The Estonian financial regulator recently fined Admiral Markets AS, a local subsidiary of the Admiral Markets Group. The Estonian Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority penalized the broker by €32 000. The penalty was caused by the way Admiral Markets handled the negative oil prices crisis in its trading platform last year.
The regulator, also known as Finantsinspektsioon, detailed that the brokerage had amended the terms of financial assets without notifying its users. The company had, in particular, changed the technique by which it calculates the prices of crude oil. Moreover, it also increased overnight fees for a number of securities.
Furthermore, the Estonian overseer claims that these changes were not transparent and because for his, clients who had acquired these specific assets had to completely restructure their trading operations and approaches. The biggest issue is that client’s funds were at risk of loss without them even knowing it.
The watchdog abides by the creed that all brokers offering complex trading opportunities should always communicate the truth with their customers, without turning their back on them. What Admiral Markets AS has done is to focus on its own profitability without considering the repercussions for its clientele.
The price of West Texas Intermediate went negative for the first time in history, last April. The havoc caused by this proved the unpreparedness of brokers for such a crisis. Many stopped offering crude oil instruments, namely futures.