US financial derivatives markets regulator Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that as part of its ongoing efforts to help protect Americans from fraud, it has added 22 unregistered foreign entities to its Registration Deficient List (RED List).
Most of the added entities are offshore Retail FX, CFD, and Binary Options brokers.
The CFTC said that it also launched a redesigned RED List webpage that provides more information about the listed entities, and why the CFTC recommends individuals not engage in financial transactions with them. Launched in 2015, the CFTC’s RED List now contains 168 entities.
A firm is added to the RED List when the CFTC determines, from investigative leads and questions from the public, that it (i) is not registered with the Commission and (ii) appears to be acting in a capacity that requires registration, such as trading binary options, foreign currency (forex), or other products.
The Commodity Exchange Act generally requires intermediaries in the derivatives industry to register with the CFTC. An “intermediary” is a person or firm that acts on behalf of another person in connection with trading futures, swaps, or options. Depending on the nature of its activities, an intermediary may also be subject to various financial, disclosure, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements. There are some exceptions or exemptions where an intermediary does not require registration.
The RED List is circulated to financial industry partners, including other regulators, consumer groups, industry participants, self-regulatory organizations, exchanges, and industry associations. It complements registration information provided by the National Futures Association.
The newly redesigned RED List webpage includes features that improve its usability and effectiveness in deterring illegal conduct. Each listed entity has a clickable link that will redirect the user to a “profile page” that provides information the CFTC has about the entity, including the origin of the entity, the name of the company that owns and operates the entity, the types of products the entity offers, the date the entity was added to the RED List, and the risks associated with engaging with unregistered offshore entities.
Unregistered foreign entities now added to CFTC’s RED List include:
The CFTC and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have also issued a Binary Options Consumer Alert to warn about fraudulent schemes involving binary options and their trading platforms. The CFTC also has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including a Forex Fraud Advisory.
The CFTC said it also strongly urges the public to verify a company’s registration with the Commission before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that entity. A company’s registration status can be found using NFA BASIC.