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RBI ‘Alert List’ names 34 unauthorised forex apps, users may get booked for transactions

India’s central bank RBI has released a non-exhaustive list of unauthorized apps trading in foreign exchange (forex), says FEMA will apply to users

What’s the news?  The RBI has issued an “Alert List” of 34 apps “which are neither authorised to deal in forex under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) nor authorised to operate Electronic Trading Platforms (ETPs) for forex transactions.  Popular forex trading app OctaFX, which is one of the sponsors of IPL team Delhi Capitals, is also a part of the list. The Alert List is not exhaustive and “an entity not appearing in it should not be assumed to be authorised by the RBI,'' the central bank said.  What are ETPs?  RBI defines ETPs as any electronic system, other than a recognised stock exchange, on which transactions in eligible instruments like securities, money market instruments, foreign exchange instruments, derivatives, etc. are contracted. No ETPs shall operate without RBI’s prior approval under The Electronic Trading Platforms (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2018. Why it matters: Back in February this year, the RBI had cautioned users against unauthorised forex trading platforms. These platforms were allegedly engaging agents who would personally contact “gullible people to undertake forex trading/investment schemes and entice them with promises of disproportionate/exorbitant returns.” Moreover the RBI also said that there have been reports where people have lost money through such “trading/schemes” by “such unauthorised ETPs/portals.” The Central Bank had also “noticed misleading advertisements of unauthorised Electronic Trading Platforms (ETPs) offering forex trading facilities to Indian residents, including on social media platforms, search engines, Over The Top (OTT) platforms, gaming apps and the like.”  Legal action against persons undertaking forex…

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