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Philippines SEC Says eToro Unauthorized to Sell Securities

Tanzeel Akhtar
Last updated: | 2 min read
Philippines SEC Says eToro Unauthorized to Sell Securities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines said the retail trading platform eToro is unauthorized to sell or offer securities to the public in the Philippines.

In the announcement, the regulatory body which oversees the registration and regulation of securities said while it appears eToro is a registered broker/dealer in different jurisdictions, in the Philippines, before securities and investment products can be sold or offered to the public, certain requirements need to be met. 

eToro is a popular trading platform with more than 30 million users from over 140 countries. It is especially popular in the UK, Europe, the U.S. and Australia and allows users to buy and sell the underlying assets of over 90 cryptocurrencies. 

The SEC went on to add the trading and investment platform is operating without a license which is required in the Philippines.

“Based on the Commission’s database, the operator of the platform ETORO is NOT REGISTERED as a corporation in the Philippines and OPERATES WITHOUT THE NECESSARY LICENSE AND/OR AUTHORITY to sell or offer any form of securities as defined under Section 3.1 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), to engage in the business of buying or selling securities or as a broker or dealer as provided under Section 28 of the SRC, or to create or operate an exchange for the buying and selling of securities as provided under Section 32 of the SRC,” said the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission.

Fines and Imprisonment for eToro Reps

The regulator went on to say those representing eToro in the region such as brokers, dealers or agents, promoters, recruiters, and influencers, will be enablers of the trading platform and could be held criminally liable under Section 28 of the SRC and be penalized with a maximum fine of Five Million Pesos ($88,230) or imprisonment of 21 years.

Binance Faces Regulatory Hurdles in Philippines

In March, the Philippines SEC revealed it has plans to block local access to crypto trading platform Binance. This decision follows the SEC’s accusation of the exchange’s continuous offering of various investment and trading opportunities to Filipinos without obtaining the necessary license from the commission.

The Philippines commission deepened its ban on Binance by requesting Google and Meta to block all marketing campaigns related to the crypto exchange in the Philippines.

eToro IPO Plans

In February, media reports emerged that eToro is seeking a valuation of more than $3.5 billion as it considers the U.S. as a potential destination for a listing.