LeapRate was provided with the following response from an official Plus500 spokesperson, regarding reports (including on LeapRate) that the company’s customer signup procedures are under FCA investigation. As we noted yesterday, Plus500’s share price dropped more than 8% on Monday after an article in UK newspaper The Times unveiled the supposed investigation. The share price drop continued today, with LON:PLUS off another 5% as of the time of writing.
We have seen the article in the Times over the weekend. We note the picture of Simon Cawkwell that accompanied the article. [Editor’s note – Simon Cawkwell is a UK stock market commentator and author who sells 20 share tips each year on his website. He specializes in promoting short trading – identifying companies whose share price he believes will fall.]
As an FCA regulated entity, the Company’s UK subsidiary is subject to ongoing monitoring and review by the FCA. The Company is confident that its customer take on procedures are fully compliant with regulations and those procedures include identity verification, via various sources, at the point of account entry. We use companies such as Experian and GB Group which are authorized by regulators to provide automatic online ID verification and are also used by our peers. We additionally do sanction list monitoring with World-Checks (a Thompson Reuters company) – all of these are done following sign up. Note that sometimes we may require an ID before a withdrawal is made as added security even if the identity verification was done, this might have caused some of the misunderstanding in the article regarding our onboarding and timing.
Ultimately, the Company believes that its efficient client take on procedure, supported by sector leading technology, is one of its competitive advantages.