21 May AtoZForex, Lagos — About a week ago, it was reported that the Australian financial regulator had blocked the proposed IPO of FXPRIMUS. This was largely based on issues raised by ASIC, such as FX Primus adopting potentially misleading techniques to make Australian clients believe it is fully regulated to provide financial services in the region. When in fact, it is not.
The regulator raised some concerns, which include: the provision of unlicensed financial services to Australian investors, with various entities within the FXPRIMUS group of companies. Including FXPRIMUS Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 169 107 199), FXPRIMUS Group Limited (ACN 603 898 157) and FXPRIMUS Europe (CY) Ltd (collectively, FXPRIMUS). As part of those discussions, FXPRIMUS Europe (CY) Ltd has stated it had hundreds of Australian investors.
FXPRIMUS agreed to make changes
None of the entities in the FXPRIMUS group of companies holds an AFS licence. Consequently, FXPRIMUS has agreed to make due changes to its website, clarifying to its Australian clients that it is not licensed to provide them with financial services.
The broker operates via three different websites; www.fxprimus.com, www.fxprimus.eu and www.fxprimusgroup.com. Via www.fxprimus.com, its stated that “ operating under the jurisdiction of the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)" and " operating under ASIC regulations". This statement is deemed to be a potential misrepresentation as it suggests that FXPRIMUS was authorised to deal in financial products in Australia and was compliant with ASIC regulation.
Melbourne City FC sponsorship
As ASIC warns FXPRIMUS, other existing information which the regulator deems to be specifically targeting Australian clients is the broker’s shinny partnership deal with Melbourne City FC, selling itself as the Official Online Forex Trading Partner of the club. Based on this, the broker also offers special trading bonuses to promote this arrangement.
ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said: ‘Financial service providers must ensure that they are properly licensed or authorised in Australia before they promote financial services to Australian investors. ASIC will not hesitate to take action where we have concerns Australian investors are being targeted by unlicensed or unauthorised operators.’
In relation to FXPRIMUS proposal for IPO, ASIC has clarified its concerns regarding the prospectus disclosure, therefore an interim stop order was placed on the prospectus by the regulator, in order to provide time to adequately address these concerns.