim JMs will provide more details once they have been appointed and assumed operational control.
  7. Further updates on material developments will be provided, as and when appropriate.

 

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