UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE I CANNOT RECOMMEND FXUNITED.
THE NEW ZEALAND REGULATOR HAS ISSUED NOTICE THAT THE COMPANY WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE REGISTER ON 17 JUNE 2016 UNLESS AN APPLICATION IS MADE TO HAVE IT REMAIN.
ALL MAY BE OK IF THE APPLICATION IS MADE - BUT UNTIL 17 JUNE 2016, I WOULD NOT PLACE ANY FURTHER FUNDS WITH FXUNITED.
- My first impression
- My investigations
- Company is registered
- Financial Services Licence
- Registered With NZ Ombudsman
- No official warnings
- NZ office
- No credible internet chatter
- A couple of negatives
- Sites saying "Too good to be true"
- Listed as Forex Broker in web listings
- Evidence of consistent profit
Is FX United a scam?
A lawyers view - the story of my investigation:
my first impression
A lawyer's view: when I first heard the FX United story, it was presented by a fast talking Malaysian businessman who spoke about Ferrari cars, million dollar incomes and living a dream lifestyle. I am a cynical Australian lawyer, and at that moment, I was totally convinced that it was a scam. I have always held to the view that: “If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is”. And in this case, the FX United opportunity is better than good; it is incredible! Nobody else in the market offers 11% per month with a capital guarantee on the original investment AND then on top of that, gives you an opportunity to gain a small bonus from money invested by people you introduce. That is revolutionary, and in my experience, is totally unprecedented.
Now, I am not an expert in this area of law - I am a property lawyer – and this is the story of my investigations and is not legal advice. But I have a good eye for risk, and I do know where to start looking. So I hit the web to check out whatever I could find, and I also asked one of my associates, who is from New Zealand, to ask around his former colleague in the financial regulatory space in New Zealand. His former colleague in NZ immediately responded: “looks dodge bro!”, but he said he would investigate further.
The conclusion we came to is this: FX United could be a scam, but we can find no evidence to support the suggestion that it is. In fact, the further we investigated, the more it all stacks up.
company is registered
The FX United holding company, United Group Holdings Limited (UHGL), is a registered company in New Zealand:
financial services licence (FSP394667)
UGHL is registered on the NZ financial services register as a provider of foreign exchange services:
Please keep in mind that holding a financial services licence in New Zealand is not the same as being registered as a forex broker, and does not mean that FX United is subject to close scrutiny or is endorsed by the NZ government agencies. Registration is simply a formality for financial service companies.
registered with NZ Ombudsman
UGHL is registered on with the NZ Ombudsman for resolution of disputes, and there are no records of disputes.
no official warnings
There are no complaints about UGHL on the New Zealand Financial Markets website – even though there are numerous complaints and warnings about other forex brokers. On the page, you will see a search bar. Search, for example search "FX" or "forex" and you will see dozens of warnings - but there is nothing under "FX United" or "United Group Holdings Ltd".
UPDATE: the FMA (New Zealand Financial Market Authority) has recently (5 May 2016) placed FX United on a watchlist of "businesses to be wary of" (see link). However all this says is that the FMA does not endorse FX United - just as it does not endorse ANY broker.
It appears that the warning from the FMA arose from an overenthusiastic post from a Malaysian Facebook page, which apparently stated that the FMA endorsed FX United. The statement has naturally been removed.
We need to be very careful when telling people about FX United that we do not say more than the facts. It is wrong to say that a Government Agency such as the FMA is standing behind FX United, or that it regulates its activities. That is simply not the case, and will just cause confusion and the sort of reaction that the FMA has taken (quite justifiably).
office in aukland
One of the guys in my upline organisation went to Auckland to the FX United offices at 4th Floor, 228 Queen Street - and found them there operating as expected. His smiling face is below:
Note: the office has now moved to Level 9, 86 Victoria Street Wellington, 6011 and I understand that FX United is also fitting out a large new office in Manilla which will be completed in May 2016.
no credible internet chatter
Even though this marketing structure has been operating since 2013, and thousands of people have joined, there is virtually no internet chatter suggesting that this is a scam. Sure, there are some complaints from people whose accounts were cancelled – but if you look, they are from banned countries like Nigeria. Here is an example:
In a world where the slightest indiscretion can go instantly viral, it is very compelling evidence when a search of "FX United Scam" reveals ... nothing!
Her is another site. This contains very many reviews. There are a couple of people whose names appear over and over again who seem to be waging war on FX United, but apart from those few, there are scores of very happy members whose lives have been changed.
A COUPLE OF NEGATIVES
From what I can see, there is no NZ resident director, which would normally be required for an NZ financial institution. Also, I cannot see any evidence that funds are kept in a separate custodial account. For instance, my US Broker arranges trades for me, but my funds are held in a separate custodial account. What this means is that if FX United goes out of business, the money held for me by FX United could be at risk.
sites saying "too good to be true"
There are also sites saying FX United must be a scam because its returns are too high to be real – but when you check they are just self-serving sites trying to sell their own product. Here is one site that seems to be getting a lot of hits – and also a point by point answer to the points raised:
listed as forex broker in web listings
FX United appears in lists comparing foreign exchange brokers – indeed on this list, FX United is shown as #16 in the world on volume. It does not surprise me that FX United is growing, because its model for introducing new traders seems to me to be by far the most advanced in the market.
evidence of consistent profit
And I have also seen monthly statements (indeed lots of them) showing real money being made every month by real people. There is no problem with that!
There are many testimonials on the Web from people whose lives have been changed through FX United. For instance, go to the "Testimonials" page on this site:
For me, when taken together, the evidence is overwhelming: Nothing I have seen tells me that FX United is a scam. In fact, I am coming to the conclusion that it really is what it claims to be: the most incredible leveraged investment and business opportunity that I have ever seen.
It is wise to be cautious. So continue to watch this space!
I will update this page if I find anything more.
AJF - March 2016
PS – I am also reminded of this cheeky quote from the great Mae West: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” Rather than too good to be true, maybe FX United is simply … wonderful!!
I had a long discussion with Peter Tan - who is a very successful FX United member, who early over $20,000 per month from FX United (ie on top of his day job as a financial adviser based in Penang). I said that I had some lingering doubts about whether FX United really exists, and whether the CGAT system could continue to produce the returns that FX United pays so far.
He said he had met the representatives from FX United when they were in Malaysia, and he has no doubt that they are busy working on something! He explained to me how all major trades by FX United are effectively hedged by a counter trade, which they are in a position to place in the wholesale market (ie if we buy, then they sell) - so that if our accounts lose, they gain by the equivalent amount ... while all the time earning spread (or commission) on the trade. That is why FX United is in a position to top up our accounts if they make a loss.
However, he said that he did not think that CGAT was the whole story. FX United is undoubtedly holding millions of dollars, for thousands of traders, so they are in a position to place funds and earn interest on the overnight money market, and to make very large profits just from this investment. He pointed out that if anyone is in a position maximize advantage from the the financial system (for our joint advantage) then it is a foreign exchange broker.
However, Peter agreed that none of us fully understands all the business dealings of FX United. All that Peter could say with certainty is that they have never missed a payment on his account since he joined in August 2015, and similarly for his boss since 2013.