The Financial Services Agency is tightening its grip on financial futures businesses over high-risk foreign-exchange trading, with business suspension orders issued to three small firms in the past month.

At issue is foreign-exchange margin trading in which investors can trade 10 to 20 times the size of the deposit they pay to an operator.

The nation’s financial watchdog ordered operations suspended at the three firms because of the likelihood their businesses would collapse and they would not be able to refund customers’ deposits, FSA officials said.

The decisions come on the heels of a revised law on financial futures trading that came into effect in July.

Industry sources have said the agency will probably issue similar administrative orders to more firms as it has conducted hearings with several.

In foreign-exchange margin trading, investors can make large gains from small investments but are exposed to high risks of incurring losses that outweigh the investments, according to the FSA officials.

“Investors should be aware of the risk of such products and choose reliable operators,” one of the officials said.

The market for foreign-exchange margin trading in Japan was worth about 290 billion yen as of the end of March, 40 percent more than the previous year, according to Yano Research Institute.

With the fast-paced growth in the market, the number of investor complaints about sales of such transactions has increased rapidly, prompting the FSA to have the financial futures trading law revised.

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