Cyprus has long been one of the most popular jurisdictions for forex and binary options brokers, especially those wishing to operate from an EU-licensed venue and also those targeting the Middle East and other upcoming markets. In fact, especially when it comes to the online retail binary options industry the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, which is the local regulator of the financial markets was the first to recognize binary options as an investment vehicle in the entire EU and the first to start licensing and regulating firms to enter this field in 2008. As a result, the number of Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs) has grown impressively in the recent years further consolidating the position of Cyprus as a hub in online financial trading.
What is also true however is that CySEC has often come under fire for being too lenient with brokers and many CIFs have been accused for poorly implementing industry procedures, especially when it comes to know-your-customer and other important aspects. Such sentiments were voiced by many industry figures, such as Glenn Stevens, the CEO of GAIN Capital, while certain CIFs fared badly in the Mystery Shopper survey conducted by the French regulator AMF.
CySEC has tried to show both in declaration and in action that it is adopting a stricter stance and has issued several fines, warnings and circulars in an attempt to improve the way it regulates the entities in its jurisdiction and for better protecting consumers. A new chapter in this regard, officially opens today, as the day marks the full operation of an institution that CIF clients may find very useful. This is the Financial Ombudsman of the Republic of Cyprus and its significance lies in the fact that, contrary to CySEC, this body does have restitution powers over financial firms operating in Cyprus.
To better guide traders, CySEC has thus issued an announcement in which it reminds the public and all stakeholders on the way complaints against Cyprus Investment Firms are handled. Stressing that CYSEC itself has no restitution powers and that therefore any complaints submitted to it by traders are taken into consideration in the performance of its supervisory mandate, the Commission encourages all investors who consider that they have any disputes with CIFs, for which they are claiming damages, to submit their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, which is the competent authority that could ensure they will get compensated if it rules in their favor.
The contact details of the Financial Ombudsman of the Republic of Cyprus are as follows:
Address: 13 Lord Byron Avenue, 1096 NICOSIA
Phone: 22848900 (main number)
Facsimile (Fax): 22660584, 22660118
E-mail: • Complaints: [email protected]