Unauthorized FX Broker Exposed By Austria’s FMA

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The Austrian financial regulator, the Financial Supervisory Authority (FMA), has issued out another public warning today. This warning is in regards to Krisimark Ltd, and the unauthorized activities it’s doing. Krisimark stands as an FX broker claiming to be based in Bulgaria, and has been offering Austrian citizens financial products without the proper authorization of the regulator.

Illegally Operating In Austria

Alongside this, Krisimark operates a retail CFD and FX brand, going by the name of Starkmarkets. Starkmarkets advertises its registration number, which is 206066758 for the company, and claims it’s incorporated in the Republic of Bulgaria. However, the FMA was quick to point out that, under local laws, this provider isn’t legally capable of providing trading services or investment advice regarding financial instruments.

Recently, the regulator has identified a wide array of entities that are unregulated, and have subsequently been classified as boiler room scams. These scams are a type of fraud involving unsolicitedly contacting customers by way of cold calls, offering them obscure exotic financial products or shares.

Warnings Of New Scams (And Punishments)

Alongside this, the FMA had warned that investors shouldn’t deposit or transfer money to these entities, due to the inherent risks involved in it. Although the previous warnings the regulator had made through the years were in regard to forex firms, the FMA took note that a large portion of these new unregulated entities stands as cryptocurrency providers.

As a result of this, the FMA had, within its capacity of supervising the financial market and forcing it to comply with regulations and rules, have now introduced a new penalty. The FMA can impose a maximum fine of €200,000 on businesses related to crypto-assets that fail to register with the regulator of the country.

The recent warning didn’t really explain cryptocurrencies. The FMA didn’t detail why adoption is seeing such a large increase, nor the merits of the asset class. It did, however, highlight the potentials it has for being abused for criminal ends, which is very much a fact.

Some Stipulations

The warning itself prioritized addressing the ever-increasing number of investment schemes and business models that make use of digital currencies.

The FMA is adamant on the identification and subsequent blacklisting of any entity or individual operating without authorization or a license within Austria, as mandated by law. Even so, the FMA had to warn that some of these companies are operating overseas, which means that the regulator can only become aware of it once a local investor already has a problem with it.

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