Plus500 has had a year from hell but it looks like it might finally be starting to turn a corner.
The Israeli-based but London-listed company lets people trade “contracts for differences” — an instrument for leveraged betting on whether a share price will go up or down.
It ran into trouble with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over its anti-money laundering checks last May, which forced it to freeze thousands of accounts and sent its share price crashing.
Then it was hit with a lowball bid from fellow Israeli company Playtech, a gambling software maker. Management plumped to cut their losses and take the offer, but then the takeover fell through on regulatory concerns in November.
Throughout all this, Plus500 has been slowly rebuilding its business by beefing up money-laundering checks and unfreezing accounts. Now it has put the final piece of the puzzle in place.
Eight months after being told by the FCA to stop signing up any new customers to its UK business, Plus500 confirmed on Wednesday that it has finally started signing up new customers again.
Plus500 shares are up 1.1% on the news but as you can see from the long-term chart, they have still got a very long way to climb before they reach anywhere near where they were before the FCA probe broke. You can read an in-depth account of what exactly brought Plus500 down here.
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