Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail on Sunday's ace investigator, fighting readers corners, revealing the truth that lies behind closed doors and winning victories for those who have been left out-of-pocket. Find out how to contact him below. Then Mike Stanford contacted me, saying he managed analysts at the company.
I was advised how to bet, but every bet except one showed a total loss. Banc de Binary has appeared on my pages before and will do so again. It is making a fool out of financial regulators, just as much as it is making victims out of investors.
It is neither a bank nor an investment company as far as the Financial Conduct Authority is concerned. It is a betting business, totally unregulated here because its real premises are in Cyprus and Israel. Its London address and phone number are just for show — there is nobody there. But if you win, Banc de Binary loses, so how can anyone rely on its employees for advice? You made three trades, winning one but losing two. I put all this to Banc de Binary, and said that you had Skype print-outs that back up your complaint.
These show Mike Stanford pressing you for money, saying: You had told Stanford that you are a car park attendant and that the money requested was more than twice your monthly pay. It took the Cyprus company more than a month to issue a statement through its London public relations adviser, Nick Mattison. He pointed out that you had won some money before losing almost everything.
And when you said you were being asked for more than twice your monthly pay, this was not a demand. This figure was for the size of bets, not profits, he said. You can forget about the trading tips from expert analysts, too. Mattison told me that Banc de Binary gets its tips from another company called Trading Central, but there are no guarantees.
I hope this does not mean some advisers say, for example, to buy the dollar, while others say the opposite, with the firm taking a profit in the middle. Banc de Binary is running rings round UK investment watchdogs. The country has one of the weakest regulators in Europe - but its oversight of Banc de Binary means it is accredited in the UK too.
The Cypriot company is licensed by the regulator in Cyprus. Under Brussels rules, this means it can demand an automatic listing in London without any FCA vetting, and without allowing clients access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
The FCA turns up its nose at binary options, regarding them as gambling. A spokesman said the regulator had no choice but to add the firm to its register. Consumer representatives at the FCA are far from happy. This should be a valuable resource for consumers, but it is not fit for purpose. Bills keep coming for cancelled phone contract.
My son lost his mobile phone. He rang Orange to report this and explained he did not want a new SIM card. I asked Orange to look into this. Its records show your son did report his phone missing, but it says he did not close the account and gave the impression he planned to replace the phone.
It was not until a couple of months later that he called again and said specifically that he wanted to cancel the account. Due to the specific circumstances of his case we have offered him a gesture of goodwill. The final bill has been cancelled. Because of the high volume of enquiries, personal replies cannot be given.
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