The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) today announced that it has ordered Boca Global Financial Group Pty Ltd, aka Boca FX to remove misleading statements from its website regarding its Australian authorization.
Following ASIC concerns, the company has agreed to remove statements on its website https://www.bocafx.com.au/ suggesting Boca is ASIC regulated or authorised to provide financial services in Australia.
The watchdog notes that 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.
Boca used to act as a corporate authorised representative of Finsa Pty Limited (Finsa) but this appointment stopped on 29 September 2015. 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 offer a specified 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.’
‘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.’
The action against Boca FX underlines ASIC’s focus on AFSL compliance in the retail OTC derivative sector, including margin Forex, CFDs and binary options. Just a couple of days ago the Australian watchdog said it had forced Formax to remove false statements about the suspension of its subsidiary’s licence.
You can view the official announcement from ASIC by clicking here.