Calpiaco Ltd, the company behind www.optionsbravo.com, a site that apparently no longer exists, was handed two administrative fines by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission according to an announcement published by CySEC today.
The announcement states that during its Board meeting on 21 October 2013, CySEC decided to fine Calpiaco with 5.000 Euro, because it breached article 4 of the Law Which Provides for the Provision of Investment Services, the Exercise of Investment Activities, the Operation of Regulated Markets and other Related Matters, and it was operating an investment service in binary option contracts on a professional basis in the Republic of Cyprus, without holding a CIF license as provided for by the relevant legislation. CySEC mentions that the company was offering such services up until September 2012, while in April 2013 it was offering binary options trading through the website http://www.optionsbravo.com/banking.
CySEC cites several mitigating circumstances that were taken into account in determining the amount of the fine. These are the original intention of the company to properly apply for a CIF license as it had notified the Commission, coupled with the fact that the company did not proceed to submit such an application because soon after its intention was communicated to CySEC, it terminated the provision of binary options contracts. Moreover, the company took the necessary action in order to terminate the operation of its website, through which it was offering binary options and the said site no longer exists.
Moreover, CySEC imposed another fine of 3.000 Euro on Calpiaco Ltd for breaching article 41 of the 2009 CySEC Law, and more specifically because it concealed or omitted to submit information requested by the Commission in March 2013 as regards the personal details of the company’s ultimate beneficial owner. In imposing the fine, CySEC took into account the mitigating factor that eventually Calpiaco did submit the required information in July 2013.
As this firm seems to no longer offer binary options, there is little actual significance to it being fined for traders. However, one could argue that the reason it was driven out of the industry could perhaps be the scrutiny exercised by CySEC. Even if this is the case, the two fines on Calpiaco could also be argued to be examples of a slow reaction by CySEC and further evidence that the regulator opts for imposing low levels of fines and being lenient towards brokers. Having criticized CySEC in a previous article today, concerning the fine on ChargeXP, we will not delve into this matter in detail yet again, but will just mention that CySEC seems to treading a fine line between trying to crack down on unregulated brokers or brokers breaching rules and trying to maintain this industry booming in its jurisdiction.