ASIC orders FX Primus to stop targeting Australian investors

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) today published a statement, officially declaring its position regarding retail Forex broker FX Primus. The watchdog requires from the brokerage to cease targeting Australian investors, as none of its subsidiaries holds the necessary Australian financial services (AFS) license to do that.

Over the last several weeks, ASIC has raised a number of issues regarding FX Primus, including the provision of unlicensed financial services to Australian investors, with various entities within the FX Primus group of companies, including FXPrimus Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 169 107 199), FX Primus Group Limited (ACN 603 898 157) and FX Primus Europe (CY) Ltd (collectively, FX Primus).

The watchdog is particularly concerned that:

  • FX Primus Europe (CY) Ltd has stated it had hundreds of Australian investors.
  • The website made representations which suggested that FX Primus was authorised to deal in financial products in Australia and was compliant with ASIC regulation. This included statements such as, “[FX Primus is] operating under the jurisdiction of the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)” and “[FX Primus is] operating under ASIC regulations”.
  • In addition, FX Primus has launched marketing campaigns, like the sponsorship of Australian-based football club, Melbourne City FC, that target Australian clientele.

The regulator notes that FX Primus has agreed to make changes to its websites and to notify its Australian clients that it is not licensed to offer them financial services.

The latest announcement comes on the heels of media reports that ASIC has halted FX Primus’ plans for an initial public offering on ASX.

In today’s press release, ASIC confirmed it was in talks with FX Primus Group Limited in relation to its initial public offering and the related prospectus filed on 16 April 2015. ASIC had a number of concerns with the prospectus disclosure and an interim stop order was placed on the prospectus by ASIC in order to provide time to adequately address these concerns.

FX Primus Group Limited has since agreed with a final stop order and, as a result, no offers, issues, sales or transfers of shares in FX Primus Group Limited can be made under this prospectus.

To view the official announcement by ASIC, click here.

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