UK financial watchdog flags Midpoint Exchange clone firm

The U.K. financial industry watchdog has issued a warning to the public regarding a clone firm that claims to offer investment services in cryptocurrency, stocks and foreign exchange. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the warning Tuesday, stating that the clone firm wasn’t licensed to operate in the U.K. The firm, Midpoint Exchange, is a clone of FCA-registered money transfer company Midpoint & Transfer Ltd.

The FCA stated in its warning that the clone firm has been targeting U.K. customers claiming to be an authorized firm.

Part of the warning stated, “This is what we call a ‘clone firm’; and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold called. They may use the name of the genuine firm, the ‘firm reference number’ (FRN) we have given the authorised firm or other details.”

The clone firm operates under the website (www.midpointexchange.com) where it advertises several services including cryptocurrency investments, forex trading, escrow services and trading in stocks and commodities.

The clone describes itself as an international payments service which offers its clients the best foreign exchange rates in the market. It further claims to use proprietary technology to eliminate the spread component from all transactions “by directly matching client’s currency needs, saving customer’s money with every FX.”

The genuine and fully licensed firm, Midway & Transfer Ltd., is an international money transfer company based in London.

The FCA has remained vigilant in its quest to rid the U.K. of crypto-related scams. In July, the agency advertised two positions seeking candidates with extensive knowledge on cryptos to work with the Financial Crime Department.

The agency has also consistently warned the public of any crypto scam that targets U.K. citizens. These types of scams have been plenty, from the Good Crypto clone that claimed to offer a superior crypto wallet to the Fair Oaks clone that hailed itself as the world’s largest crypto trading platform.

FCA’s efforts to push the crypto scene forward have extended beyond warning against scams. In July, the regulator accepted 29 crypto and blockchain startups to its regulatory sandbox to foster innovation.

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