Beware! TradeFinancial 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.
TradeFinancial advertises trading with “a full range of assets, trading styles and order executions”. They have five types of accounts, starting from a $500 and going up to $100,000 minimum deposit.
The registration form was not available – link returned a bad gateway error, so our report is based on information found in their website. To be honest, a financial services provider that you cannot sign up for does not inspire much confidence – after all, how can they do business if their clients cannot register!?
TradeFinancial Regulation and safety of funds
Tradefinancial is owned and operated by Maristu ltd., a company incorporated in Vanuatu, company number 14752, holder of a Dealers in Securities (Licensing) license from the Republic of Vanuatu, as the website claimed. This license is issued by the Vanuatu Financial Services Commissions (VFSC) so we checked its register and found out that Maristu Ltd was de-registered on November, 16 this year and the current company status is “Struck Off”.
The VFSC is the body responsible for the regulation and oversight of forex trading in Vanuatu. Compared to the watchdog agencies in the big financial markets like the USA, European Union, Australia or the United Kingdom, its regulation requirements are very slack. The capital requirement for a Securities Licence holder, essentially a ‘market maker’, is VUV 5 million which is about USD 50,000. In contrast, US brokerages must maintain a net capital of at least $20 million in order to guarantee their good financial standing. The minimum net capital requirement for Australian brokers is AUD 1 00 000, and for those in the UK and the European Union – EUR 730 000, which is still nearly 20 times the VFSC one.
Because the broker has a UK phone number on its website we decided to check with the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), but there are no Maristu or TradeFinancial entities registered with them. In light of these facts, we find the broker’s statements to be a “a leading online trading provider” of “fast, safe and incredibly enjoyable trading experience” to its clients and that “investor funds are insured and held in segregated fiduciary bank accounts” are nothing but empty claims.
The FCA and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), regulating brokers in the EU, impose strict rules on their licensees: in addition to the minimum capital requirements mentioned above, brokers must also participate in Compensation Schemes, which provide additional guarantee to the clients’ funds up to a certain amount (85,000 GBP in the UK and 20,000 EUR in the EU). There is also a Client Account Segregation requirement – traders’ funds must be kept separate from the broker’s operating funds, and a Negative Balance Protection policy – traders may not lose more money than their initial investment.
TradeFinancial is not a regulated broker, however, so they are not bound by these rules and policies. What they claim on their website cannot be verified, so we warn our readers that their money will not be safe with them – that is if they are able to register and deposit at all, which we were not.
TradeFinancial Trading Software and Conditions
The broker advertises a web-based trading platform and a Mobile app for which there is a link to the Google Play store. To no surprise, however, the link was broken and returned “the requested URL was not found on this server” error.
Respectable forex brokers provide access to established trading software for their traders, such as the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms. MT4 is considered the world’s number one platform, preferred by over 80% of users. It offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy and auto-trade options. Its successor, MT5, has some advantages, however; it allows traders to execute trades on different financial markets through a single account and there is a hedging option. Both platforms are available as desktop and mobile (iOS and Android) applications as well.
There is not much we can say about the trading conditions the broker provides because they do not have any information on their website and we cannot register and check their trading software. The only thing we learned is that the top two accounts come with lower spreads, but this is quite relative.
We have no idea what leverage TradeFinancial offers too. Trading on leverage entails significant risks to inexperienced traders. Of course one can make big profits with leveraged trading, but in the event that you lose, your losses will be multiplied, and it may turn out you have lost much more than what you invested. For that reason most regulatory authorities impose leverage caps for non-professional traders: in the USA it is 1:50, while for brokers licensed in the EU and the UK it is 1:30. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also recently announced that from 29 March 2021 it will restrict leverage for major currency pairs to 1:30.
TradeFinancial Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
In the screenshot above we see credit / debit card – VISA, MasterCard, and Maestro, and Wire Transfer logos. In their Withdrawal, Refund and Cancellation policy there is one more payment method – Bitcoin Transfers. The minimum deposit of $500 is quite high – there are regulated brokers that you can open an account with only $10.
The minimum withdrawal amount of 25 USD/EUR/GBP and a processing time of 5 working days is more in line with established practices. TradeFinancial, however, charges a withdrawal fee of 1% with a minimum of 20 USD/GBP/EUR, which is something most respectable brokers would not do.
They have a Dormant Account Fee of 300 USD/ GBP/ EUR In the event that no transaction has been executed for 30 consecutive days – this is a very big amount and a very short period compared to regulated brokers. There are also additional fees and expenses as can be seen from the screenshot below:
Last but not least, TradeFinancial offers Bonuses which is a practice prohibited by major watchdog organizations, because they are usually designed to lure unsuspecting investors. Overall, we would warn our readers that TradeFinancial is an unregulated, offshore broker and investing money with them is not safe!
How does the scam work?
This section is dedicated to showing how the most common scams work. Usually they are pretty simple and straightforward. Through internet ads promising quick and easy profits from forex trading potential traders are induced to enter their personal information, such as email and phone number. Once the users input this information, they will start receiving unsolicited calls from illegitimate broker representatives whose job is to persuade them to make the first deposit of about 300 USD, from which they make a fat commission. When this is done, the traders are transferred to senior scammers who are very good talkers and will start working on them to deposit even more money. At this time, if not earlier, most people will start suspecting some fraudulent activity and will want to withdraw their funds.
This however often proves impossible to do as the scammers put all their resources into convincing them that now is not the right time or that such action will lose them a lot of money in “potential profits”. If the users persist, these con-artists will find a number of excuses, usually hidden in the clauses of the accepted agreements, to delay withdrawal requests for as long as possible. The end purpose is to miss the limited time period for filing a chargeback with their bank and thus lose any chance of getting their money back.
What to do when scammed?
If you have deposited with VISA or MasterCard there is still a chance to get you money back since recently both companies extended their chargeback period to 540 days, especially when an online scam is involved.
Scammers will not stop at stealing directly from your bank account if you have provided sufficient details, so if this is the case be sure to change your password or security code right away.
Also beware of being scammed again by so-called “recovery agents”. They will ask you to pay a fee to recover your losses, but after paying them you will never hear from them again.
Rich Snippet Data
The Forex Review