As we have already pointed out, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has started the year in a very dynamic manner in its ongoing efforts to track and warn against all unauthorized investment services providers targeting Japanese investors, by keeping a very vigilant eye over those attempting to operate in its jurisdiction without its own license and regularly updating the blacklist that contains warnings against those unregistered firms.
In the most recent update of the said list, Japanese investors are warned against three binary options brokers, namely BizOption Management Office (Bizoption), Worldoptionner Management Office (Worldoption) and LFG Investment Ltd (OptionRally).
According to the FSA, the addresses of Bizoption and Worldoption are unknown, whereas OptionRally provides an address in Hong Kong. As we have often explained, even if a broker is based offshore, it still needs to apply for and obtain a permission from the Japanese authorities if it wishes to target Japanese investors, and having its site available in the Japanese language is considered adequate proof that a firm is actively soliciting Japanese customers. Therefore, the reason why the three above-mentioned firms were added to FSA’s warning list is that they do not possess the necessary authorization to operate in Japan and target Japanese investors, but they are evidently doing so through their websites.
Of the three binary options brokers warned against, OptionRally is the one that has attracted the attention of regulators in other jurisdictions as well, since it has also been warned against for operating without proper authorization by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), as well as the Ontario Securities Commission, the British Columbia Securities Commission and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.