Beware! Barclay Stone 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.
Barclay Stone does something very brave, and rather foolish. It attempts to create an associative bridge between it and Barclays, the British investment bank, without having anything at all in common with the international bank. This is the first major misdeed made by Barclay Stone. Other noteworthy aspects of the broker are all reveled in the following review.
Registering was simple and easy, and the follow up was a trading software which seemed to act as the main client area. This terminal gave us a EUR/USD spread of 1.2 pips, a very decent value, and a leverage cap at 1:400. The trading instruments offered here are forex pairs, commodities, cryptocurrencies, stocks, and indices.
Barclay Stone comes in the following languages: English, Polish, and Russian.
BARCLAY STONE REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
This is one of the very rare cases where a broker claims to be located in St. Lucia. This small island nation has a financial regulator called the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, which seems to oversee many finical institutions. We went in the database of licensed entities to look for both Barclay Stone and the holding company Barclay Stone Limited, and were faced with the fact that there is no such registered company name with the local regulator.
And furthermore, it never says that Barclay Stone and its parent company Barclay Stone Limited is actually regulated anywhere. What it does say is that the company is registered in St. Lucia and functioning under the local laws.
Next on our list, is an alleged payment processing address in the UK. One thing we can say here; Barclay Stone is not regulated in the UK, you can rest assured about that.
Thus Barclay Stone is UNLICENSED, making this broker a risk to all investors.
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. The FCA provides up to 85 000 pounds per person, while CySEC guarantees up to 20 000 euros.
BARCLAY STONE TRADING SOFTWARE
Barclay Stone has adapted a familiar trading software. By familiar, we mean that we have seen it before, as used by previous illegitimated firms.
The trading platform here is a classic example of the power of visuals. Looking at the entire platform a positive impression might arise; however, if the trading terminal is divided intro individual segments users will start noticing how little this platform has on offer. The only options available, aside from buy/sell, are pending orders, some limited chart customizations, stop loss, and take profit.
Be aware that the broker can change the leverage without prior notice. This can ultimately change a user’s entire trading experience, and it can go both ways; either good or bad.
BARCLAY STONE DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
According to the user payment area, there are no deposit methods. See for yourself:
Either we are in a restricted area, or the broker choses its own customers via a process we have described in the last 2 sections of the review; if that were the case, then Barclay Stone gives away payment gateways only to those handpicked traders.
There is no way to get a hold of the real minimum deposit nor the supposed account funding options. Whether it is $250 as the website suggests, or not, is a question that we cannot answer. Furthermore, the website reveals that the user can deposit via bank transfer, VISA, and MasterCard.
According to the legal documents, the minimum withdrawal amount is $50. There are fees and commission as first indicated by the Terms and Conditions. The website claims that VISA and MasterCard withdrawals are charged a fee ranging between 0% to 3,5%.
The following clauses contain all the fees provisions that we were able to find, as well as other noteworthy clauses. The problem here is that only one of the following clauses reveal specific withdrawal fees; most of them are concerned with inactive accounts.
Before continuing, we have to mention that according to the Account Types subpage, there are free withdrawals, whose recurrence depend on the account chosen by the trader. For example, the Gold Account (min. deposit $10 000) has 3 free withdrawals per month.
If the users has no more than $1 in his or her account or has been inactive for more than 90 days, the broker has the right to close down the account.
In case traders make a withdrawal request when their accounts have not seen any trading activity from the last deposit, the broker will charge a fee of 20% (no less that $100).
The next clause is yet another dormant account clause. Here, Barclay Stone reveals a $100 monthly charge for all dormant account that are inactive for more than 60 days.
Barclay Stone, as other unregulated brokers have done before it, can change the Terms and Conditions without notifying the client.
Each $1 bonus received must be traded with 10 000 times ($1 bonus equals to $10 000 in trades). If the granted bonus is over $20 000 the trading volume increases to $20 000 for every $1 of bonus. Once the math is done, the results are incredibly ridiculous. Better not accept the deposit at all!
And of course, last but not least, we have the limited liability provision. With this at its side, Barclay Stone is technically untouchable by any legal claims set against it.
Although we have had many brokers before with much more controversial clauses, this does not change our conclusion of Barclay Stone. This broker is unregulated, and thus should not be entrusted with any of your funds.
How does the scam work?
The usual scam operates on a multi-level, though very basic model. The users will be tempted to click on an Internet ad promising quick and easy profits. If they do, it will take them to a website that will ask for their personal details, including email address and phone number. Once they submit this information, an avalanche of emails and phone calls will be unleashed. Scammers will promise the world to these potential traders in order to induce them to make an initial deposit between $200 and $300.
These “brokers” will get a fat commission from the deposited sums and will transfer the unsuspecting users to “senior” scammers. The latter are smooth talkers who will try to persuade users to invest more funds, using phrases like “now is the right time” and “the moment is perfect for making hefty profits”. Of course, these are empty words, and traders will soon have doubts whether they have not been played.
When they try to withdraw their money, these doubts will be confirmed: the con-artists will do anything to deny or at least delay their withdrawals. From trying to convince the traders that they are making a big mistake to withdraw funds now because they will lose big profits, to asking for additional documents or citing clauses in the accepted agreements, to transferring you to another department, there is a single objective to delay the users from filing for a chargeback with their financial institution and lose any chances of recovering their money.
What to do when scammed?
Anyone can fall prey to such a scam. In the unfortunate event this happens to you, there are a few things you can do. If you deposited using a credit card you should immediately file for a chargeback. In an effort to combat online fraud VISA and MasterCard have extended the period in which one can file a chargeback to a year and a half, so there is a big chance that you may be able to recover your funds. If however, you used a bank wire or bitcoin to deposit, chances to get your money back are almost none.
We should also warn against “recovery agencies” who prey on victimized traders by claiming they can recover their funds. These scammers will ask you to pay a fee for this service, but will only take your money and do nothing.