A company offering a binary options trading platform to members of the public has been shut down following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Metro Options Limited (Metro Options) was wound up by the Manchester District Registry on 13 November 2017.
The company traded from the website www.metrooptions.com between July 2015 to December 2016, after which time the company was abandoned, with the website not being accessible thereafter.
The website and company sales representatives offered members of the public the opportunity to conduct binary options trading, which is a form of fixed-odds betting on movements in financial markets. The website made various investment return claims, none of which were founded, including:
- profits of £400 per £500 trade were achievable
- the company would match customer deposits and that a bonus scheme existed
- trading insurances of between 50% and 100% would be provided
- the company had more than 600 retail clients
- the company was awaiting a licence renewal from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
- the company operated a one-off refund policy for losses incurred in a 90 day period
Those customers who contacted the police, via Action Fraud, complained that they were unable to obtain any refunds of deposits or supposed investment returns, and that the company effectively ceased to communicate with them after requests for refunds or investment returns were made. Those parties reported losses of £350,000. Customers had been requested to pay their monies into at least eight known bank accounts, none of those which were company bank accounts.
Metro Options also falsely claimed to have had an established trading presence at its Canary Wharf registered office, at 5 Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9GE. In fact the company had never had any registered office presence at that location, a matter that HH Judge Bird found to be a serious deficiency in its own right during the winding up hearing.
The initial director of the company, Kyle Snoxell, who resigned as a director on the same day as his appointment (on 29 June 2015) informed investigators that although he was involved in the setting up of the company, he decided at that time that upfront costs and problems encountered with an unnamed Bulgarian based company who were to provide technology and support services, were a barrier to continue with the company. A Miklos Attila was appointed company director on the day Mr Snoxell resigned. Mr Attila could not be traced by the investigators.
Cheryl Lambert, a Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: "The Insolvency Service will take action against companies that make unfounded and misleading statements in order to induce members of the public to invest money."