Canadian provincial financial regulator British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) issued a warning on Monday regarding the unauthorized operation of forex and contracts for difference (CFDs) online brokerage Ava Trade Ltd., operating as AvaTrade.
The company has been targeting citizens of British Columbia via advertisement, but it is not allowed to, since it is not registered to trade in, or advertise on, securities or exchange contracts in the province.
AvaTrade, doing business via www.avatrade.com, claims to be based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), according to the BCSC notice. The brokerage’s website shows there are several companies under the cap of the AvaTrade brand, including one in the BVI (Ava Trade Ltd.), which is regulated by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (FSC). In addition, the group of companies also includes entities that are licensed in other countries – AVA Trade EU Ltd. regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, Ava Capital Markets Australia Pty Ltd. licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Ava Trade Japan K.K. regulated by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), and Ava Capital Markets Pty Ltd. that falls under the regulation of the South Africa’s Financial Services Board (FSB).
In Canada, capital markets fall under the regulation of provincial watchdogs and legislation rules may vary in from province to province. The BCSC is in charge of the regulation of the capital markets in the British Columbia province.
The BCSC warns local citizens to be cautious when choosing financial intermediaries and not to engage in those that are not registered to trade or advice in the British Columbia district. The regulator issues warnings against unauthorized financial companies on a regular basis and adds unregistered and unauthorized financial service providers that target local residents in an Investment Caution List. The list contains information about entities that are confirmed to engage in fraudulent activities, including foreign brokers not registered in British Columbia which target local citizens.
AvaTrade, formerly known as AvaFX, was set up in 2006. It offers online trading in more than 200 CFD financial instruments, including on forex, indices, stocks, and commodities. It supports the industry leading MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform, as well as its two proprietary platforms – AvaTrader for trading in forex, commodities, indices, equities and bonds, and AvaOptions for binary options trading. Its Israeli unit will only support the MT4.