Exclusive: StoneX’s Gain Capital Winds Down FX Business in the UK

StoneX, which acquired Gain Capital in 2020, is planning to phase out its FX retail business in the UK, Finance Magnates has learned.

According to regulatory filings, Gain Capital UK Limited has reduced its share capital from nearly £87 million to around £1 million. The writedown occurred on February 24.

The FCA-regulated company, which has a dozen trading names/brands in the UK, including Forex.com and City Index, is regulated as a full scope €730k IFPRU Investment Firm. This requires Gain’s UK business to maintain the minimum required regulatory capital above $1 million.

We understand, based on info from sources familiar with the matter, that Gain Capital UK is merely restructuring its share capital and reserves to accommodate the planned back-end changes to prepare for the entity’s winddown.

As such, reducing the regulatory capital seems to be a standard step in the larger corporate integration process for StoneX’s retail FX business in the UK.

The regulatory filing further reads that:

Pursuant to section 288 of the Companies Act 2006, Gain Capital Holdings passes the following written resolutions:

1 the share capital of the Company be reduced from £86,948,098.14, divided into 8,694,809,814 ordinary shares of £0.01 each (of which have been issued and are fully paid) to £999,903.12861, divided into 8,694,809,814 ordinary shares of £0.000115 each, by reducing the nominal value of each issued share from £0.01 to £0.000115; and

2 the share premium account of the Company be cancelled.

The move to abruptly wind down its City business comes as Gain Capital has applied for a regulatory license from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) just ahead of the Brexit transition period expiry.

Concerning the financials of Gain Capital UK Limited, the latest reports released in September 2020 showed that the broker lost £11.36 million for the year ended December 2019. This compares to the £19.81 million profit the online trading provider recorded in the previous financial year.

Revenues for the 12-month period also dropped notably in 2019, falling from £83.35 million in 2018 by 80.3 percent to reach £16.43 million in 2019. Gross profit also dropped by 86.9 percent year on year.

This, however, should have changed as most online brokers had strong underlying performance in the business throughout 2020, bolstered by the coronavirus-induced volatility.

Gain UK was also fined $500,000 by the CFTC in mid-2020 over allegations it knowingly signed up US investors to its FX trading platform.

Last year, StoneX Group has completed the acquisition of GAIN Capital Holdings, which in July 2020 reported its last financial results as an independent business.

Sean M. O’Connor, CEO of StoneX Group, told Finance Magnates in a previous interview that they look to leverage Gain’s highly digitized and efficient on-ramp for smaller customers, and he thinks they can deploy that on-ramp throughout other businesses in order to make their goal of becoming a global institutional grade financial network a reality.

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