FINMA Has Issued Fraud Warnings–Is Your Broker on This List?

If you are looking for a broker, check this list first! We regularly update our list of suspected scam brokers. We’ve listed and reviewed brokers that have been flagged by the world’s top regulators, including FINMA–Switzerland’s chief financial regulator. 

Online trading can be exciting and rewarding–but there are many pitfalls. Online scams are increasing and the number of fraudulent brokers exceeds those that are regulated and legitimate. It’s never been more important to do thorough research before opening an account with a broker. 

Broker Complaint Registry experts keep tabs on the most up-to-date warnings from regulators worldwide. We perform our own investigations into these brokers and create reviews to inform the public. We urge you to check these listings regularly to ensure that you aren’t trading with a flagged broker. If you find that your financial service is problematic, we will give you assistance in tracking down your funds. 

What Is FINMA?

FINMA is an independent organization that is in charge of regulating financial institutions in Switzerland, including banks, insurance companies, and brokers. Because FINMA is independent of the Swiss government, its autonomy allows it to create its own standards which are stringent and designed to protect consumers in Switzerland and to ensure Swiss institutions don’t bypass regulations. 

FINMA regularly audits financial institutions and ensures they comply with standards and regulations. This means evaluating the documents and activities of these institutions. Lack of reporting or transgressing regulations can lead to disciplinary actions, such as license revocation. FINMA also addresses customer complaints and issues warnings to the public if they find a financial institution has received an outsized number of complaints or has violated rules.

 

Why You Should Beware of These Brokers

Although every individual broker may earn specific types of complaints, we tend to see patterns emerge from these broker warnings.

Licensing Problems

Many of the brokers on this list have no license or are not sufficiently licensed to offer their services in Switzerland or other countries. FINMA will alert the public if a broker is offering its services to Swiss consumers if it doesn’t have proper licensing.

Is this really such a problem? The answer is an emphatic “yes.” If a broker has no license, there is no oversight to protect customers. This means it can bypass all of the rules and regulations governing financial institutions in the area. These brokers have taken advantage of the fact that there is little oversight and often bilk their customers.

Lack of Transparency

You should know the people who are handling your money. Many of these brokers offer no names, bios, credentials, or any history about the actual people who run the company. A legitimate broker would want to highlight their experience, but if there is an air of mystery, that can’t be a good thing. 

Misleading Statements

If a broker relies on untrue or misleading statements to attract customers, it isn’t reliable. A large number of these brokers were caught either exaggerating or making untruthful claims about their services. 

Customer Complaints

When FINMA receives multiple complaints about a broker, they will issue a warning. Keep in mind that these are complaints directly to a regulator–complaints that have been verified.

Account Issues

Many customers complain to regulators or to the Broker Complaint Registry once they have been locked out of their account or if they have been denied withdrawals. Account issues are a reliable indicator of fraud, but of course, customers don’t realize this until the broker already has their money.

If You Have an Account with Any of These Brokers, Talk to Us

We create these reviews to warn consumers about brokers and schemes that may be fraudulent. If you have an account with any of these flagged brokers, close it and request a withdrawal. If you are not given your money back, contact Broker Complaint Registry right away. We will consult with you, work to track down your funds and create investigative reports, and will assist with fund recovery efforts.