Financial Conduct Authority

FCA Flags Unregulated Cryptocurrency Platform Global CTB

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said in a brief statement Friday that local investors should use extreme caution when dealing with unauthorized firms known to have been soliciting customers in the UK jurisdiction.

The regulator specifically pointed out that one of the brokers highlighted in the latest flurry is Global CTB / Global Crypto Trading Bank (trading name of Amethyst International Ltd). This company is offering a cryptocurrency-related trading platform, including CFDs products, to British residents without being authorised to do so, the City watchdog said.

Global CTB is posing as an authorised company and is targeting UK investors with a full range of offshore investment services, including cryptocurrencies.

Britons that have been approached by Global CTB should contact the FCA, and anyone that has transferred money to the firm should report the incident to Action Fraud, the regulator further states.

Moreover, the City watchdog emphasized that anyone who deals with an unauthorized firm is not protected by the UK lifeboat scheme and thus cannot complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The latest warning comes after the applicability of final rules banning derivatives that allow investors to take a view on the direction of the price of crypto assets. The ban came into effect on January 6, 2021, and affects CFDs, options and futures, as well as exchange-traded notes (ETNs) that relate to unregulated cryptoassets.

The FCA estimates the prohibition would save investors £53 million ($73 million) a year in losses. The FCA considers these products are ‘ill-suited to retail consumers’ who cannot assess the risks of derivatives or ETNs that reference certain crypto-assets.

Moreover, the UK government has brought the promotion of crypto-assets into the scope of the FCA’s existing oversight, rather than creating a new framework specifically for these products.

Citing concern over investor protection, the authorities said that even companies that sell regulated investments with an underlying cryptocurrency element will need FCA authorization to do so depending on their activities.

Providing the FCA with power to regulate the promotion of certain types of cryptoassets, for the first time, would be the quickest way of doing this and stamping out misleading advertising.