The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will hold a hearing to consider a settlement with an online trading platform for allegedly allowing investors to trade contracts for difference (CFDs) without registration and for making illegal distributions.

The OSC issued a notice indicating that a proposed settlement with a pair of firms, Vantage Global Prime Pty Ltd. (VGP) and Vantage International Group Ltd. (VIG), will be considered in a written hearing.

The terms of the settlement, including any sanctions, will be revealed only if the settlement is approved.

In a statement of allegations, the OSC charged that the firms breached securities law by trading without registration and distributing securities without a prospectus by allowing investors in Ontario to trade CFDs.

According to the allegations, in 2019 the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) warned firms under its jurisdiction to examine their operations in foreign jurisdictions and to shut down any illegal activity.

In response, VGP stopped serving investors in Ontario but allowed those investors to transfer their accounts to its affiliate in the Cayman Islands, VIG — which continued to allow investors to open new accounts and trade CFDs on the firms’ platform, Vantage FX.

As a result, the OSC alleged that the firms violated securities laws.

The regulator noted that, after its enforcement staff informed the firms about the violations, VIG voluntarily took steps to stop doing business in Ontario.