The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) confirmed that it has wholly withdrawn the Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) licenses of MPS Marketplace Securities and Sharelink Securities & Financial Services Ltd.
According to two regulatory announcements, both firms had their CIF authorizations withdrawn on its own request and the surrender of their respective license was entirely voluntary, not the result of any regulatory action taken by CySEC.
MPS Marketplace Securities offers liquidity solutions for financial brokers, banks, hedge funds, as well as asset management companies. The company also provides its corporate clients with trading performance solutions like execution services and back office for post-trade risk management and real-time trade monitoring.
A visit to the broker’s website reveals that MPS hasn’t proceeded with changes in its website to remove any references regarding authorization and supervision of the company by CySEC. Sharelink also has yet to update its website to reflect the final withdrawal of its CIF license.
Although the regulator did not state why both firms 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, MPS Marketplace and Sharelink Securities must provide a confirmation from their external auditor that they 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.
CySEC warns of ‘gamification’ and “finfluencers”
With many people afraid of missing out on the chance to make easy money, Cypriot regulators are launching a campaign to educate its citizens on the potential risks involved when it comes to online trading.
The country’s financial regulatory body (CySEC) is behind the campaign, which warns of using colorful apps that make trading seem empowering instead of intimidating .
The watchdog issued a public statement advising retail traders to be cautious when engaging so-called “finfluencers” and conduct serious due diligence on any prospective partners. It 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.
The regulator added that investment recommendations had to be produced in an objective and transparent way, so that investors could distinguish fact from opinions.
These warnings were in response to a rise in unregulated trading offers on online forums, and a concern that retail investors are not aware of the risks associated with following such tips.