Warning! Grand Union Markets is an offshore company! Your deposit may be at risk.
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Grand Union Markets looks like your common broker, never raising the bar. This is not a bad thing, however this particular brokerage firm had us asking questions earlier on, which led to the following review.
The website alleges it is located in Honk Kong, holding a registration there, which should also put it under the local financial regulator.
Hong Kong is one the financial hubs of the world, which immediately puts an aura of great importance and gravity for any broker that is regulated there, or claims to be. The official regulator of the forex market in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), which also oversees the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Abiding by the SFC’s rules is no easy task; brokers under its wing must hold a minimum paid-up capital of at least 5 million HKD ($645k USD), as well as be an active participant in the Investor Compensation Fund which insures all users of up to 150 000 HKD should a broker fall into insolvency. However, this compensation fund covers only trading and futures and securities contracts.
As most regulatory agencies have it, so does the SFC have an official online database of all its regulated brokers, and other entities. We went in to check for both the broker’s name and it’s holding company name, Sky Tech Solutions Ltd, and did not find any results. This means that the broker does not hold a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Furthermore, there is no info that the broker is a holder of another type of regulation.
Thus, we are left with the conclusion that Grand Union Markets is UNREGULATED, and as such is a risk to any investment.
We strongly advise traders to trade only with regulated brokers that hold a license from renowned and severe institutions such as the FCA or CySEC. Not only do these agencies oversee operations and require regular reports from brokers registered with them, but those under their jurisdiction are members of compensation funds that cover victimized clients’ losses of up to £85 000 (FCA) and €20 000 (CySEC).
The registration process was simple enough, but the broker has to approve an account for the user to use the very lacklustre client dashboard. For now, we can only look without touching, and we are certain that Grand Union Markets will never approve us because we will not give in to its scammer schemes.
Needless to say, without a registration all info on trading conditions is entrusted onto the unlicensed broker. It goes without saying that it cannot be trusted. And it shows. The Account page reveals that the average spread for the EUR/USD spread on the Bronze account is 2.8 pips, a value not in any way profitable for the user. The leverage is capped at 1:300, or so it says. Finally, we have the supposed trading conditions: Currency Pairs, Commodities, Indices, Futures, and Shares.
Users are given English, Italian, Russian,and German as languages in which the website can be translated.
GRAND UNION MARKETS LOGIN
We confirm that the MT4 platforms has been granted to Grand Union Markets, somehow. However, the trading conditions it holds are not within reach.
The MT4 should never be doubted, for it has achieved the highest status a trading platform can wish for in the world of forex. A solid portion of the brokers still hold this as their most trustworthy terminal for reasons that will exhaust our writing capabilities. Here as some of the main ones: multiple time frames, pending order types, over 500 customizable trading indications, trades in centralized markets, and Expert Advisors.
GRAND UNION MARKETS MINIMUM DEPOSIT
According to the details on the website, a user can deposit via Credit/ Debit cards and Wire Transfer, with a minimum requirement of $250.
Due to he broker’s lack of any regulation, we advise against depositing any amount whatsoever. If traders wish to invest in online forex, they will find that any FCA/CySEC regulated broker will surely do. These agencies are at the top of their game, demanding a strict conduct from brokers, and requiring regular reports on their activities.
DON’T PROVIDE YOUR CREDIT CARD CVV CODE
The CVV code is the one thing that separates a buyer from a product. Without it, one cannot complete a purchase, even if him/her has given all other necessary information. By giving this detail to someone else, you are essentially inviting them to use your funds for their own means. And be warned that unregulated brokers most certainly plan to do so.
DON’T PROVIDE ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER AND BANK ACCOUNT VIA ANYDESK OR TEAMVIEWER
It may or may not happen, but if an unregulated broker asks you to install AnyDesk or TeamViewer and give them log in details, consider yourself very open to a complete drainage of your funds from all your online accounts. These software allow for anyone to access your PC from another station and go through all your files and vital information, including credit card, bank and alternative payment method details. Thankfully, these platforms are completely legal and will need your own personal approval in order to be used.
GRAND UNION MARKETS WITHDRAWAL TIME AND FEES
Withdrawals are processed “within the first 30 days of an account being opened”, what ever that means. What happens if one wishes to withdraw after 3 months? Best not try and answer this question… However, it does say further down in the Terms and Conditions that the processing times are up to 3 days. There are withdrawal fees.
ADDITIONAL FEES AND TAXES
There are no real eye-opening clauses that are worth mentioning. However, we must caution users that unregulated brokers can be remorseless by launching unsuspecting fees. Any attempt at withdrawing will be unsuccessful. The most popular excuses for denying your withdraw requests are usually smart and for the most part scripted. These include but are not limited to loopholes in the T/C, asking for more deposits in order to withdraw, or just prolonging your pending withdrawal by claiming that the market will suddenly propel, multiplying your winnings by unrealistic proportions.
We strictly advise against giving away an ID and proof address to unregulated brokers: they can be literally anyone with enough time and skill to mask themselves as a broker. Usually, these individuals use the anti-money laundering legislation as front for when traders start to get suspicious. Once this suspicion is confirmed and you file for a charge back, they will use your details against you case.
We are positive that this so called broker will not return your funds; the evidence we have laid out before you work in sync against it. The sound thing to do is to direct your attention and investment to an FCA or CySEC licensed broker where the law is integrated in every aspect of their operations.
HOW TO RECOVER
Filing for a charge back is the best advice we could give you. Immediately contact your bank or credit card company and lay out the circumstances.
Cancel your credit card if you have shared any notable details with the fraudulent broker, especially if you have provided them with the card’s CVV code. If such is the case, annul your credit card ASAP.
Also, beware of self proclaimed “recovery” agencies or agents. These cheeky scammers promise to fix your problem and restore the lost funds. They offer their services in exchange of a small sum from your end, after which you won’t ever hear from them again.
The last line of defence for these indecent folk is more like a desperate cry: often times they will comment on reviews and cite the whole ordeal as a conspiracy initiated by competitive brokers against them; at times even claiming that reviewers are anything but objective, and that no one writes good reviews. The absurdities are limitless!
There is literally no incentive for anyone to invest in Grand Union Markets. This unlicensed broker should be avoided at all cost.