BCSC Investment Caution List: Nine New Entries

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) recently added nine entities to the Investment Caution List.

Six of the nine entities are involved in binary options trading. We became aware of a number of the binary options  firms after BC residents were able to open accounts and/or execute trades with each company.

In March 2016, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) warned investors that no business is currently registered or authorized to market or sell binary options in Canada. The other companies on this list are involved with contracts-for-difference/derivatives trading, foreign exchange trading (forex), and more.

We encourage investors to use caution whenever a person or organization solicits their investment. Always check a firm or individual’s registration with the CSA free tool, [aretheyregistered.ca].

To learn more, visit the [Investment Caution List] on the BCSC’s public website. You can also sign-up to receive emails about the List.

New Entities on the Investment Caution List

None of the organizations listed below are registered to trade in, or advise on, securities or exchange contracts in BC. We urge investors to exercise caution when dealing with firms that are not registered to trade or advise in BC.

  • Titan Trade claims to be based in Belize and offers an online binary options trading platform.
  • Options Stars and OptionStarGlobal claim to be based in Bulgaria and Samoa. Both parties offer an online binary options trading platform.
  • 72Option, owned and operated by Epic Ventures Ltd., claims to be a binary options trading brokerage based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The entity also offers a binary options trading platform.
  • BSDOption, operated by Lybss Ltd. and owned by YDBM Ltd., claims to be a binary options trading brokerage with an online binary options trading platform. BSDOption is based in Liverpool, England.
  • BinaryOnline, owned and operated by Zola Ltd., claims to be a binary options trading brokerage based in Sofia, Bulgaria, and offers an online binary options trading platform.
  • BinaryBook offers an online binary options trading platform and claims to be based in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • StoxMarket, owned and operated by Marketier Holdings Limited, offers an online foreign exchange (forex) and contracts-for-difference (CFDs) trading platform.
  • Royal Downing Investments is based in the United Kingdom and claims to be a trading firm active in multiple markets, including equities, options, and futures.
  • Inter Global is an offshore firm that claims to be a fully regulated forex broker and offers an online forex and CFD platform.

What are Binary Options?

A binary option is a type of investment contract whose payout depends on whether the underlying asset (such as a stock, a commodity, a currency pairing, etc.) or benchmark (such as a foreign exchange rate or index) meets a threshold set out in the contract. These contracts are not traditional options and do not give the holder an option to buy or sell a security or other asset. Binary options are considered to be securities and specified derivatives under BC’s securities legislation.

It’s also important to note that no one is registered or authorized to market or sell binary options in Canada.

What is Forex?

Foreign exchange trading, usually abbreviated to forex, involves investing in different currencies to make money on the changes in the exchange rates.

Forex trading often carries risks not associated with other investments. To learn more, visit our High-Risk Investments page on InvestRight.

What are Contracts-for-Difference?

Contracts-for-difference, commonly called CFDs, are contracts between buyers and sellers stipulating that sellers will pay an amount based on future value of an underlying thing when the contract is due.  The underlying things typically include assets, such as securities or commodities, or benchmarks, such as currency exchange rates or securities indices. CFDs are financial derivatives considered to be securities and specified derivatives under BC securities legislation.

Learn more about CFDs and other derivatives in our InvestRight glossary.

If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or through e-mail at [email protected] You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using the BCSC’s online complaint form.

InvestRight.org is the British Columbia Securities Commission’s investor education website.

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BC Securities Enforcement Roundup – May 2014

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