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Philippines SEC Accused eToro Of Offering Unregistered Securities
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Philippines SEC Accused eToro Of Offering Unregistered Securities

Following a blockade of Binance in the country, the Philippines’ SEC is now targeting eToro, accusing the online trading platform of offering unregistered securities.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines has issued an advisory against online trading platform eToro, saying it is not authorized to sell or offer securities in the country.

The financial regulator issued the advisory in March, which was posted publicly on April 4, informing the public that the online investment trading platform eToro is “not authorized to sell or offer securities to the public in the Philippines.”

Copy of the law

 

“eToro’s operations allow Filipinos to create user accounts on their platform for the purpose of investing and trading unregistered investment products,” the SEC wrote in its advisory.

It said the firm is not registered as a corporation in the Philippines and does not have the necessary licenses or authority required under the Securities Regulation Code to sell securities, operate as a broker-dealer, or run an exchange for trading securities in the country.

eToro is a multinational trading company founded in 2007 that is popular with millennials. 

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The multi-asset investment firm has over 33 million registered users worldwide, according to Statista. The platform is available in 140 countries and was valued at $3.5 billion in 2023.

Despite being a multinational company, the Philippine finance regulator advised the public “to exercise caution before investing in these kinds of unregistered online investment platforms and their representatives.”

Screenshot from SEC advisory. Source Philippines SEC

 

The bulletin added that anyone acting as salespeople, promoters, influencers, endorsers, or agents for eToro in the Philippines could face penalties of up to $88,300 (5 million Philippines pesos) in fines or 21 years imprisonment for violating securities laws.

The eToro company website currently lists the Philippines as a supported country.

In November 2023, the SEC issued a similar advisory stating that crypto exchange Binance was not authorized to sell or offer securities to the public.

In March, the Philippines National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) began blocking crypto company websites without the necessary licenses.

Later that month, it was reported that the SEC instructed the national internet provider to block access to Binance’s website.

“The SEC has identified the aforementioned platform and concluded that the public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos,” stated SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino at the time.

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