KARACHI: The State Bank (SBP) has ruled that forex trading platforms like OctaFX and Easy Forex are unlawful in Pakistan and has reminded the public that neither the central bank nor the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan supervise these platforms.

YouTube and other social media websites are flooded with advertisements for these digital platforms, which have also enlisted a number of “influencers” to market their products. As a result, an increasing number of Pakistanis increasingly rely on these trading platforms as a major or passive source of income.

In a statement released on Wed, the SBP stated that it had “noticed that an increasing number of offshore foreign currency trading websites, mobile applications, and platforms, such as OctaFX, Easy Forex, etc. are marketing their products and services to residents of Pakistan.” Through social media marketing, these digital platforms entice users to purchase and invest in their goods and services.

It stated that examples of such products included contract for differences, margin trading, and foreign exchange trading. FIn the favour of the general public, it is made clear that purchasing goods and services from the aforementioned platforms by anybody who resides in Pakistan is illegal and against the law.

Under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Acts of 1947, anybody who purchase goods or services from such offshore platforms and send foreign currency to them directly or indirectly through any payment method would be penalised (FERA).

The central bank also urged authorized dealers to abide by FERA and take all necessary steps to prevent their consumers from paying any of these trading platforms through any payment channel.