The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium announced that it collected €2.25 Million in regulatory fines in 2019. Though the total enforcement action has fallen below the six-year average, the regulator has collected a higher amount in penalties and payments.
Details of the payments
The financial watchdog obtained the €2.25 Million payment from 13 enforcement actions last year. A big chunk of the figure was contributed by restitutions and disgorgements related to manipulation actions as well as insider trading. In 2019, the regulator marked the second-highest number of cases of insider trading. In the previous year, it saw seven out of 13 cases of insider trading across Europe.
The FSMA is operating as a watchdog for securities, financial trading, and financial markets in the country. It oversees all issues related to assets and compliance for consumers as well as traders. The regulator has increased its actions significantly since 2013. It has made 73 total administrative sanctions since then and collected fines worth over €18 Million.
Keeping an eye on cryptocurrencies
The agency has also included the cryptocurrency sector in its regulatory purview and brought regulatory actions against these operators. Online cryptocurrency schemes are luring in hundreds of investors in the country, and the regulator aims to curb their activities. The regulator said that traders must be careful while investing in digital assets and must work only with an FSM registered entity.
The regulator said that it received several complaints related to misconduct at cryptocurrency platforms. Some clients had problems recovering their investments from the platforms, while others complained that the platforms didn’t communicate with them after making an investment. The biggest crypto exposes in the country was related to Abesix Belgique while lured investors by saying that the company was established by Louis Vuitton owner Bernard Arnault. He is the third richest man in the world.
The fraudulent company also claimed a relationship with entrepreneur Emmanuel Wouters. The company’s claims were later proven to be false and both Arnault and Wouters denied having any connections with the company.