Bucharest, 3 November 2022 - The Financial Supervisory Authority (A.S.F.) draws attention to the fact that companies from third countries providing investment services may operate in Romania only through the establishment of a branch which requires authorization from the Authority, unless the provision of services is at the sole initiative of the client. In this context, the Authority informs that, at the moment, there is no such branch authorized by ASF.
Recently, ASF has received several complaints from consumers that they have been called by people claiming to be representatives of "brokers" based in third countries and offering investment services, and after convincing them to transfer various amounts of money to various accounts, they could no longer be contacted.
ASF warns potential investors that using the services of an unauthorized entity will not entitle them to compensation through the Investor Compensation Fund. Therefore, the Authority recommends that investors, before investing in various financial instruments and, in particular, before using online trading platforms, even if the initiative of contacting the broker lies entirely with the investor or the contact is the effect of an offer by the broker directly or through a third party, should check whether the entity is listed in the ASF’s public register.
On www.asfromania.ro you can find HERE the lists of all brokers that can provide investment services in Romania. There is also a page on the ASF website dedicated to the issue of unauthorized entities HERE, a section containing information and recommendations for potential investors, including forms for reporting these entities to ASF.
The Financial Supervisory Authority points out that there are third countries where there is no licensing requirement for companies providing brokerage activities, so that these entities have no legal obligation to protect investors. Investors should therefore be aware that if they use the services of an entity that is not regulated and authorised, they do so at their own risk. An example of this is the state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the competent authority of which explicitly warns potential investors that it does not authorize local entities that broker Forex-type transactions or transactions in financial instruments such as binary options.
With regard to virtual currencies, ASF reiterates that they are not considered financial instruments as defined by Law no. 126/2018, so entities issuing virtual currencies, their trading and the platforms on which they are traded do not fall under the supervision of the Authority.
About the Financial Supervisory Authority
The Financial Supervisory Authority is the national authority, established in 2013 by GEO 93/2012 approved by Law 113/2013, for the regulation and supervision of the insurance, private pension and capital markets. The FSA contributes to strengthening the integrated framework for the functioning of the three sectors, which together account for more than 10 million participants. More information can be found at www.asfromania.ro .