With the beginning of 2023, our legal experts and members of our European network of lawyers have decided to look back at the questionable activities of Forex brokers. We have therefore chosen to reconsider the practices of certain trading platforms, particularly FXPace, which methods we have already highlighted. Several articles on this broker have already been published by our network, discussing which seem nebulous to us.
Since we are specialists in investment law, our lawyers have been able to draw parallels between the official and unofficial details of several brokerage trademarks, for example FXPace. Indeed, this online investment platform is operated by two different entities, Notesco Pty registered in Australia (Notesco Australia) and Salvax Ltd in Bermuda (Salvax Bermuda).
Following several testimonies and experiences of FXPace victims, which we have been assigned to represent between 2020 and 2021, we wondered about the links existing between the different operating entities, and the consequences of such relationships. Most of our clients, who had a dispute with FXPace, registered on the platform operated by Notesco Australia, which is regulated by ASIC, the Australian Financial Services Authority. This has the potential, in theory, of limiting discrepancies as well as providing possible victims of illegal practices with legal support. However, the dispute stems from the fact that their investments were unknowingly transferred to either Salvax Bermuda or to Bermuda-registered Notesco Ltd (Notesco Bermuda). Both companies are registered in Bermuda as offshore companies and operate outside of any regulatory framework. They are not subjected to European financial regulations and therefore most likely do not provide the same level of legal protection or transparency to their clients.
For the record, Notesco Bermuda operates or has operated the trading platforms fxgiants.com and ironfx.com, while Salvax Bermuda operates or has operated fxsuits.com, fxpace.com and navitasmarkets.com. It is interesting to note that Notesco Australia, under the umbrella of ASIC, used to operate the trade names of IronFX and Navitas Markets, before having its licenses revoked between 2020 and 2021. It is quite understandable that financial consumers may be confused between all these different operators of the same platforms and be easily pushed to deposit their investment in offshore companies that offer less legal security.
In addition, Israeli newspapers published in 2021 that people supposedly operating call centers in Israel for the FXPACE website were arrested after persuading individuals to invest money in FOREX, binary options and other financial instruments.
What particularly concerns us, however, is the fact that Notesco Australia is directly attached to the parent company Notesco Financial Services Ltd, registered in Cyprus and supervised and regulated by CySEC (Notesco Cyprus). Can we therefore establish a direct link between Notesco Cyprus, which owns Notesco Australia, and Notesco Ltd and Salvax Ltd in Bermuda? What would be the sense for a company authorized and regulated in the European Union to operate unofficially in these countries?
Also, as a result of our research, we have discovered that only one person directed or controlled at that particular time the operators Salvax Bermuda, Notesco Bermuda, Notesco Cyprus and Notesco Australia. We can ask ourselves if this individual is aware of the damage caused to consumers by entities operating offshore?
We would like to remind you that all the information collected by our network is publicly available: in addition to the confidential information that our clients have entrusted us with in order to defend their interests, our argument is based on research and analysis of data that are available to everyone. The success of our work depends on our ability to decode and use this public information. So how can a public element of this magnitude get past the relevant financial authorities, and why aren’t they doing a better job of protecting their consumers?
It should be noted that several government agencies have blacklisted Salvax Ltd and Notesco Ltd. In Europe, for example, the Italian financial authority Consob has banned the operation of several platforms and websites by the two entities. However, finding information about FXPace appears to be more complex than finding information about its operators. As Consob has written: for Salvax Ltd, the platforms fxsuit.it and fxsuit.net are prohibited; for Notesco Ltd, it is fxgiants.com that has been banned. It is not always easy to make the link between a company, its legal status, the subsidiaries it owns, the sites and platforms it operates… This is probably why trading and its players are still in a grey area when it comes to the development of a general regulatory framework. However, if one looks in detail at the blacklists of each agency, one may begin to establish tangible links between companies, platforms, and misconduct. For example, if one were to refer only to the Consob guidelines, Salvax Ltd would only be responsible for the misconduct committed by the “fxsuit” platform; yet another quick search tells us that the Spanish financial authority, the CNMV, bans the company for both its “fxsuit” and “fxpace” sites.
In France, however, the AMF has not included either company or their platforms on its blacklist. This is particularly strange to us for two reasons: firstly, according to the MiFID II directive, every member country of the European Union is submitted to the same regulatory requirements regarding financial markets. We should therefore find the same information and condemnations of illegal practices on the websites of the French, Spanish and Italian authorities. This is objectively not the case. Secondly, we cannot refute the fact that we have sent official letters, particularly to the AMF, to warn them of the illegal practices for which our clients have been victims. How can we explain and justify these failures? How can we prevent the targeting of French citizens by FXPace if the authority in charge, the AMF, neither takes into consideration the instructions of its sister organizations, nor our multiple reports?
In addition to the small number of victims we represent and defend against FXPace, the aim of our network of lawyers here is to penetrate the secrecy of the offshore. By making it a point of honor to uncover the sometimes confusing and murky procedures of certain brokers, we are working to give the victims of such practices a chance. Especially since, in view of our expertise in this particular sector, we notice that more and more individuals are particularly selected because of their spartan knowledge of both English and trading. One would go so far as to think that a choice privileging novices and newcomers is made by the business owners and other delegates of these platforms.
Also, we know from experience that recovering lost funds is a complex task when payments have been made to an offshore account, and the same applies to payments made to blacklisted companies. This means that a Spanish retail investor would face obvious difficulties in recovering his capital placed on FXPace if he started a legal procedure in his country, knowing that the CNMV has already established that the platform is neither reliable nor recommended. For an Italian investor in the exact same situation, one could argue that one of the operator’s trademarks is blacklisted to justify that the individual is responsible for his losses, but it would be possible to defend the rights of this individual. Now imagine a French investor, whom the AMF has not protected at any level. The European MiFID directive was specifically designed to prevent different citizens of the Eurozone from being treated differently with respect to their investments, and to make it possible for them to be represented and defended in case of fraud.
In practice, we now find regulated companies acting outside the regulatory framework, unregulated companies whose questionable schemes are notorious, governmental agencies absolving themselves of any tangible legal responsibility, and hundreds of European citizens specifically selected to misappropriate their funds. To restore investor confidence, we believe it is imperative to restore fair and transparent practices by brokers and regulators alike. Our European network of law firms will be able to represent and defend you if you have been a victim of bad practices by a Forex broker. If you have any doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Financial Fraud Lawyers network aims to inform private investors (traders) of potential malpractices by Forex and CFD brokers. Our mission is to assist and protect traders when they encounter brokerage practices that go against their interests.
Our articles are intended to warn, share and inform the public about the legal risks of Forex and its players. Trading financial products and CFDs as well as investing on online platforms carry legal risks.
The article was written in good faith, based on public information and client testimonials valid at the time of publication. Our articles concern the protection of the interests of individuals on online investment platforms and are published in accordance with our right to inform the public about our activity. This article is not to be considered legal advice.