Italian investors have been warned not to take out any financial services from “SMART FX” ( www.smartforex.site), Warp Enterprise Ltd (www.firstfinancialbanc.com), “Pro Consulting Invest” (www.proconsultinginvest.com) and “Gntfin LTD” (www.gntfin.com) – “Global Finance FX” (www.fxglobalfinance.com). Italy’s financial regulator, Consob, has added these websites to its register of banned internet sources for illegally promoting trading products in the country.
Monday’s announcement is the latest in the CONSOB’s series of warnings about unregulated firms posing as legitimate, approved businesses to con Italian consumers into making payments for investment services.
The number of sites blacked out since July 2019, when Consob got the power to ban the websites of financial intermediaries it deems fraudulent, has thus risen to 223.
Today’s blacklisted sites offer forex and CFDs trading, but the CONSOB says some the names featured in the warning are dealing in crypto assets, either in the form of the underlying coins or its related derivatives such as CFDs.
The crackdown comes after Consob refined its process for identifying non-compliant companies. This past December, the regulator went after two CySEC-licensed Forex & CFD brokers and ordered them to cease operations in the country. 24Option and Hoch Capital Ltd were barred from providing investment services in Italy. The decision also prevents Cypriot intermediaries from soliciting customers or continuing its current relations with Italian clients.
At the time, Consob clarified that it made the latest decision under the article 7-quarter, paragraph 4 of the Consolidated Law on Finance (TUF), as well as article 86 of Mifid2. This legislation allows CONSOB to order investment firms and brokers operating in the country from another EU member state, through the EU passporting regime, to cease their operations after informing the competent authority of the member state.
Some of these brokers have been listed as trading scams by other European financial regulators. This is why CONSOB advises Italian investors to check its registers before they deposit any funds with a broker, especially if the related broker used aggressive marketing techniques.