Financial authority fines online traders Admiral Markets €32,000

Estonian FSA (Finantsinspektsioon) logo.
Estonian FSA (Finantsinspektsioon) logo. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority (Finantsinspektsioon) has fined online investment trading firm Admiral Markets €32,000, citing legal infringements in providing its services.

In the same month, Admiral Markets, the Finantsinspektsioon says, substantively changed the terms and conditions of it financial instruments unilaterally and without prior notice, more specifically, methodologies used om the calculation of crude oil spot prices.

It also raised charges for overnight deposits on corresponding securities, BNS reports.

The episode relates to an incident in April 2020 when changes in the global financial markets led to international financial platforms being unprepared to reflect negative prices and calculate credit limits, BNS reports.

The Finantisinspektsioon says both the process of the change and its bases were non-transparent from a client's perspective, which led to clients potentially making losses or missing out on gains, BNS reports.

Head of the Finantsinspektsioon Kilvar Kessler says a professional market participant trading in complex financial instruments which offers its services to a wide circle of clients must manage and hedge against risks and incur corresponding costs.

A company in the field must also communicate to clients as clearly as possible when making changes, he said.

Admiral Markets may take matter to court

Admiral Markets says it may contest the fine in court, saying it fails to take into account all market-specific circumstances. 

The company's CEO, Sergei Bogatenkov, says the company always acts in the best interests of its customers and ensured that clients can continue to trade in global financial markets with peace of mind intact.

Bogatenkov said: "We have always been committed to ensuring that the interests of our customers around the world are protected. In this situation, we took measures to reduce the potential impact on our customers."

"We informed our customers early on of possible anomalies in the financial markets and asked them to be vigilant," he went on.

The Finantskinspektsioon said that Admiral Markets had committed a misdemeanor under the understanding of the Securities Market Act in not ensuring they were acting in the best interests of their clients at all times, and fined the company €32,000.

Admiral offers investment services for trading with Forex and Contract for Differences (CFDs) on indices, metals, energies, stocks, bonds and digital currencies, the company says on its website.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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