FXCM, also known as Forex Capital Markets, is a retail foreign exchange broker, now run from London after being banned from United States markets for defrauding its customers.
FXCM allows retail clients to speculate on the foreign exchange market and provides trading in contract for difference (CFDs) on major indices and commodities such as gold and crude oil. Its shareholders have lost 98% of their investment since January 2015. Its parent company, Global Brokerage, Inc., has expressed “substantial doubt about [its] ability to continue as a going concern.”
On February 6, 2017 the firm agreed to pay a $7 million penalty to settle a suit from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) involving fraudulent misrepresentation by FXCM to its customers and to regulators. FXCM withdrew its CFTC registration and agreed not to re-register in the future, effectively banning it from trading in the United States. Three top managers have resigned under regulatory pressure and the majority owner of the firm has changed its name to Global Brokerage Inc., effective January 27, 2017. Non-US regulators are also investigating the same or similar incidents, though the board of FXCM UK has stated that it does not expect to be sanctioned by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
A Managing Director of Leucadia National Corp, which holds a 49.9% equity stake in the operating company, has been appointed chairman of the FXCM board. Its U.S. accounts were sold to Gain Capital. About 40,000 customer accounts were sold at about $375 each.
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