The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) confirmed that it has wholly withdrawn the Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) licenses of FF Simple and Smart Trades Investment Services Ltd.
According to the regulatory announcement, the firm had its CIF authorization withdrawn on its own request and the surrender of their respective license was entirely voluntary, not the result of any regulatory action taken by CySEC.
Per its website, FF Simple and Smart Trades Investment Services Ltd operates two retail brokerage brands, TradoCenter and Toro Invest. The lesser-known brokers can be found on www.ffsst.com www.tradocenter.com www.toroinvest.com.
A visit to the broker’s website reveals that the firm hasn’t proceeded with changes to its website to remove any references regarding authorization and supervision of the company by CySEC. Although it mentions its decision on 07 August 2022 that it will no longer be providing investment services, but the company has yet to update its website to reflect the final withdrawal of its CIF license.
Although the regulator did not state why the firm decided to say goodbye to their Cypriot identity, it has recently seen many regulated brokers opt to voluntary surrender their license.
The exact reasons leading up to this decision remain unclear, but CySEC will certainly maintain supervision over the companies until they have taken care of its responsibilities under the license.
Under the Cypriot regulatory framework, each company must return all outstanding balances to its clients and handle all of their complaints. In addition, FF Simple and Smart Trades must provide a confirmation from its external auditor that its associated brands don’t not have any pending obligations and must include details of each of the company’s clients, according to the same CySEC announcement.
The regulator often gives the broker three months from that date to settle its obligations arising from the investment services that also lapsed, during which time it remains under the Cypriot watchdog’s supervision.
Cypriot regulators launched last year a campaign to educate its citizens on the potential risks involved when it comes to online trading. The watchdog advised retail traders to be cautious when engaging so-called “finfluencers” and conduct serious due diligence on any prospective partners.
CySEC says those promoters must be licensed to give financial advice or are authorised representatives of advisers. The same rules apply to influencers who earn affiliate commissions for referring their pages’ followers to online brokers, which also requires a licence to give such advice.