Beware! Europe Markets is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
Europe Markets is a forex broker that advertises 250+ instruments to trade including forex, stocks, commodities and indices. They have three types of accounts – Bronze, Silver and Gold – that did not differ much in terms of the main trading conditions.
Registration was a fairly easy, 2-step process that asked for First and Last Name and Account currency, then Contact information – Address, Phone number and Email address. We received a confirmation email in our mailbox, but as is often the case with such shady brokers, the credentials were listed in the email in plain sight – against any privacy guidelines.
Europe Markets regulation & safety of funds
Europe Markets is owned and operated by Safe Solution KFT, and claims to be registered in Hungary. The local regulator of financial services providers is the Hungarian National Bank (MNB), but checking their register for this broker did not return any results. In the Contacts page there is a phone number with a UK prefix, so in order to be thorough we decided to check the two main watchdog organizations in Europe as well – the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). As expected, there was no such broker licensed there too.
In light of the absence of any regulation, the statements the brokerage make on their home page, that “Europe Markets is an internationally regulated broker” and “Client funds are held in segregated accounts for increased security” should be treated as very dubious. The above-mentioned agencies have strict rules in place to guarantee the stability of the brokerage, as well as the safety of the traders’ funds – in addition to the Client Account Segregation, there is Minimum Capital Requirements (€730 000) to safeguard the company’s good financial standing, and Compensation Schemes designed to provide additional security to clients’ funds and guarantee refunds of money lost up to a certain amount (85,000 GBP in the UK and 20,000 EUR in the EU).
Europe Markets Trading Software
Europe Markets offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform to download and install as a desktop application, as well as iOS and Android mobile apps. MT4 is one of the most advanced trading platforms on the market, preferred by more than 80% of users around the world. It features an intuitive, user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy- and auto-trading options.
Europe Markets Trading Conditions
The spread we were offered for the EURUSD trading pair on the MT4 platform was 1.8 pips, which is considerably larger than what the brokerage advertises on its website:
Although not as high as most scam brokers, we should note that most established and regulated brokers offer lower spreads – the lower the spread the higher the chances for a trader to make profits.
We also see of a leverage of up to 1:400, and in the Account Types even higher – 1:500. Offshore brokers enjoy no restrictions on leverage and though high leverage provide huge profit potential, it also presents great risks to the traders because any losses incurred will be multiplied. That’s why EU and the US imposed leverage caps for retail brokers of 1:30 and 1:50 respectively.
Considering the large spread and the high leverage we have enough reasons to be suspicious that the website may be involved in foul play and we recommend to our readers not to risk trading with them and steer clear from such offers.
Europe Markets Tradings Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
The minimum deposit amount for opening an account is 50 ($, € or £). In the client area we see several Credit Card deposit options, the first 3 of which led to a Russian payment processors with the amount to be charged shown in Rubles. The fourth turned out to be a cryptocurrency and there is also a Voucher and Bitcoin methods.
According to the website, withdrawals are processed to the original deposit method within 3 business days. It also says that the broker does not charge any withdrawal fees, but there is the usual caveat that it may require additional data and documentation establishing your identity, prior to transferring funds to your account. This is a common practice to make sure that when the traders decide to withdraw their funds they may be unreasonably delayed.
Actually, Europe Markets claims they do not charge any commissions or fees whatsoever, but earn their margin through the spread. In the Terms and Conditions, however, we find out that “in the event of trading account`s inactivity for a period exceeding 90 days, the Trader will be charged a fee in an amount equal to 10% from the available cash on the trading account,” and that this “fee shall be deducted on a monthly basis at the beginning of each month until the Trader will resume his activity on the trading account.” With most legitimate brokerages the inactivity fee is usually a flat fee of no more than $20 and they charge it after at least 6 months.
The Agreement one enters with the broker mentions a “Bonus policy of the Company” section. We were not able to find this section, however, and our readers should know that Forex regulations in the UK and the EU strictly prohibit any bonuses or incentives.
Overall, the Terms and Conditions are full of vague and empty statements that do not provide any concrete information. They confirm our suspicions that Europe Markets is an unlicensed and unregulated broker and we would again advise the readers not to invest with this brokerage.
How does the scam work?
This section is dedicated to showing how the most common scams work. Usually they are pretty simple and straightforward. Through internet ads promising quick and easy profits from forex trading potential traders are induced to enter their personal information, such as email and phone number. Once the users input this information, they will start receiving unsolicited calls from illegitimate broker representative whose job is to persuade them to make the first deposit of about 300 USD, from which they make a fat commission. When this is done, the traders are transferred to senior scammers who are very good talkers and will start working on them to deposit even more money. At this time, if not earlier, most people will start suspecting some fraudulent activity and will want to withdraw their funds.
This however often proves impossible to do as the scammers put all their resources into convincing them that now is not the right time or that such action will lose them a lot of money in “potential profits”. If the users persist, these con-artists will find a number of excuses, usually hidden in the clauses of the accepted agreements, to delay withdrawal requests for as long as possible. The end purpose is to miss the limited time period for filing a chargeback with their bank and thus lose any chance of getting their money back.
What to do when scammed?
If you have deposited with VISA or MasterCard there is still a chance to get you money back since recently both companies extended their chargeback period to 540 days, especially when an online scam is involved.
Scammers will not stop at stealing directly from your bank account if you have provided sufficient details, so if this is the case be sure to change your password or security code right away.
Also beware of being scammed again by so-called “recovery agents”. They will ask you to pay a fee to recover your losses, but after paying them you will never hear from them again.