Turkish regulator blocks access to the website of MXTrade


Forex broker MXTrade has encountered trouble from regulators in various jurisdictions, since it was the subject of warnings issued against it both in Italy, by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) for attempting to solicit Italian clients without the proper authorization, and in Cyprus by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), which warned that the broker was operating without a licence from it or any other EU regulator.

The latest development against MXTrade came on 28 December 2015, when Turkey’s Capital Markets Board (CMB), which is the main financial regulatory and supervisory agency in the country, announced its decision to block Turkish internet users from accessing MXTrade’s website. According to the Turkish watchdog, this action was taken following an investigation by the CMB that is said to have found that the broker was targeting clients in Turkey despite not having a local license to provide financial trading services.

The decisive action of the CMB to actually block access to the unlicensed website instead of just issuing a warning or imposing a fine, which is the route usually taken by most regulators in other jurisdictions, comes as proof at the online forex market in Turkey is one of the most regimented around and that the Turkish watchdog is one of the most vigilant and strict regulators around. Indeed, the actual blocking of websites in order to protect investors, strikes many as a very paternalistic move that is perhaps not possible or tolerated in countries with a different, more open and freer culture. That being said, even a strict internet censorship system may not be as bulletproof as regulators might have hoped, since it is still possible for traders to go around it by using VPNs.

As financial markets regulators across the globe become more vigilant and proactive, it is certain that the hunt against unregulated and unlicensed brokers in all jurisdictions will continue unabated in the new year as well.