Banc De Binary review by “ForexSQ.com” experts team, All information you need to know about the Banc De Binary complaints and withdrawal problems conducted by top experts, Read how Banc De Binary scammed investors.
Banc De Binary Scam
Banc De Binary was a Cypriot and Israeli financial firm with a history of regulatory issues on four continents. On January 9, 2017 a company official announced that the company would be closing because of “consistently negative press” coverage. “It’s just not worth the tarnished reputation. I don’t see how we can continue operating under such scrutiny and public image,” said the official.
It sells binary options on assets including foreign exchange. It was barred from accepting U.S. customers in August 2013 after being charged with several offenses by the CFTC and SEC. The company paid an $11 million legal settlement resulting from a suit by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. It is also banned from accepting customers in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel.
In countries where it has not been banned, the company operates an online trading website through which customers can buy or sell binary (“call” or “put”) options, predicting whether the price of a certain commodity will go up or down in a specific time period. Banc De Binary is an associate of SpotOption Exchange which sets the price of the option. The price of the option is not a market price, but is set by SpotOption Exchange itself.
The Wall Street Journal described it as “a website that allows people to bet on the price of gold, oil or stocks”
Banc De Binary Review
Banc de Binary Ltd, that is based in Cyprus along with ET Binary Options Ltd., BO Systems, Ltd. and BDB Services, Ltd. that are based in Israel and the Republic of Seychelles, collectively conduct business internationally as Banc de Binary. The organization was founded by Oren Shabat Laurent, a 31-year-old (as of 2016) American and Israeli citizen who lives on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Laurent owns 50% of Banc de Binary, and is also the sole owner or 50% shareholder of ET Binary Options Ltd., BO Systems, Ltd., and BDB Services, Ltd.
The company allows people to wager on changes in the price of various assets by using a pricing platform provided by an Israeli company, Spotoption, and customised by Banc De Binary. Customers do not own the asset but instead predict whether its price will rise or fall. Banc De Binary’s role is to create accounts for customers as a reseller of Spotoption’s services. The company offers several kinds of options; customers can make predictions of the price of over 200 global assets including commodities, stocks, indices, and FOREX using several variations of the trading platform including classic binary options, long term options, sixty seconds, and pairs trading.
Banc De Binary Complaints
SEC and CFTC enforcement actions
On 6 June 2013, Banc De Binary was charged by both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged violations of US financial regulations. In the same press release the CFTC warned more generally of “fraudulent schemes involving binary options and their trading platforms”. On 30 July 2013 the SEC obtained a preliminary injunction from U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to prevent and freeze any further trading with US customers. Charges filed on 7 August in the US stated that Banc De Binary “may be criminally liable under the federal RICO statute”.
Banc De Binary at first refused to appear in court in the US for depositions. Banc De Binary claimed to have an office in New York City at Trump Tower, but this was in fact a virtual office space with no significant physical presence. Trading and offering financial services to US consumers without gaining a license first from US regulators is illegal, as it would mean the client would have no protection. The company also claims on its site at its UK Companies House report to have an office at 1 King Street, EC2, in the City of London, but this, like its New York City address, is a virtual office with no physical presence. Banc De Binary’s UK Companies House report says that they are based in Cyprus. Despite this, Banc de Binary was brought to trial in Nevada. Banc De Binary retained the services of Snell and Wilmer in Reno in relation to US charges. This followed an earlier hearing where in the absence of any representation from Banc De Binary, charges were filed via email and by post.
Binary trading in the US is legal, but only if done through properly registered and regulated exchanges such as NADEX. Both the CFTC and SEC working in conjunction with one another filed civil suits against the company, seeking disgorgement, financial penalties and other preliminary and permanent injunctions against the company. In civil suits filed in Nevada, the SEC and CFTC allege that the company was offering off-exchange traded options to US customers and unlawfully solicited US customers to buy and sell options. The CFTC and SEC’s suit also alleges that it did not limit its offerings to eligible contract participants, contrary to US regulations; a fully regulated broker would complete credit checks on customers to ensure that those with low finances did not trade with them.
Banc De Binary Withdrawal Problems
Amongst the allegations made by the SEC is that Banc De Binary induced people with limited funds, including one unemployed person with less than $1000, to open accounts. In response to the US charges the company put out a statement that made no mention of its legal problems, but instead incorrectly implied that they were in negotiations and that they had voluntarily left the US market, when in fact the SEC had taken an injunction out to stop them. In a message posted on its Web site, the company stated that:
Banc De Binary is voluntarily discontinuing its operations in the United States. The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission have asserted that Banc De Binary is not permitted to offer its binary option products to U.S. residents without registering with those agencies. We are currently in discussions with the CFTC and SEC about these issues, but in the interim, we have discontinued all business with U.S. residents.
On January 26, 2016, Banc De Binary agreed to a court order to pay $11 million in restitution and penalties to settle this case. The settlement agreement requires Banc De Binary to refund the losses of US customers. Refunds are being handled by the National Futures Association as court-appointed monitor. Banc De Binary is permanently barred from doing any business in the United States or with US persons.
Banc De Binary EU Regulatory Issue
Within the European Union, the company is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). On 7 April 2014 CySec announced that they had fined Banc De Binary 10,000 Euros after it had ‘concealed material information in its request for authorization CIF submitted to the commission in August 2012, namely concealed the existence of close links between it and another company’.
In the UK, Daily Mail newspaper journalist Tony Hetherington reported allegations that Banc De Binary withdrew funds from the accounts of two clients without authorization. Banc De Binary has since denied any wrongdoing.
As of October 2013, the company was rated “F” by the United States’ Better Business Bureau because 31 complaints had been made against it, including 9 which were unanswered. The BBB report also offered the opinion that ” the site essentially allows investors to gamble on the future price of something at a point in time.”
It appears on the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s “List of Unregistered Soliciting Entities That Have Been the Subject of Investor Complaints”.
In Canada, it is listed on the Ontario Securities Commission’s Investors Warning List of “companies that appear to be engaging in activities that may pose a risk to investors”.
After receiving “at least one complaint from a Québec investor who traded through Banc De Binary’s platform and was unable to recover his investment”, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) warned investors about the company. It noted that a bonus of 50% of the opening deposit is available, but customers who accept the bonus are not allowed to make withdrawals until they have made trades equal to 20 times their initial deposit. The AMF also pointed out that, due to the “all or nothing” nature of binary options, an investor who wrongly predicts market movement will lose his entire investment. Banc De Binary is not registered with the AMF. The AMF also, like the CFTC, included a more general warning about the risk of fraud in binary options trading in the same press release.
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