Consob, the Italian government’s top authority responsible for regulating the domestic securities market, has ordered on Friday another set of blackouts of seven unauthorized websites offering financial services. According to the announcement, five of these sites provide illegal financial intermediation, while the remaining two carried out an offering of products “in the absence of a prospectus.”
The watchdog enacted the order under the “Growth Decree” that grants them the legal power to blackout the sites that are allegedly engaged in illicit financial services offerings. This time, the websites of UAB Bensela, Felicity Group LTD, Lacari Group LTD, HCM Group, Lead Secure LTD, Leverit Panama SA, and Sirio Compliance Trust were blocked by the authority in the crackdown.
That said, the number of sites blocked by Consob has risen to 474 since July 2019. “The blackout of these websites by Internet service providers operating on Italian territory is ongoing. For technical reasons, it can take several days for the blackout to come into effect,” the authority noted.
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“Consob draws investors’ attention to the importance of adopting the greatest diligence in order to make informed investment choices, adopting common sense behaviors, essential to safeguard their savings: these include, for websites that offer financial services, checking in advance that the operator with whom they are investing is authorized, and, for offers of financial products, that a prospectus has been published,” it added.
Previous Consob Blackouts
The measure comes just a few weeks after Consob ordered the blackout of five websites tied to financial markets services. At that time, the Italian financial watchdog blacklisted Atlasfx, S.P. Inc, Digital Exchange Limited and Securex Plus Solution EOOD, Think Market 247 Ltd and RL Ltd, and Finlay, with most of them related to foreign exchange (forex) brokers. In February, Finance Magnates reported another set of blackouts involving Nab Europe Limited, Swiss Management Corporation, Expertsystemsfx, FXOptexGroups, Italiano invest, and QubitTech Corporation.