Forex Industry Week Review – France-Israel binary options scam, Saxo Bank and Plus500 results, Binary broker cold calls a regulator, and lots more

Forex industry news at LeapRate was headlined by (mis)conduct in the binary options sector this week. We reported on a covert joint operation by French and Israeli authorities to uncover a €105 million defrauding of French retail traders by Israel based binary options brokers.

We also reported on another Israeli binary options broker, Central Option, which seems to have gotten on the wrong side of the authorities. Central Option was caught cold calling a regulator, at his home, with an aggressive and apparently illegal sales pitch.

Our two leading FX industry interviews this week are with Brad Gilbert, whose company Traders4Traders had its ASIC license reinstated. Gilbert has some very actionable advice for all those managing regulated financial entities. And, with former OANDA trading coach and bestselling author Stuart McPhee, who left ‘big corporate’ for FX startup Tradeworks.


Some of the most popular, shared and commented-on posts this past week on LeapRate included:

French and Israeli authorities cooperate to uncover €105 million Forex scam. News sources in France and Israel are reporting that authorities in both countries are cooperating to uncover what they believe to be a defrauding of French traders by Israel based Forex and Binary Options brokers, totaling in the neighborhood of €105 million (USD $120 million). The reports are that the French judge in charge of the investigation secretly visited Israel recently and interrogated up to 15 suspects who were detained at the French authorities’ request by Israeli police, and also oversaw five searches alongside Israeli police. So which brokers are allegedly involved in the scam? And how exactly did the scam work?

Central Option warningCentral Option gets another warning after trying to lure fraud investigator as a client. Here’s one for the storybooks. Jason Roy couldn’t believe the coincidence when he received a random call at his home from Central Option, a Binary Options broker offering an ‘amazing investment opportunity.’ It turns out that Jason Roy is a senior investigator with the Manitoba Securities Commission, and ironically is also a member of the Canadian Securities Administrator’s special working group on combating Binary Options investment fraud. Oops. How did the whole scene play out?

Saxo Bank reports 2015 results: Revenues and Profit hit hard by Swiss Franc spike. The reverberations continue from last January’s surprise SNB move and the resulting spike in the value of the Swiss Franc. Leading retail forex broker Saxo Bank has issued its 2015 Annual Report and released its 2015 results, which saw the bank report a 29% drop in Revenues and end up with a DKK 645 million (USD $98 million) net loss for the year. But most of that was old news, as much of that loss was reported in the first half of last year. As we awaited Saxo’s full year results the main questions in our minds were: How did the second half of the year go at Saxo Bank (Revenues, Profit/Loss…)? What is the company’s outlook for 2016? We’ve got all the answers to these issues and more.

Plus500 reports record quarterly Revenues in Q1 2016. It looks like any ill effects of its ill-fated attempted acquisition late last year are well behind it. After seeing activity dip somewhat in Q4, retail forex and CFD broker Plus500 hit it out of the park in Q1, with record Revenues and Active Customers levels. So how much did Plus500 bring in during Q1? We’ve got all the details.

FX education site Traders4Traders has its ASIC license reinstated. LeapRate has learned that popular Australia based FX trader education website Traders4Traders has had its Australian financial services (AFS) license fully reinstated by Australian regulator ASIC. LeapRate is pleased to be joined today by Traders4Traders founder and Managing Partner Brad Gilbert to discuss what really happened, and the lessons learned here which we believe are important for anyone charged with managing a regulated financial company.

Stuart McPhee, Tradeworks

Stuart McPhee, Tradeworks

Tradeworks hires former OANDA trading coach and bestselling author Stuart McPhee. LeapRate has learned that Stuart McPhee has joined Copenhagen-based algo trading tools developer Tradeworks, which we earlier reported has just completed a $500,000 capital raise. The trading expert and author of Trading in a Nutshell has spent most of the last four years working for OANDA doing intensive trading coaching with high net worth clients, as well as at major trading events around the world and in countless TV spots. So what is McPhee doing jumping from ‘big corporate’ into the fintech startup world? And how (and why) did McPhee decide to hook up with Tradeworks? Here is what he had to say.

FXCM makes it easier for senior executives to earn 2016 performance bonuses.

Saxo Bank grows China presence with Wallstreet CN and LeanWork agreements.

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