The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has warned retail investors against the risks of dealing with unlicensed binary options providers, and has singled out Opteck.com.
The corporate regulator said Opteck.com is run by Belize-based company B.H.N.V Online, a company that does have an Australian financial services licence or is an authorised representative of a licensee.
The binary options provider has been targeting Australian investors through online advertisements, offering exclusive deals and publishing articles tailored to Australian investors.
BHNV stopped targeting and offering financial products and services to Australian investors following ASIC's actions.
ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said binary options is new territory in the Australian market and warned investors to research the risks and ensure they are dealing with a licensed entity.
"ASIC urges all investors considering trading in binary options to check they are dealing with an entity that holds an Australian financial services licence or is authorised by an Australian financial services licensee and regulated by ASIC," she said.
She added that dealing with licensed financial services providers comes with certain protection measures that do not apply to unlicensed entities.
Binary options lets investors make on outlay and decide whether an underlying asset such as a share price will either rise or fall by a certain time. They provide a fixed pre-determined payoff depending on how the asset price moves.