The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) issued an advisory against offshore foreign exchange trading websites, mobile applications and platforms such as OctaFX, Easy Forex, saying that such transactions are “prohibited and against laws of the land”.

“It is clarified for the interest of public that buying products and services being offered by aforementioned platforms by any person resident in Pakistan is prohibited and against the laws of the land,” stated the SBP in a statement on Wednesday.

“Any person in Pakistan buying products or services of such offshore platforms and remitting foreign exchange directly or indirectly to them through any payment channel is making himself/herself liable to be proceeded against for violation of provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA).”

The central bank said that it has noticed that an increasing number of offshore foreign exchange trading websites, mobile applications and platforms such as OctaFX, Easy Forex, etc. are offering their products and services to residents of Pakistan.

“These digital platforms lure people through social media advertisements to buy/invest in their products or services. Examples of such products include but not limited to foreign exchange trading, margin trading, contract for differences, etc.”

The SBP added that since such platforms are regulated neither by the SBP nor by the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP); hence, the public is hereby advised to be careful and refrain from buying/investing in products and services of such offshore platforms to avoid any potential loss and legal proceedings under FERA.

As per the SBP advisory, all authorised dealers (ADs) are advised to ensure compliance of FERA and take all necessary measures to stop payments to all such forex trading, CFD trading, margin trading websites/apps/platforms by their customers through any payment channel.

The ADs were advised to inform their customers regarding inherent risks and illegality of such trading with any such person/entity. “Furthermore, ADs are advised to institute a mechanism of ongoing monitoring whereby such trading websites/ apps/ platforms are identified and blocked from making payments through any payment channel.

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