Topic Unauthorised business Online trading platforms: BaFin warns against unlicensed providers

Date: 07.08.2018

BaFin warns against entering into transactions, particularly involving CFDs (contracts for difference), binary options and so-called forex-trading, via online trading platforms operated by unlicensed providers.

If a website is in German, offers customer support in German and German telephone numbers are provided, this does not necessarily mean the company is domiciled in Germany.

It is often hard to find the names of the platforms' operators, i.e. the customers' contractual partners, on their websites, e.g. they may only be mentioned in the general terms and conditions. Addresses are often given as the company headquarters that are known to be offshore letterbox addresses, and both the operating companies and their alleged company headquarters change frequently. The operating companies usually do not hold authorisation to target the German market or to conduct business in Germany.

There is a high risk that it will not be possible to enforce the repayment of funds paid into these online accounts or the payment of any profit generated.”

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