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Daily fraud update: 27th January

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Italian watchdog orders ban on access to brokers

 A major financial services watchdog in Italy has ordered internet service providers in the country to restrict access to a number of brokers.

The move from the Commissione Nazionale per la Società e la Borsa, or Consob, will require internet service providers – also known as ISPs – in the southern European country to prevent consumers from accessing the websites.

Seven names, including some which appear to offer forex services, have been placed on the list by Consob, which is a securities regulator.

There are now 124 such organisations on the list in total.

One of the names on the list is Ace Capital Ltd, which appears to have a foreign exchange trading connection due to its URL – ftefxpro.com.

Other firms on the list include Tradepoint Systems Ltd, Ks-securities and RMT 500 Ltd.

According to the financial press, the ban may not come into effect straight away.

Instead, it could take a few days for the move to be made.

The move to ban access to the sites rather than simply warn against them speaks to Consob’s reputation as a highly stringent regulator.

It often takes a strong stand against firms which it perceives to be causing risk to consumers and uses its “Decreto Crescita” power to block sites.

In a statement, the firm encouraged investors to check that the brokers they planned to use had the necessary permits.

“Consob warns all the investors about the relevance of making their individual investment choices in a cautious and well informed way, adopting common sense precautions, such as verifying in advance that the operators identified for investment have the required authorizations”, it said.

“To this end, Consob reminds to all investors to look at the section ‘Be aware of fraud!’, on the homepage of the www.consob.it website”, it also said.

Jamie Dimon signals potential change of heart on crypto

The chief executive of the major bank JPMorgan Chase has appeared to signal a subtle change in his position on cryptocurrencies.

Jamie Dimon, who has previously called bitcoin a “fraud”, is often described as an example of an anti-crypto finance leader.

However, during an interview with financial news service CNBC at the World Economic Forum event in Davos, Dimon was asked whether he thought that there were any bubbles currently at work in the global financial markets.

Despite the opportunity to complain about cryptocurrencies, Dimon responded to the question with “only in sovereign debt”.

He then focused his time not on cryptocurrencies but on central banks.

“Right now people think central banks around the world can do whatever they want. They can’t”, he claimed.

His decision to avoid discussing crypto came as a surprise given his past comments.

As well as calling it a “fraud”, he once predicted its demise – and suggested that people could die as a result of it.

“It’s worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed. It’s just not a real thing, eventually, it will be closed”, he was quoted as saying.