Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has warned investors about trading in financial products including various types of derivatives traded on foreign platforms and offered through online web portals.
In an advisory, SEBI says, "These firms are operating from overseas, but providing/offering services to Indian residents. All investors are cautioned to avoid participating in such unregulated web portals or entities offering transactions in securities (including derivatives) which are executed or undertaken on the terminal of foreign exchanges or platforms."
SEBI said it noted that there are several firms or entities offering such trading services. To attract clients, these firms or entities solicit their business through various means of communications such as electronic messages, blogs, advertisements, websites, emails, leaflets or pamphlets, apps, and calls and also many such entities or portals are offering free online registration without complying with the basic know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. These entities, often, offer high level of leverage, low brokerage and other incentives for trading on overseas platform or exchange, it added.
"Such firms, web-portals and platforms are not supervised by any regulatory body in India. Further, the inherent complexity of the products offered by such firms, web-portals and platforms may not suit the risk profile of the investors and their excessive leverage can result in significant losses to investors," the market regulator says.
According to SEBI, in case of dispute, such investors would not be able to raise any kind of claim or dispute relating to such participation or enforcement of any agreement, contract or claim. In addition, recourses like rights of investors and investor protection under Indian securities laws, dispute resolution mechanism and investor grievance redressal mechanism will not be available to them.