Beware! HBC 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.
For a broker that claims to be offering conditions that will aid in its users’ financial lives, it certainly lacks the most crucial elements that guarantee their safety, and the safety of their funds. This was inferred upon our first inspections of the website, yet later on we reached the same verdict. Read the review to find out all there is to know about HBC Markets.
The registration process is rather unique, as we have never seen it before. There we were asked to enter some usual credentials, after which we easily entered a client dashboard. There we were able to open a trading software that gave us trading conditions. The leverage is capped at 1:100, and the average EUR/USD spread is 0.6 pips, which is very profitable to users. Users can trade with forex pairs, commodities, equities, and indices.
The languages of the website are English and German.
HBC MARKETS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The footer of the site wants to make us believe that HBC Markets is located in England. We made sure that the firm is not regulated in the UK, by going to the UK’s FCA website, more specifically to the database of licensed entities where we made a search for the name HBC Markets. The search produced no results.
Further info, found in the Terms and Conditions this time, indicates that HBC Markets is located in the Marshall Islands. The Marshall Island are one of the most popular destinations for shady brokerages. There, it is easy to incorporate a company, but to regulate a FX broker is impossible, for there is no such authority to issue licenses.
Furthermore, there are instances in the legal docs that claim the user to be bounded by the laws of Estonia. We can rule this possibility out. HBC Markets is not regulated in Estonia, rest assured about that.
Almost all of the previously reviewed brokers that claim these previous allegations are shady. There is no denying that HBC Markets is UNREGULATED, which makes it a risk to all those that invest in it!
Traders should be trading with risk-free brokers, that hold licensed from renowned and austere agencies, like the FCA or CySec , which have made a name for themselves as some of the top regulators. Readers should be aware that both agencies have adapted very strict rules of conduct, and their licensing framework guarantees safety and security for all clientele. A good example of this is the segregation of accounts which assures that client money and broker money are kept in separate accounts. Furthermore, FCA/CySEC brokers participate in a financial reimbursement scheme that cover traders losses in case the broker becomes insolvent.
Here is another clear indication that HBC Markets is bot of the regulated fore world. The following paragraph gives the firm the ability to transfer all its rights to any third party, which is basically any other firm in the world! So registered users might find themselves browsing through a completely different website the next time they log in.
HBC MARKETS TRADING SOFTWARE
HBC Markets has made the MT4 available.
The MT4 is a trading terminal epitomizing the current markets industry. It is packed with features: superior charting package, various technical indicators, back-testing environment, Expert Advisors (EAs), chart customization options, one click trading, multiple order types, and VPS. These are just scratching the surface. The options go way deeper than that, allowing users to continuously increase their learning curve, which in turn makes the MT4 trading experience ever so interesting and fluid.
HBC MARKETS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
Cashier and WorldVoucher are the sole depositing methods that the user area revealed. However, after we clicked on the Cashier option, we were redirected to a Credit/Debit card depositing options. There the minimum deposit turned out to be €20.
According to the legal documents, deposits and withdrawals are available only through wire transfer and credit cards. The withdrawal requests are processed, usually, within 5 days. According to the legal docs, the minimum withdrawal with a bank transfer is €3000. Withdrawals are subject to fees issued by the broker, however these chrages are not indicated anywhere, and so we cannot give them to you. Thus, our advise to our readers is to always be cautious.
There is a 10% fee for all dormant accounts. An account is considered dormant after 6 months of inactivity.
The most worrying clause makes a return here. The notorious Non-Deposited Funds provision is here to ruin the trading experience of everyone. This clause prohibith the withdrawal of profits made from trading,. Furthermore, if a user proceeds to withdraw a Non-Deposited Fund, i.e her profits, the broker will not think twice and reclaim these funds for itself.
Here is a very simplified version of the indemnification clause. It clearly says that the broker is not to be held responsible for any losses the user experiences, which might be caused by the firm. These of course, are but a taste of what the legal documents have included in terms of limited liability clauses. To generalize, HBC Markets is quite literally untouchable.
We are aware that we have not included many scammer clauses. This is because we could not find any worrying ones. And anyway, the presence of the Non-Deposited Funds clause is sufficient to pull out any trader out there. HBC Markets cannot be considered a broker in the classic sense of the word. In fact it cannot be considered a broker in any sense. That coupled with the missing license is more than enough to completely discourage any investments in HBC Markets.
How does the scam work?
Users will be in the middle of a scam without even knowing it, that’s how efficient these scams are. Yet, clients will also be surprised that the most utilized scammer structure is laughably easy to grasp, making it predictable. We have dedicated the following section to the reveal of how the scam works.
Users of the internet will be lured or intrigued by the countless ads that float around the internet, mostly on popular websites such as social media hubs. These ads promise fast money, and are accompanied either by images of luxury or made up testimonials. Clicking on them redirects users to a so called robo-scam website, where a simple registration process will require from you a telephone number and email address. We assure traders, that once these details have been shared, they will shortly get a call from the broker or brokers, on whose ad you just “stumbled”; this is when the game begins. The voice on the other end of the line will urge you to deposit in their broker some $250 (approximately), by reassuring you of the possibilities of profit, and the like.
Should you deposit, the initial scammer has just earned a hefty commission from this deposit. Now it’s time for the senior scammer to talk you into depositing more, by claiming that the only way to increase profits is to deposit more and larger sums. These second level frauds are great talkers, charismatic and influential, twisting their lies to sound like the absolute truth.
At some point or another, the trader will inevitably start suspecting something, and will want to withdrawal his/her funds.
However, the scammers have anticipated this development, and are ready to counter any withdrawal request. Typically they find excuses for delaying the request in the legal documents that hold specific clauses for these purposes. The reasons are many. One thing to remember is that all illicit brokerage firms will deny the withdrawal request for as long as they can, because of the imposed time limit traders have for filling a chargeback. Once the crucial due date is not met, any chargeback requests will be denied.
What to do if scammed?
Those of you who deposited using VISA and MasterCard will be glad to know that both companies have extended their chargeback time span to 540 days, especially if the reason for it is an online scam.
Scammers will steal directly from a bank account, if the traders has provided crucial details, like banking password or security code. If it get down to this, be sure to either block the account or change the password.
Sometime victimized users will stumble upon the so called recovery agents that promises to magically reclaim all lost investments, for a fee that is. Needless to say, they will not get back any of the lost funds, and will basically scam you a second time.