Dutch Regulator AFM slaps FPlus Trading Ltd with a €50,000 fine

FPlus Trading Ltd has been fined €50,000 by the Dutch financial regulator for misleading claims that it trades with an AFM licence, hence, has to pay a penalty.

February 28, 2019 | AtoZ Markets – The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has published a communique announcing the imposition of an order for incremental penalty payments on a brokerage firm, FPlus Trading Ltd.

The order for incremental penalty payments was imposed on the brokerage firm for wrongfully claiming on its official website (https://fplus.ai) that it is authorized to trade by the Dutch regulator. However, the statement of the watchdog shows that this is misleading for their existing and potential clients and is, therefore considered, a breach of the Consumer Protection (Enforcement) Act.

Dutch Regulator AFM penalizes FPlus Trading Ltd

The Dutch regulator order obliged FPlus Trading Ltd to cease these misleading acts and to provide clients with accurate information regarding FPlus Trading.

However, as a result of failing to make the appropriate changes in time, on February 12, 2019, the Dutch financial watchdog penalized the company. The statement issued by the regulator outlines:

“The penalty amounts to €5,000 for each calendar day FPlus Trading fails to comply, subject to a maximum of €50,000. FPlus Trading failed to comply with the order (in time) and must therefore pay a penalty.”

FPlus Trading Ltd misleading commercial practices

According to the statement on the website, FPlus Trading claims to be an online forex platform where customers can trade cryptocurrencies, commodity shares as well as indices. The entity asserted that it is offering these services with an AFM licence.

Nevertheless, FPlus Trading abuses the trade name and licence number copied from a legitimate and registered firm, thus, misleading clients of the Netherlands. 

What is an order for incremental penalty payments?

The financial regulator explained that an order for incremental penalty payments is an instrument that is used to instruct or order a company or an individual to perform or desist from performing a certain act. It further added that if the order is not complied with within the term set, then a specified amount of money must be paid.

While many financial regulators adopt a rather careful stance towards companies that offer investment services without their approval, thus, giving them the opportunity to continue their unlicensed activities, the action taken by the AFM stands in sharp contrast as it demonstrates a much more decisive approach.

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