ASIC forces FX group to take down ‘misleading’ info from website

A former Finsa-aligned firm has agreed to remove certain statements from its website after ASIC was concerned they implied the company was ASIC-regulated or authorised to provide financial services.

In a statement, the corporate regulator said Boca Global Financial Group was once an authorised rep with Finsa, but that the authorisation ceased on 29 September 2015. The "potentially misleading or deceptive" representations were held on the company's website, www.bocafx.com.au.

"Boca is neither currently authorised to provide financial services in Australia under an Australian financial services licence nor is it exempted from holding a licence," ASIC said.

"Even at the time Boca was a corporate authorised representative of Finsa, it would not have been able to lawfully provide some of the financial services in Australia advertised on its website.

"As an authorised representative, Boca can only be authorised to provide specific financial service 'on behalf' of a licensee, and not on its own behalf."

ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour said: "This is another example of an entity in the retail margin FX industry misrepresenting it is regulated by ASIC.

"Industry participants need to be clear on the limitations of using a corporate authorised representative business model. Authorised representatives that purport to issue financial products on their own behalf will expose themselves to regulatory action for unlicensed conduct," she said.

"Authorised representatives that falsely market themselves as a product issuer will face regulatory action for misleading and deceptive conduct. Licensees that allow their authorised representatives to act this way may also risk regulatory action for failing to adequately supervise their representatives."

ASIC urges all investors to check they are dealing with an entity that is appropriately licensed or authorised in Australia and regulated by ASIC. This work continues ASIC's focus on AFSL compliance in the retail OTC derivative sector, including margin FX, CFDs and binary options.

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