OCM Online Capital Markets Pty Ltd has paid the penalties after ASIC issued three infringement notices for false and misleading online advertising, the regulator said. The ads promoted OCM's margin foreign exchange trading platform.
ASIC said OCM made a number of claims in its ads and emails, including "$2533 in Just 7 Days!" and "Learn how you can increase your monthly income". ASIC deemed the ads misleading because:
They gave the impression that OCM's service could be relied upon to provide substantial profits quickly and to consistently increase one's monthly income;
They did not adequately convey that trading in margin foreign exchange derivatives and contracts for difference is high risk, provides volatile returns and does not guarantee consistent profits; and;
While they referred to risks and contained disclaimers, these messages were in fine print and were ineffective to correct the dominant message created by the headline claims.
"Margin foreign exchange and derivative trading is high risk and gives volatile returns. Consumers should not be misled by false claims about the level or consistency of returns achievable from such trading," ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said.
ASIC pointed out that payment of the penalties did not equate to an admission of contravention.
An online forex platform has been hit by a $30,600 ASIC penalty over its online advertising.