Firms involved in binary options trading – short term bets on the price movement on investments - in the UK are required to be authorised by the FCA since the 3 January 2018.
Firms that continue unauthorised activity past that date are committing a criminal offence as they will be breaching section 19 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).
While there is no suggestion from the FCA that the 94 firms are involved in investment scams, since 2012, there have been a reported 2,605 victims who have lost £59.4m on binary options scams. Many believe they are trading or investing in the price movement of investments but many lose money quickly.
The list has been compiled from information received by the FCA from consumers, partner agencies and from the binary options market.
The FCA claimed that although most of the company addresses given are in the UK, many of them are actually operating from overseas and giving out a false locations.
The watchdog is examining each of these firms to determine whether any are genuinely operating from within the UK. If they are, the FCA will consider taking enforcement action through the courts to stop their illegal activity, the watchdog announced today.
In a statement the regulatory body said: “Consumers who trade in unauthorised binary options will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme should things go wrong.”
Firms that are authorised to offer binary options to UK consumers are listed on the FCA’s register.