Charing Cross Group review – 5 things you should know about charingcrossgroup.com
Charing Cross Group is a broker that offers trading in Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Indices and Cryptocurrencies. They have five types of accounts starting from a €250 minimum deposit requirement to €50,000. They do not offer a Demo account, which raises a red flag since almost every respectable broker offers one.
To register for a Live account we had to provide First and Last names, Email address, Phone number, and Country. At completing the registration process successfully we were redirected to the client area and received two emails with credentials for the client area and the trading platform. That was a second red flag – sending passwords by email is not a good practice in terms of security and privacy since email communications can be intercepted.
Charing Cross Group Regulation and safety of funds
The broker gives a London, UK address on their website and phone numbers with country codes from Singapore and Australia. Charing Cross Group claims to be “fully regulated” and a ”fully licensed trademark of the Bahrain Capital Markets Authority”.
These statements raise a couple questions: first of all, what does a licensed brand mean. Regulatory authorities license brokers or companies, they do not license brands or trademarks. The second issue is with this Bahrain Capital Markets Authority. Capital markets in Bahrain are under the supervision of the Central Bank of Bahrain’s (‘CBB’) Capital Markets Supervision Directorate. The entity cited in the broker’s website does not exist; in other words, Charing Cross Group makes an outright false claim.
To be on the safe side and because of the UK address, we checked for the broker’s name in the UK’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), database, but naturally they were not there – see for yourself:
They also invite you to download and install AnyDesk remote desktop application, as we saw in one of the screenshots above. This application may be misused to gain access to personal information stored on your PC, including credit card details and bank account passwords.
Trying to find any more information about this broker on the internet proved futile. Regulated brokers readily advance details about which authority is regulating them, the license number provided by this authority and may even have a scanned image of the certificate granted by the regulator.
This is the case because established financial watchdog institutions, such as the FCA or the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), have extensive rules and policies to protect investors’ funds. Client Account Segregation requires that clients’ funds are kept separate from the broker’s operating funds, while Negative Balance Protection ensures that traders cannot lose more money than what they invested. Other requirements for the brokers include a Minimum Operational Capital of EUR 730,000 in order to guarantee their good financial standing, and participation in Compensation Schemes, which provide additional assurance for investors’ funds up to a certain amount (GBP 85,000 in the UK and EUR 20,000 in the EU).
Charing Cross Group, however, is NOT a regulated broker, so they may claim to offer you great trading conditions and promise your money is safe with them, but we would not advise risking that.
Charing Cross Group Trading Software
Another empty claim we see on the website is that the broker offers the latest innovations in terms of software, including the industry-standard, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) – check it out:
We could not find any download link for the MT4, however. One can download a desktop application or use a web-based one, but none of them comes even close to the professional standards or has the features or functionalities established platforms do. Here is a screenshot of the Webtrader:
We advise our readers to choose a broker that provides access to established trading software for their traders, such as the MT4 or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms. MT4 is considered the world’s number one platform, preferred by over 80% of users. It offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy and auto-trade options. Its successor, MT5, has some advantages – it allows traders to execute trades on different financial markets through a single account and there is a hedging option. It boasts various features such as additional order types (“Buy Stop Limit” and “Sell Stop Limit”) and a built-in e-mail service in which it surpasses the MT4. Both platforms are available as desktop, web and mobile (iOS and Android) applications as well.
Charing Cross Group Trading Conditions
In the platform screenshot above we see a 0.6 pips spread for EURUSD, which is quite competitive, but considering the untrustworthy nature of this broker, it is hard to take anything in their proprietary software at face value – rather it may have been rigged to display good trading conditions. Likely they also charge hefty commissions for every trade executed, although it is not announced on their website. Regulated brokers generally provide a spread of 1 – 1.2 pips for EURUSD; wider spreads make the cost of trading very high. They would guarantee hefty profits for the brokerage on the back of traders’ losses.
The leverage Charing Cross Group offers is up to 1:200. Trading on high leverage comes with significant risks, especially to inexperienced traders. Although in theory it allows for bigger profits, one may incur great losses too, often much greater than the invested funds. That is why, most regulatory authorities impose leverage caps for non-professional traders: in the USA it is 1:50, while for brokers licensed in the EU and the UK it is 1:30. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also started restricting leverage for major currency pairs to 1:30 from 29 March 2021.
Charing Cross Group Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
From the Terms and Conditions we understand the broker accepts credit cards (VISA & MasterCard) and Wire Transfer for deposit and withdrawal. Popular payment methods, such as PayPal and preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller, are not available.
The minimum deposit amount is EUR 250, which is more than double the standards of regulated brokers – they ask for $100 from the traders on average. The minimum withdrawal requirement for credit/debit cards is not so big, EUR 20, but for wire transfer it is EUR 300 – legitimate brokers rarely put a threshold on the withdrawal amount for their clients. Charing Cross Group also charges substantial fees for withdrawal – EUR 20 for credit cards and EUR 20 plus 1% of the amount for bank transfers:
The bonuses offered also come with a catch – ”in order to withdraw your funds, you will be required to execute a minimum trading volume of 40 times for every 1-unit bonus”. This is a common scam practice to lure investors and it is prohibited by major regulatory organizations. Considering all this, we would advise our readers not to invest money with an unregulated, scam broker such as Charing Cross Group!
How does the scam work?
Here we will outline the most common scamming scenario. The first step is to capture the users’ attention with ads promising fast money. When they click on such an ad, they are redirected to a website that would ask to provide their email address and phone number. This personal information is then used by the scam brokers who will start calling and asking to invest with them. The initial deposit is usually around $250 from which these brokers will make a fat commission.
After that, users are transferred to senior brokers. These are expert con-artists who will sweet-talk them into putting even more money. When the traders decide to get out, however, it turns out it is not that simple. The scammers will talk them into postponing their withdrawals or will draw out various reasons to deny the request. All of this is with the objective to miss the limited time period for filing a chargeback with their bank and get their money back.
We should note that VISA and MasterCard have recently taken measures to combat online scams and are classifying all forex transactions as high risk. Furthermore, they have increased the period for filing a chargeback from 6 months to 540 days.
What to do when scammed?
In the event you become a victim of such a scam there are some things you should know. If you used a major credit card to fund the account you should immediately file for a chargeback with your bank or credit card provider. In case you supplied sensitive financial information to the scammers, such as account details and passwords, you should cancel your credit card or change your pass.
If you used bitcoin or bank wire, however, chances of recovering your funds are slim. Do not get hooked by any “recovery agents”, who prey on scam victims, using their hopes of retrieving their money. These are just another type of scammers who will ask you for an upfront fee in order to get your money back, but once you pay them, you will not hear from them again.