Plus500 FCA AML issues solved? Accepting UK clients again

15 December,, Lagos – Plus500 has had its fair share of media attention in the year so far. The retail broker which offers 2000 different underlying global financial instruments comprising equities, ETFs, foreign exchange, indices and commodities has been subject of many interesting happenings in 2015. The recent update from the firm involves clarification over recent circulating reports that Plus500UK has been hindered from free operations by the relevant regulatory authorities. Some of the purported restrictions include an inability to onboard new clients, which the Israel headquartered firm has now dismissed to be false, stating that:

Plus500 notes recent inaccurate external comments and confirms that Plus500 UK is not subject to regulatory restrictions including preventing it from on boarding new customers.  The Company therefore wishes to clarify that following the strengthening of the UK management team, both the Group and UK Boards intend that Plus500UK resumes the on boarding of new customers in January 2016.

Previous account freeze

Some of the interesting happenings which the firm was involve in includes the  freeze of customer accounts by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Plus500 FCA AML issues was actually as a result of inaccuracies in anti money laundering checks of the frozen accounts as well as KYC issues )Know your customer). The firm’s shares also hit rock bottom, experiencing a 39% plunge.

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Failed acquisition

Another interesting event is the potential acquisition of the firm by Playtech. The acquisition deal of Plus500 initially hit a road block in the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s refusal to permit the completion of the deal. Although, a regulatory approval for the acquisition had already been received from the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission. The UK regulator raised certain concerns, which Playtech hoped will be resolved satisfactorily before 31st of December, 2015, being the effective long-stop date for the transaction to complete.

However, following a Plus500 FCA update on Friday, November 20th , 2015, Playtech has decided that the necessary steps intended to be taken will not be sufficient to satisfy the UK regulator. This will inhibit the completion of the acquisition deal by stipulated date of 31st of December, 2015. Therefore, the board of Playtech decided to withdraw its change of control application to the FCA.

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