Ontario watchdog add two firms on warning list

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Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) warning

Canada is a jurisdiction that attracts the attention of many online forex and binary options brokers wishing to attract the custom of Canadian citizens. What may seen as making their job easier is the complex structure of the Canadian regulatory system itself, since in Canada each province has a separate financial regulator, making it harder for Canadian authorities to warning the public about certain unregulated financial services providers, since this is done not at the national level but in each province separately.

However, all provincial regulators in Canada appear to be strict enough and try to concert their efforts, while they also appear to be especially vigilant with regards to binary options providers.

One of the most vocal and proactive Canadian regulators is the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which has the provision of protection to investors forming a key part of its mandate. As a regulatory agency, the OSC administers and enforces the Securities Act (Ontario) and the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario). Specifically, the OSC works to protect investors by making and enforcing rules governing the securities industry in Ontario.

Within this framework, the OSC maintains a list which contains individuals and companies that appear to be engaging in activities that may pose a risk to investors, at the same time urging investors to be cautious about these individuals and companies.

Although the OSC admits that list is not exhaustive, the regulator urges investors in its jurisdiction to always check the registration of the individual or company they are dealing with and research the investment before they buy, also encouraging them to inform the OSC if they are approached by any entity appearing on the list.

The list is update frequently and it seems to reveal the focus on combating unlicensed binary options brokers in particular, since in the past months it has warned against, amongst others, Chelestra Limited operating as LBinary doing business as lbinary.com,  Rich Ventures Ltd. operating as EveryOption doing business as EveryOption.com and Market City International SRL operating as TNT Options doing business as www.tntoptions.com.

Reminding investors that the individuals and companies on this list are there because the OSC is concerned that they may be either “selling securities or offering investment advice in Ontario, or claiming to sell securities or offer investment advice from Ontario, without being registered in Ontario, and without having an exemption,” and/or “offering securities without a prospectus when they are required to have one”, the OSC has just announced the addition of two more entities to the list.

The new additions are namely Redtulips Consultants Ltd. doing business as Redwood Binary Options (www.redwoodoptions.com) and having its address in London, UK and DSMG Limited doing business as binarybrokerz.com and brokerz-affiliates.com, which also appears to have the same physical address.

Pointing out that both these entities are not registered in Ontario, Canada to engage in the business of (i) trading in securities or (ii) advising anyone with respect to investing in, buying or selling securities, the OSC also says that companies featured on its warning list may “have come to our attention through complaints from investors, information from other regulators or our own surveillance activities. If an individual or company is on the list, it does not mean that the Commission has held a hearing or made a finding on them, or made any judgment about the merits of any product they are offering.”

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