Spanish Watchdog Warns Against Focus Markets and Place-a-Trade Broker

Focus Markets and Eightcap broker schemes
Spread financial intelligence

The Spanish regulator CNMV has issued a warning against the offshore broker Focus Markets LLC, St. Vincent & The Grenadine, d/b/a Place.a.Trade. While the website names this offshore entity as its owner and operator, the Client Agreement presents the ASIC-regulated Australian Focus Markets Pty Ltd as the contracting partner. In this Client Agreement, Eightcap is also named. The Focus Markets Group also operates the offshore broker schemes AnzoFX and AnzoCapital. Here is a research update.

Key data

Trading names
Focus Markets
Social mediaLinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube
Legal entitiesFocus Markets Pty Ltd, Australia
Focus Markets LLC, SVG
Anzo International LLC
Anzo Capital Limited (Belize)
Anzo Capital SVG LLC (SVG)
JurisdictionsAustralia, Cyprus
Belize, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
RegulatorsASIC (AFSL 391441)
CySEC (246/14)
SCB (SIA-F220)
FSC Belize (000321/281)

The narrative

In Australia, Anzo Capital Group is the trading name of Focus Markets Pty Ltd, regulated by ASIC with AFSL number 514425. For its offshore activities, Anzo Capital works with Anzo Capital Limited in Belize, regulated by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC). Two more offshore entities, Focus Markets LLC and Anzo Capital (SVG) LLC are stated on some of the websites as operators.

Regulation in Australia or Belize does not entitle Anzo Capital Group to offer regulated financial services in the ESMA regimes or the UK. In the ESMA regimes, brokers are allowed to offer a maximum leverage of 1:30 CFDs. Anzo Capital Group, however, offers its clients leverage of up to 1:1000.

Read the AnzoFX and Focus Markets report here.

The Eightcap Connection

Place.a.Trade cooperates with the Eightcap Group which is also regulated by the Australian ASIC as well as the Cypriot CySEC (report here). The Australian Eightcap Pty Ltd is specified by Place-a-Trade as a hedging counterparty. On a development page of Place-a-Trade, an email of Eightcap.com is still given as the contact address. On her LinkedIn profile, Angelica Forero states that she is Eightcap‘s Sales Executive responsible for Place-a-Trade. Likewise Syshon Lan Villalba on his LinkedIn profile. So we can reasonably conclude that Eightcap and Place.a.Trade are connected.

No Protection

Customers of the offshore broker should be aware that they are not entitled to Investor Compensation Schemes or to the assistance of a Financial Ombudsman. Furthermore, disputes arising from the Client Agreement are also subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in the Bahamas. There they can hardly sue as a private person. Offshore entities of ESMA or CySEC-regulated firms are not automatically authorized to operate in Europe. Especially not if the offers do not comply with the regulatory requirements of ESMA.

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If you have any information about the Eightcap Group and its affiliates, we would be grateful if you could share it with us via our whistleblower system, Whistle42.

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