Earlier this year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has conducted a review of 330 phone apps that could be downloaded by the australian citizens. Those apps were offered by binary options trading entities who are not licensed or authorized to conduct financial trading.
The apps in question were predominantly facilitating binary options trading, while a smaller part was oriented toward trading signals and brokers. This is a big headache for the Australian financial regulator as it is very difficult to control the sources.
Cathie Armour, the ASIC Commissioner commented on this: “This is a timely reminder for investors to remain vigilant and not fall for flashy advertising or hard selling. Investors also need to make sure any financial service provider, regardless of the way that financial service is being provided, is adequately licensed and authorized to provide those services.”
The main concern seems to stem from the fact that the apps in question all contain descriptions which are misleading at best. They have also been using false ratings and marketing slogans. Also, the majority of the apps did not include any risk disclaimer or any other of warning when using binary options.
After ASIC collected tada on the apps in question, it contacted both Apple and Google and asked them to ban the apps they found problematic. The companies immediately took action and did what was asked of them. Apple has also gone one step further and revealed that they changed the guidelines for apps and will not be accepting binary options apps in their Store anymore.
Commissioner Armour said: “In an age where technology can hide who is offering and controlling a product, buyer beware has never been so important. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.”