FNG Exclusive… FNG has learned via regulatory filings that Union Standard International Group Limited, the FCA regulated arm of the USG Group of companies, has posted a loss of £347, 572 in fiscal 2020, on Revenue of just £63,064.
Union Standard International Group Limited operates the usgfx.co.uk website, and is part of the larger USG Group which directs the USGFX Retail FX trading brand globally. The USG Group is controlled by Myanmar based Soe Hein Minn. The group gained notoriety last year following the collapse of its main operation, ASIC licensed (at the time) Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd which operated the USGFX brand in Australia. That bankruptcy has been slow to unfold, mainly due to the uncooperativeness of Soe Hein Minn who was found to be in contempt of court in Australia. The liquidators are also trying to work through what may be more than $100 million of missing client funds, taken on illegally by USGFX Australia in the form of high interest deposits.
Following the collapse of USGFX Australia, and the departure of Australia based group CEO Shay Zakhaim, the USG Group stated that it would make London the new headquarters for USGFX and for its global operations. Soon after that announcement, however, controlling shareholder Soe Hein Minn stepped off the board of USGFX UK.
Back to USGFX UK’s 2020 results (fiscal year ended March 31), the company noted that the primary aim of the year was to take the company from post-authorisation start-up mode to ‘going live’ as a fully functional, fully compliant trading platform. All the required policies and system models were created in the first half of the year, with implementation of these models taking up the third quarter with the aim of a September ‘go live’ date.
During the third quarter two salespeople were hired alongside an office manager – the former to adapt the existing rules applying to the trading platform to those that meet the requirements of the FCA. The officer manager along with her normal duties, relating to the smooth functioning of the office and invoice process, also initiated the pre-opening marketing to start brand recognition and design the structure of the future marketing campaigns.
Delays in the IT rollout meant that the tentative ‘go live’ date was missed, and given the December/Christmas slowdown was fast approaching it was decided to wait until early calendar 2020 to launch the website officially. The latter part of calendar 2019 was spent running test trading accounts and finessing the trading systems, on-boarding procedures, AML, KYC, deposit and withdrawal processes.
The fourth of January 2020 saw the launch of the USG UK platform with the marketing and sales drives starting to function in earnest. Despite the uncovering of the expected minor niggles of a new launch, the board said it was pleased that the processes, systems and business infrastructure performed as planned.
The first quarter of calendar 2020, was spent building the client base and further improving the client on-boarding experience whilst the marketing campaign was scrutinized and adapted where necessary. During this period, a cost plus arrangement (with the parent company abroad) was discussed with accountants and the USG group. This agreement was signed on 1st March 2020.