UK clampdown on binary options continues, as Metro Options gets wound up

Maria Nikolova

Amongst other things, Metro Options falsely claimed to have had an established trading presence at the Canary Wharf and to be on track to receive a renewed CySEC license.

Brexit: Bunk beds in the office for FX traders

The UK authorities continue their onslaught against binary options firms, with Metro Options Limited (Metro Options) being the latest fraudulent binary options firm to be wound up.

The company has been shut down following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. The investigation shows that the company traded from the website between July 2015 to December 2016, after which time the website became inaccessible.

The website and company sales representatives offered members of the public the opportunity to conduct binary options trading. The website included a number of unfounded claims, such as:

  • promises of profits of £400 per £500 trade;
  • the company would match customer deposits and that a bonus scheme existed;
  • trading insurances of between 50% and 100% would be provided;
  • the company had more than 600 retail clients;
  • the company was awaiting a licence renewal from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission;
  • the company operated a one-off refund policy for losses incurred in a 90 day period.

Those customers who contacted the police, via Action Fraud, complained that they were unable to obtain any refunds of deposits or supposed investment returns, and that the company effectively halted all communication with them after requests for refunds or investment returns were made. Those parties reported losses of £350,000.

Moreover, Metro Options had falsely claimed to have had an established trading presence at the Canary Wharf, at 5 Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9GE. In fact the company had never had any registered office presence at that location.

The initial director of the company, Kyle Snoxell, who resigned as a director on the same day as his appointment (on June 29, 2015) told investigators that although he was involved in the setting up of the company, he decided at that time that upfront costs and problems encountered with an unnamed Bulgarian based company who were to provide technology and support services, were a barrier to continue with the company. Miklos Attila was named company director on the day Mr Snoxell resigned. Mr Attila, however, could not be traced by the investigators.

On October 17, 2017, the City of London Police conducted a day of action, which involved visiting 20 offices with the City of London Corporation’s Trading Standards. At the end of October, the UK High Court wound up binary options scam firms behind Magnum Options, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. And early this month, the UK Insolvency Service announced that two binary options firms – Right Corp Limited and Curve Point Limited, had been placed in provisional liquidation. The action followed an investigation by Company Investigations of the Insolvency Service.

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