Warning against unauthorized binary options firms OneTwoTrade and HasOptions by the Ontario Securities Commission


The financial markets watchdog of the Canadian province of Ontario, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which is one of the most active in the country, has issued a public warning regarding the activities of Up & Down Marketing Limited, which is the parent company and operator of two binary options brands: OneTwoTrade and HasOptions, informing the investing public that this particular company does not hold the necessary license in order to offer its services in Ontario.

This warning by the OSC comes shortly after the recent announcement of a blacklist by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), on which OneTwoTrade was included. According to the warning by the Ontario watchdog, the parent company Up & Down Marketing Limited is “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.”

Up & Down Marketing Limited, which offers a variety of services concerning binary options via two websites: www.onetwotrade.com and www.hasoptions.com, claims on those sites that its business is fully licensed and regulated. However, further research into the matter reveals that although the company is indeed registered in Malta, it does not have any license issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Malta was the second country, after Cyprus, to start treating binary options as financial instruments, therefore a securities firm license is necessary to be able to provide such services in Malta and to be able to passport the license into the entire EU region. Up & Down Marketing Limited however does not hold one, although OneTwoTrade, used to be licensed by Malta’s Lotteries and Gaming before the jurisdiction decided to start regulating binary options via its Financial Services Authority and it was at a time expected to become the first binary options broker regulated in Malta.