Anyone currently searching Google for “CFD Trading” or similar terms will be presented with an ad from Skilling, the trading name of Skilling Ltd, a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) regulated by CySEC. The Skilling website also offers offshore onboarding to UK and EU residents outside of ESMA and CySEC rules. This is done through Skilling (Seychelles) Ltd, with whom clients then enter into a Client Agreement. FCA-regulated Spectrum Payment Services is one of the facilitating payment processors. Consumers in UK and EU should be cautious with offshore Skilling.
|Legal entities||Skilling Ltd (Cyprus)|
Skilling (Seychelles) Limited
Skilling Holding Limited (Malta)
|Jurisdictions||Cyprus, United Kingdom|
|Related individuals||Mikael Sven Tarald Riese Harstad|
Michael Kamerman (LinkedIn)
Andrew Haigh( LinkedIn)
Emil Frederik Christoffer Hartmann (LinkedIn)
David Hodge (LinkedIn)
Judita Simke (LinkedIn)
Fiona Soler (LinkedIn)
|Payment processors||Spectrum Payment Services, Skrill|
ConnectPay, NETELLER, AstroPay,
WebMoney, Rapid Transfer
Serving as CEO since Oct 2020 is Michael Kamerman in Marbella, Spain. Christoffer Hartmann, who works in Malta at Optimizer Invest, is also registered as a contact person for Skilling Seychelles. According to his LinkedIn profile, he works there as Head of Legal. Optimizer Invest is one of the shareholders of Skilling Holding Limited in Malta. The group’s CFO Fiona Soler is also based in Malta where she is also a director at Skilling Holding Ltd.
As with most offshore brokers, Skilling allows newly registered clients to make deposits of theoretically unlimited amounts without prior verification of ID and address. The offshore entity Skilling (Seychelles) Ltd has its account with the FCA-regulated Spectrum Payment Services Limited. We already know them from other offshore brokers.
Via AstroPay, the initial deposit is limited to a maximum of €30,000 without KYC/AML verification. Not bad either?
We want to point out that the offshore activities of the CySEC-regulated Skilling Group are illegal in the UK and the EU. The offshore entity of the group has no regulatory authorization, and the onboarding process violates the regulatory requirements of ESMA and CySEC. As with most of the CySEC-regulated CIFs, it seems that Skilling established its offshore entity and offshore onboarding to circumvent ESMA and FCA regulations systematically.
Customers of the offshore broker should be aware that they are not entitled to Investor Compensation Schemes or to the assistance of a Financial Ombudsman. Furthermore, disputes arising from the Client Agreement are also subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in Seychelles. There they can hardly sue as a private person.
If you have any information about the Skilling Group and its affiliates, we would be grateful if you could share it with us via our whistleblower system, Whistle42.