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Crunch time! My case with ICMarkets

Discussion in 'Scam Alerts' started by RahmanSL, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. RahmanSL

    RahmanSL Major

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    I and my team (yes, I actually have 2 of my staffs working on this too) have been working on & compiling a report to submit to “relevant authorities” concerning my case with ICMarkets.
    BUT, before we do that, I would like to run a couple of our key facts through FPA members for their opinion and comments/feed-backs.

    Attachment1 screenshot show the date & time that sudden death and total wipe/stop out of trading account which started on 5/Mar/2015 at time: 16:59:51 and ended same date at time: 17:00:07……..it was so sudden that there was absolutely no margin-call warning at all. In milliseconds, the account immediately went into negative balance.

    Anybody can confirm whether there were any “sudden massive spike and widening of spread” for USD/CAD during those time…i.e. from 16:59:51 to 17:00:07…and prior to and during those economic news releases?
    Looking at the chart and economic news events, prior to the time of sudden account death at time 16:59:51, the USD/CAD went up significantly more and spread too should have widen and if there is to be any sudden death account wipe/stop-out, that should have happened then. But yet the hedged trading account not only survived, but no forced closure of largest losing position(s) occurred either.

    Sometime back, trade logs were auto-saved directly to user/Trader’s computer, but (don’t know when that happened) now the trade log files are “stored” on MT4 platform which can also be access from computer “all programs” under the broker’s MetaTrader4 under “MetaEditor” with one key distinction in that you have to go to top page under “File”, “open Data Folder”, and “logs”.
    When we checked the trades log…..surprise, surprise….the log file for the date (which should become and be recorded as 6/Mar/2015 on log file) and time when account sudden death occurred are missing….Attachment2 & 3 screenshots.

    There are two files recorded as 3/5/2015, but when I opened the first file, the date is actually for 3/4/2015. For second file dated 3/5/2015, the date is correct but last recorded/saved closed trade made was of one manually closed out by me. From then onwards, not a single trade transaction detailing any of those 60 trades was in the Log file nor in the next Log file dated 3/7/2015 which only show my log-in and out of the MT4 trading platform. It seem as though there were absolutely no activities between the time 16:59:51 and 17:00:07 on 3/5/2015 or rather should be recorded as 3/6/2015 on MT4 trade Log files.
    Someone told me that it’s “impossible” for broker to delete or to modify trades Log files on my MT4 trading platform. If that’s the case, then who removed the missing files and for what reason would they do that? And the missing files are for a very specified and critical date & time that I have issues with? Could that be a coincidence???

    Since 17/Mar/2015, I have been in dialog with one of ICMarkets top executive “to get to the bottom” (as he puts it) of what actually transpired for my sudden death account wipe/stop-out.
    However, all I have received are morelectures” on how and why margin-call and stop-out occurs in which I…..after multiple accounts margin-calls, forced closures of largest losing positions, and wipe/stop-out with each and every one of the more than 10 different brokers that I have been over a period of more than 5 years…..probably hold the record for “most account wipe/stop-out” and can be considered an expert in that field.
    I know that margin-call will occur when Equity & Margin Level falls below the broker’s preset level (matter of interest, different broker have different preset level and also depend on Leverage used), and I know forced-closure(s) will occur when Equity and Margin Level further falls below broker’s preset level, and when the Equity falls to negative vs for required Margin, account total wipe/stop-out takes place.

    I have also requested for a “trade receipt” from ICMarkets which should detailed “ask” & “bid” price, and orders filled/accepted by which of their Liquidity Providers. They informed that due to the event “time lapse”, that might be difficult to get but they "will try" to get them.
    My question then becomes: If ICMarkets claimed to be transparent and is so adamant that my account sudden death is justifiable, than the very simple & obvious thing to do was to provide me with those trades receipts back when their Support Staffs were more interested to lecture me and to convince me that my account sudden death was justifiable. But they did sent me a whole bunch of charts and records to “convince” me that they are correct.
    The fact that ICMarkets waited until I ask for those trade receipts (most probably thinking & hoping I knew nothing about such matters) confirmed my believes that something happened to cause instantaneous wipe/stop-out (and without any margin-call warning) of my trading account with them and they know exactly what happened and is….as a matter of course, to protect themselves…not telling me the whole story.

    There are, of course, a lot more other charts, screenshots, etc on our prepared report for submission to the “relevant authorities” which I shall not post here.

    As stated from the start of this post, I would most welcome opinion and comments on the above two key items.

    Thank you all for taking the time to read my post and it is my hope that there will be some useful comments and recommendations to include in our final report.

    Cheers!
     

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  2. RahmanSL

    RahmanSL Major

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    I need feed backs...both positive & negative....for possible inclusion or amendment(s) to my report before submission to relevant authorities early next week.

    I want and need to know whether my issues and contention with ICMarkets have merits because if my issues do have merits and warrant further investigations, I intend to highlight these issues to as many avenues as possible to ensure at least one of them will be followed up and appropriate actions taken.

    To date, I have identified 5 agencies (whom I will not name here, but very obviously one of them is directly to ASIC) to submit my report. I will only extend a copy to FOS for their awareness of my case issue since there is no arbitration required here (already done that with one of ICM top executive without success), and is considering forwarding the report to some Australian newspaper, a few lobby groups, and possibly CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, ..... and Al Jazeera who has carried out/conducted many exposer on corruption, smugglers, money laundering, etc.

    ==================================================================================================================

    Much as I can be tenacious and relentless in going after broker(s) who are on the shady side, I also do not want to tarnish a good broker and so I would like to be absolutely sure that my case with ICMarkets do indeed have merits and justifiable.

    However, reviewing my case, I believe that someone, by removing the Log files for the date & time that the account suddenly went into instantaneous stop/wipe-out, is trying to hide the information and to prevent me or any interest party to review/see exactly what actually happened during those critical milliseconds.
    MT4 Journal Log record every actions…i.e. from time of login to log-out….that Trader carry out on their MT4 trading platform. Even change of server, disconnection & reconnection, etc are recorded in the Log file which can be access for review anytime the Trader wish to do so.
    I have taken screenshots showing the files missing from the MT4 Journal Log and so, even if the files suddenly and miraculously reappear, the authenticity & accuracy of that record log file will become questionable and suspect because whoever removed the files in the first instance can very well doctored the files to suit whatever purpose.

    Furthermore, when ICMarkets are called upon to produce relevant “trades receipts” to prove nothing untoward was wrong with the trades in question, these receipts can be scrutinized for authenticity and accuracy and so that should be a pretty straight forward thing to do.

    In that context, I would highly appreciate FPA member’s opinion, comments, and suggestions before I proceed further with my case which, once initiated, will be difficult to retract.
     
    #2 RahmanSL, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  3. RahmanSL

    RahmanSL Major

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    Some of my/our findings which should be of interest to Traders using ASIC regulated brokers.

    From Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) official Website - Thursday 21 May 2015

    ASIC has recently taken the following action in the margin FX and CFD space:
    • Following concerns raised by ASIC, FX Primus, which provides margin foreign exchange (margin FX) and contracts for difference (CFDs) trading, has agreed to make changes to its websites and to notify its Australian clients that it is not licensed to provide them with financial services. (refer: 15-120MR)

    • Cancelling the AFS licence of FX provider Rainbow Legend Group Pty Ltd for failing to comply with its obligations and making false and misleading statements.
    The move is part of ASIC’s ongoing crackdown on the margin FX industry and work around retail investment in foreign exchange which has resulted in a number of outcomes recently. There are several more investigations on foot. (refer: 15-108MR)

    • Cancelling the AFS licence of four licensees for failing to lodge annual statements (refer: 15-100MR)

    • FC Stone Australia Pty Ltd ("FC Stone") has paid a total penalty of $130,000 to comply with an infringement notice given to it by the Markets Disciplinary Panel ("MDP"). The MDP had reasonable grounds to believe that FC Stone had contravened subsection 798H(1) of the Corporations Acton several occasions by failing to comply with certain ASIC (ASX24) market integrity rules. (refer: 15-087MR).The total penalty imposed was for failing to:
    o demonstrate prudent risk management procedures by not setting and documenting appropriate maximum price change limits;
    o perform an accurate daily reconciliation;
    o give to ASIC a monthly reconciliation by the required time, on two separate occasions;
    o notify ASIC that a daily reconciliation had not been performed in accordance with the respective market integrity rule, by the required time; and
    o provide to ASIC an accurate ad hoc NTA return, on two separate occasions.

    • Clarifying the scope of Advanced Markets Ltd's AFS licence (refer: 15-085MR)

    • Suspending the AFS licence of FX provider AGM Markets Pty Ltd (refer: 15-075MR).

    • Warning Australian investors not to deal with unlicensed forex broker, Grandegoldens (refer: 15-066MR).

    Cancelling the licence of Efininium Pty Ltd for failing to have adequate risk management systems (refer: 15-026MR).

    • Shutting down Vault Market Pty Ltd and removing its sole director, Mr MD Anamul Amin, from the financial services industry (refer: 14-309MR).

    • Pepperstone has agreed to cease providing financial services in Japan following inquiries by ASIC that revealed they were not licensed by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (refer: 14-267MR).

    • Commencing proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia to restrain Monarch FX, and its former director and general manager, Quinten Hunter, from carrying on a financial services business (refer: 14-342MR).

    • Cancelling the AFS licence of online FX broker Global Derivative Services Pty Ltd, after an investigation found it failed to comply with a number of its AFS licence obligations (refer: 14-226MR).

    • Following a surveillance, Calibre Investment changed the way it offers FX services to retail clients (refer: 14-327).

    • Restraining Monarch FX and its former director and general manager, Quinten Hunter, from carrying on a financial services business (refer: 14-342MR).

    • Warning investors not to deal with YoutradeFX (refer: 14-306MR). It is not licensed to trade in margin FX in Australia.

    • Accepting an enforceable undertaking from online FX broker Forex Financial Services prohibiting it from operating managed discretionary accounts (refer: 14-036MR).


    I find case “Cancelling the licence of Efininium Pty Ltd for failing to have adequate risk management systems (refer: 15-026MR)” of particular interest as reported by ASIC:

    ASIC's continued focus on margin foreign exchange businesses operating in Australia has led to the cancellation of the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Enfinium Pty Ltd ACN 129 298 442 (in liquidation) (Enfinium). The action follows an ASIC investigation into Enfinium.
    ASIC was concerned Enfinium failed to have adequate risk management systems, in particular, controls on its Meta Trader 4 (MT4) trading platform and a plug in device known as the 'Virtual Dealer.'
    A function of the Virtual Dealer is ability to add a trade execution delay of between 1 to 10 seconds. An execution delay added by the Virtual Dealer could disadvantage clients to the benefit of the broker, if markets moved against the client during any period of delay.
    ASIC's investigation found that during 2010-2013 (Relevant Period), the Virtual Dealer had been changed on 271 occasions; however Enfinium kept no records of those changes.
    Certain Enfinium employees had 'Manager' access with special rights for administering MT4 including editing and deleting clients' open positions which, according to the MT4 Administrator User Guide was potentially dangerous.
    ASIC was concerned Enfinium's risk management system was inadequate because:
    a. Enfinium did not maintain records which recorded the configuration of the Virtual Dealer
    b. Enfinium did not monitor the use of the Virtual Dealer, or persons who had access to the Virtual Dealer
    c. there was no training for persons who had the ability to modify the Virtual Dealer
    d. employees of Enfinium had access to enter, modify, close and delete orders on MT4 without secondary authorisation
    e. there was no monitoring of trades placed through 'Manager', and
    f. the Virtual Dealer and 'Manager' access were not identified as risks in Enfinium's risk register.
    The Enfinium AFS licence was cancelled due to Enfinium ceasing to carry on a financial services business, after it appointed administrators on 1 October 2014, and was wound up by creditors on 6 November 2014.
    Due to a lack of adequate records concerning the changes to the Virtual Dealer, ASIC was unable to identify whether a trade execution delay had a negative impact on any client.
    ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said: 'Margin foreign exchange businesses that utilise the Meta Trader trading platform and use the Virtual Dealer plug in, need to ensure they have robust risk management systems. These systems must ensure the client is not disadvantaged to the benefit of the broker. Any tool that has the potential to advantage a broker needs to be carefully managed.'


    There are many more interesting cases on FX brokers at ASIC which all Traders having ASIC brokers should read and be familiarize with.. ASIC case history go all the way back to year 2000, so my staffs still have quite a lot to read up/research relevant cases to my case
    [/B]
    C@"Together, we do it better!"C@
     
    #3 RahmanSL, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
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  4. AsstModerator

    AsstModerator FPA Forums and Reviews Admin

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    Can you post a statement showing the USDCAD positions from when they opened until they were closed?
     
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  5. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Colonel

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    Missing files that would provide quite a bit of proof for one side of the other of this argument. Sounds like a good plot to a mystery novel to me.

    Of course, ICM could always produce those trade receipts - if they ever existed. ;)
     
  6. RahmanSL

    RahmanSL Major

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    Reading back on my original issue with ICmarkets, I realize that I have been side tracked by mine and my staffs’ researches and findings. It’s not really about the Log files, or what margin level my hedged account was on that date and time.
    What I have wanted to know, and still wants to know, is whether there was indeed sufficient market movements, as claimed & insisted by ICM people, on USD/CAD for 5/Mar/2015 between (time) 16:59:51 to 17:00:07 prior to and during the news releases (as shown on above post screenshot of ICM trading platform) that could possibly cause my account to be instantly wiped-out in milliseconds without going through the process of margin-call warning and forced closures of largest losing positions. That was and is still the crux of my issue with ICMarkets who still have not provided me with solid proof/evidence to their claims.
    In fact, when I first contacted ICM Support about that issue, the 1st Support staff blamed it on market volatility…..but when I pointed out market wasn’t that volatile, the 2nd Support staff came back to say it is due to lack of market liquidity. Then their Support chief came back with a lecture on how margin-call and wipe-out happens, but with no solid evidence to back-up their suggested reasons for instantaneous account stop/wipe-out.
    Based on my more than 5 years experiences in multiple account stop/wipe-outs with more than 10 different brokers, instantaneous stop/wipe-out just doesn’t happen without going through the process of margin-calls, forced closures of largest losing positions, and then the final stop/wipe-out. The only logical explanation for such a drastic & sudden account stop/wipe-out is for someone to change the account leverage level and it sure wasn’t me.
    As such, I will now have to rewrite my report before submitting them to “relevant” authorities for their assessment of my issue to warrant any follow-up action & investigation.
     
  7. RahmanSL

    RahmanSL Major

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    I have started on a new contract project which is keeping me extremely busy with meetings, site visits, discussions, and other logistical matters.
    However, today Sunday, I made time to go through and to review my issues with ICMarkets and it reaffirmed my conviction that their staff did manipulate my last account with them to cause instantaneous account stop/wipe-out.
    One of my staff highlighted the following at the broker’s site under FAQ:

    What is IC Markets margin call level?
    IC Markets margin call level is 120% this means that you will receive a margin call when your Equity is 120% of the margin required on your open positions. Equity is calculated as (Balance – Open Profit/Loss).
    What is IC Markets margin stop out level?
    IC Markets margin stop out level is 80% this means that if your Free Margin falls below 80% then your positions will be automatically closed. MetaTrader 4 will automatically close in order of the largest loosing position to the smallest.

    The word “will” is affirmative that client will get margin call warning and, if Free Margin falls below 80%, then forced closures of largest losing positions down to the smallest will take place. Most times, the account will ride out total account stop/wipe-out because, after a few forced closures of largest losing positions, there will normally be sufficient Free Margin and Equity to sustain the account to keep it alive.
    The most common reason for a trading account to get total stop/wipe-out is due to some high impact economic news or some geopolitical events which cause massive or sufficient market movements on the forex market. Even then, there will be brief periods of margin call warning or warnings (i.e. indicated on MT4 platform on “Balance-Equity-Margin-Free margin-Margin Level” section turning pink/red) before first forced closure of largest losing position.

    On my last ex-ICM account, absolutely no margin-call warning was present nor progressive forced closures of largest to smallest losing positions but, instead, the account was instantaneously, and within milliseconds, turned to negative balance.
    That, to me, strongly suggest that ICM staff has manipulated my trading account by reducing the leverage level which will cause instantaneous account stop/wipe-out without any kind of warning signals.

    Throughout my email correspondences with ICM, they maintain that there was a widening of spreads to cause my account stop/wipe-out, but yet they never could provide me firm and irrefutable evidence to back their claim.
    I have emailed four different brokers to asked whether they too have experienced widening of spreads on that particular date and time (i.e. 5/Mar/2015, from 16:59:51 to 17:00:07) and all of them either confirmed there were no such currency movements or are none committal by saying “they do not trade against their clients”.

    On my request for “trades receipts”, ICM informed they can only provide that upon my signing a none-disclosure document which mean I will have no way of checking the authenticity of these “trades receipts”.
    That also mean ICM does not want clients or anybody to know who their Liquidity Providers (LP) are and, for all we know, ICM is also their own LP….i.e. they trade against their clients and make money from their clients losses.

    Pending “relevant authorities” action/inaction on the report that I will be sending them, I will continue to post warnings to all Traders in all the forums that I patronize because I sincerely believe ICM is indeed I-See-Bucketshop and I see no reason to think otherwise.
     
  8. Angus Jon Walker

    Angus Jon Walker ICMarkets Representative

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    Hi Rahman,

    I have been very forward with you via email over the last few weeks and gone the distance to provide real evidence supporting the liquidation of your positions. My efforts have not been met with constructive feedback or discussion which has been detrimental to your cases progress. If you are not happy with the level of detail, facts or proof then it is your responsibility to communicate this with me.

    This is correct, a client will receive a margin call notice in their client terminal. In the event a margin call and stop out occur simultaneously then the terminal will glow red to indicate margin call and positions will begin to close due to stop out at the same time. This is the case with all MT4 brokers, IC Markets is not unique in this respect. Volatility is a contributing factor for this. More importantly for your case is the size of the net and gross exposure relative to the account's equity. Your account went negative due to the size of your gross exposure relative to your account's equity.

    I provided a preliminary explanation in an excel spreadsheet so you could understand exactly what happened. The spreadsheet and calculations were ignored by you and no reference was made to them in future conversations despite these being the most important in my opinion.

    Even with a leverage of 1:500 a margin call and stop out was warranted with your equity and used margin. The used margin (a function of account leverage and exposure) was not the cause of the stop out, the stop outs were caused by negative equity. Negative equity was made possible due to the size of the gross exposure relative to the account's equity.

    I provided tick data as well as trade confirmations showing the core bid/ask rates (spread) at the time of your stop out. We have received nothing from yourself to substantiate your claim that spreads weren't wide during the news when your account was liquidated.

    I provided you with a trade confirmation from our liquidity bridge that included prices and Integral trade IDs (FXI number) as well as an Integral trade confirmation from the (web) FXInside platform. You did not reply to my email indicating that you were happy with either of these trade confirmations.

    I also said:

    "Note, some information is blocked out as this contains information about our PB. We would only make this information available after the signing of a nondisclosure agreement"

    We want this report to go to 'relevant authorities' or an independent third party mediator whose sole job is arbitration in matters like this! This case has not gone to a third party mediator as you have refused.
     
  9. dkami

    dkami Sergeant

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    This is very hard to judge without all the details if the MC was justified or not for eg. All trades on the account before the time of MC, balance and Equity and the total margin you had in the market:confused:

    On the 1st attachment (ICM 1min chart) from the high to where the MC accrued is only a small margin 10-15pips (I note you were short) and with the MC @ time of CAD news would really need to know the spread,could it have had a 20pip spread @ time of MC well I'm not sure it would have been that high but I would presume the spread would have widened some as it usually does during news:confused:

    @ RahmanSL Now from what ICM Representative has said the MC was due to Equity, So really need to know what your Equity was and how much margin you had in market because if your Equity goes below your margin well it's game over! (I know you already probably know this but I'm just pointing it out)

    @ Angus Jon Walker What is ICM margin requirement's for eg. Does ICM close positions when Equity equals margin, below margin or is it higher?
     
  10. RahmanSL

    RahmanSL Major

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    I didn’t realize I had at least 14 account margin calls and stop-outs on this ICM account#317165 alone since starting it back in 13-Mar-2014.
    If I were to attach/post all the account margin calls & stop-outs pages, there will be 25 attachment files.
    To prevent cluttering this post, I will only attach/post the 1st page of the account statements to show margin-calls & Stop-outs for each date. However, a numbers of margin-calls & stop-outs happen twice on a single day:

    16/Sept/2014 - 1A Stop-out start at 79.6% margin level
    26/Sept/2014 - 2A Stop-out start at 79.4% margin level
    26/Sept/2014 - 3A & 3B Stop-out start at 79.3% & 79.2% margin level
    5/Nov/2014 - 4A Stop-out start at 76.6% margin level
    7/Nov/2014 - 5A Stop-out start at 56.9% margin level
    11/Nov/2014 - 6A Stop-out start at 79.3% margin level
    20/Nov/2014 - 7A Stop-out start at 78.1% margin level
    20/Nov/2014 - 8A Stop-out start at 73.5% margin level
    27/Nov/2014 - 9A Stop-out start at 79.4% margin level
    9/Jan/2015 - 10A Stop-out start at 71.0% margin level
    23/Jan-2015 - 11A Stop-out start at 61.6% margin level
    23/Jan/2015 - 12A Stop-out start at 56.2% margin level
    4/Mar/2015 - 13A Stop-out start at 55.4% margin level…then became weird with negative -113.8%, and -435.6% margin level….but yet the account survived and was not wipe-out entirely.
    5/Mar/2015 - 14A Stop-out start at negative -27.1% margin level

    ICM margin call is when Equity is 120% of the margin required on opened positions, and stop out level is 80%, meaning if Free Margin falls below 80% then positions will be automatically closed in order of largest loosing position to the smallest.

    As I have mentioned many times and adequately proven with my ex-ICM account#317165, I am no stranger to account margin calls & stop-outs as I have them with each and every one of the more than 10 different brokers that I have traded with for the past 5 years or so.

    I am not some Wannabe Trader losing a one time deposit money and then go crying about that.
    What I have issue with this I-See-bucketshop broker is that the last account stop-out is extremely unusual and which just couldn’t happen without someone at ICM manipulating my trading account.
    All the other account stop-outs have margin-call warning except for this account which instantaneously dropped from over 450% margin level (ICM claimed 256%, but I was monitoring the account and keeping an eye on margin level), it suddenly went to negative -27.1% with absolutely no margin-call warning at all. This is absurd and could not happen unless market is extremely volatile but which, as can be seen on the MT4 screenshot at top of page), market was nether that volatile nor that massive to cause instantaneous account wipe-out without any margin-call warning at all.

    From my vast experiences in such matter, I know and am fully convince that some manipulation was going on at ICM side.
    Now you guys tell me what’s wrong with the last account stop-out on 5/Mar/2015 with ICM…..even the account stop-out on 4/Mar/2015 is out of whack and I should have mentioned that to ICM. I am very sure some of the earlier accounts stop-out also happened during some volatile market movements.
     

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