Starling Capital is a very peculiar binary option trading operation. We need to tell you from the start that we have found a number of things about them out of place. Their contact/support section deserves an article of its own, it paints such a convoluted picture of the operation.
Note: Starling Capital is ONLY available in the US! If you’re not in the US, you might want to read about a different binary options broker.
Established only in May, 2016, Starling Capital is one of the newest binary option brokers. This fact alone might prompt some frowning, but in and of itself, it shouldn’t be a problem. The domain name where the website of the operation is hosted, starlingcapital.com, has only been registered in March, 2016. Starling Capital is not a regulated broker, and given its very young age, that is hardly a surprise. We do not condone unregulated operations in any shape and form though. Given the impact that proper regulation has on the quality of a broker’s services, we can whole-heartedly declare that we do not recommend that anyone trade with unlicensed operators. The broker is apparently based in the Marshall Islands and as such, its activity is governed by local law there. Make no mistake though, they do not actually possess a license issued by Marshall Islands authorities.
Some deeper digging will reveal that there is actually a broker/dealer called Starling Capital, registered and regulated under the SEC, but this company was incorporated in Delaware, US, and the latest information about it landed in 2007. This company has almost certainly nothing to do with the Starling Capital that is the subject of this review.
Furthermore, the company behind this operation is Chromex Capital Ltd, and it is indeed located in the Marshall Islands. Could it be that the above said Starling Capital is what inspired the name of this new operation?
The bottom line is that no, Starling Capital is not regulated. Even if they had commenced the licensing protocols upon their launch, they still wouldn’t have received their license yet.
Things only get more complicated from here. One of their contact numbers is a US one, while the other is a Swedish number. That could be an indication that they’re targeting Swedish traders. To top it all off, the address from where the whole operation is apparently managed is in Bulgaria. To make a long story short, the money-processing operations are handled by a Bulgarian company and one from Montenegro. While to some, that fact is cause for alarm, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. What is alarming though is the fact that this same Bulgarian address is listed for a number of other binary option brokers, some of which have been revealed to be crooked operators.
Reputation-wise, Starling Capital is what one would call a “hot mess”. Indeed, the internet is full of unfavorable reviews concerning the site, and while there seems to be an insider of theirs roaming the message boards, telling the traders there to contact her to straighten out their problems, things do not look good. The complaints are mostly about withdrawals. It looks like Starling Capital have made it extremely difficult for their traders to withdraw their monies. Some people made a deposit with them, and having read some unfavorable reviews about them, decided to withdraw. They were apparently not allowed to. Others, made deposits, traded up to tens of thousands of dollars in their balance, but then failed to cash any of it out.
It looks like the customer service representatives of the site are extremely aggressive when it comes to squeezing additional funds out of their clients. There seems to be a general lack of direction within the broker itself. Some of their newly registered clients have complained that up to 6 different people called them, claiming to be their personal account managers.
Starling Capital Bonuses
The bonuses offered by Starling Capital deserve a separate section of their own too. At their site, they do not communicate any specific information regarding these bonuses, but they do set forth a slew of rules that govern the awarding and distribution of these bonuses. They also state that traders looking to make withdrawals may have to provide additional documentation to verify their identity. The site also claims to have some strict anti money-laundering and anti-fraud policies in place.
Their bonuses are exactly of the type that the EU’s ESMA (European Securities Markets Authority) has recently come out swinging against. They require traders to trade more to fulfill the redemption requirements. These requirements aren’t easy to meet either: according to their bonus terms and conditions, Starling Capital require their traders to turn over the amount of their deposit plus that of their bonus, no fewer than 27 times.
One would believe that simply not applying for a bonus would avoid such trade-volume problems, but according to some of the complaints, Starling actually apply unsolicited bonuses to their traders’ deposits. This way, they essentially lock up the money, holding it hostage. All this seems to fly in the face of the claims at their site, according to which, their bonuses have to be requested, and traders need to prove their eligibility before they receive the said bonuses.
The bottom line about such bonuses is that EU regulators no longer condone them in any shape or form. Thus, all regulated brokers need to follow the lead of Banc De Binary, and completely terminate such promotions.
Starling Capital Affiliations
Browsing through the sea of complaints aimed at Starling Capital, it becomes apparent that some of the traders posting have actually landed at Starling Capital through one of the known and proven scam auto-traders. We’re not going to post any actual names here, but Starling seem to be associated with more than a handful of such “smooth operators.”
Starling Capital Site and Trading Platform
For a seasoned binary option trader, the Starling Capital site will simply not look good. It’s way too simplistic and it hardly makes an effort to make it known that the operation is indeed a brokerage. The trading platform is positively unimpressive. It is so simple in fact, that all it allows one to do is to select the trade amount, the expiry and to set the direction of the trade. That’s it. There are no trading tools, no charts and no trade recommendations. The Double Up, Extend and Early Close features are being sold as actual trading tools.
The site does feature an Education section, but it too contains very little information and it seems quickly tossed-together. Their beginners’ guide contains a tenth of the information delivered through this review. The same goes for their glossary of trading terms, which only covers the very basics.
Starling Capital Account Types
The broker offers no fewer than 4 different types of accounts, and they go big on all of them.
Their base account is the Entry Level one, which requires a minimum deposit of $300. Those who opt for this account, also receive an eBook containing a trading guide.
The account designated “Traders’ Choice” is the Preferred Account, which has a minimum deposit requirement of $10,000. That’s quite a big jump from $300 indeed. This account comes with a personal account manager, a 100% match deposit (of the kind described above) and an investment guide eBook. Also, there are two risk-free trades tossed in on top.
The Signature Account is for those who can deposit at least $100,000. This account comes with all the perks of the Preferred one, featuring a bigger bonus and three risk-free trades. There’s also a strategic trading guide included, as well as a weekly consultation with an expert analyst.
The Premium Account calls for a $500,000 deposit and it unleashes the full power of Starling Capital trading. It offers expedited withdrawals and an iPhone 6 to top it all off.
The payout rates at Starling Capital are said to run the 70-85% range, but according to all accounts, they are rather on the flat 70% side. That – when compared with the industry average – is rather unimpressive as well. They actually advertise 75% return rates on trades with one-year expiries. Their prices do seem accurate though, at least the ones we pored over.
The tradable asset selection at Starling Capital is decent. They cover all the popular stocks, currency pairs, indices and commodities.
The Starling Capital support staff can be contacted through a live chat window at the site, through email (including an email form) as well the through two phone numbers. There have been quite a number of complaints regarding the tactics employed by the Starling Capital support personnel to get their traders to deposit more money and to trade more.
Starling Capital Review Conclusion
Starling Capital does not impress in any way. There’s no depth to the operation whatsoever. Their website is simplistic and unprofessional, as is their trading platform. They associate with the wrong crowd and they are unregulated. Despite all that – considering that we have actually seen a few positive posts regarding the operation), we cannot state that they are 100% scammers. We have however delivered all the relevant information about them, that you may need to make an informed decision in this regard.
|Broker name||Starling Capital|
|Launched in||May 2016|
|Supportfirstname.lastname@example.org, email form|
|Trader Demographics||USA Only!|
|Minimum required deposit||$300|
|Maximum deposit||Unspecified (the more the better apparently)|
|Maximum return||85% (70% according to feedback)|
|Customer service||available 24/7 through phone, live chat and email|
|Bonuses||Available. From 100% to 150%.|
|Bonus turn-over requirements||27X bonus+deposit|
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