Offshore firm hit with $244,000 fine for unregistered trading

Pedro Gonçalves
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Offshore firm hit with $244,000 fine for unregistered trading

British Virgin Islands-based AvaTrade has settled allegations by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) that it was operating as an unregistered entity in violation of a Canadian province's securities laws.

In the settlement agreement, Ava Trade admitted to engaging in unregistered trading of contracts for difference (CFDs). The company operated an unregistered online trading platform over a period of three years that allowed Alberta residents to trade CFDs, which are derivative products that track the price of underlying assets, including cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange market, equities and commodities.

As part of the settlement agreement, Ava Trade paid the ASC $30,000 plus disgorgement of $213,428 representing its net revenue on these trades less 20% as credit for exemplary cooperation.

"Our goal with this policy is to encourage individuals and entities to self-report securities misconduct to the ASC and provide full and timely cooperation in investigations and proceedings," said Cynthia Campbell, director of Enforcement.

"This enables market participants to address securities violations with efficiency and greater certainty. Additionally, taking this approach improves enforcement effectiveness, which leads to better protection of investors and our capital market."

AvaTrade has also agreed to implement internet controls and procedures within themselves to ensure Alberta residents wouldn't be capable of opening accounts. With the urging of the ASC, all Canada-based clients will operate by way of a local broker, and AvaTrade will restrict traffic from Canada to its various websites.

 

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