Regulation has been this year’s buzz-word, both in FX and binary options. The long-held view that regulation doesn’t amount to much and does not provide customers with any real protection is about to change, the regulators themselves are at the forefront of hammering the message home. The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission is starting to pursue any and all Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs) that do not operate within the letter of the law. Trading Point is the most recent of the companies that the regulator oversees to be hit with a fine.
Today, CySEC announced to traders that it has imposed a €10,000 fine Trading Point for two regulatory transgressions. The first regarding Article 18 and the second regarding article 58 of the Investment Services, Activities and Related Markets Law of 2007. The specific transgressions have to do with the company having failed to comply with protection and indemnity clauses in the regulator’s guidelines and the second pertained to certain irregularities in the company’s Anti Money Laundering protocols.
A general tightening of the rules regarding client funds has been on the table for a while, indeed the provisions for this have already been made in many of the regulatory guidelines laid out by different regulators. The only difference now is that these bodies seem intent on enforcing these laws and letting all companies that operate in their markets know that infringements can and will be met with fines.
This move is taking place across the forex and binary options industries. The most recent cases have been the CFTC pursuing Banc de Binary for operating unregulated within the US, as well as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) having introduced intricate Client Assets procedures and regular in-depth inspections. Further afield, Australia’s Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is set to raise the minimum requirements for capital adequacy within its jurisdiction.
As far as Cyprus is concerned, and companies now receiving CySEC scrutiny and potential fines can’t claim to be caught unawares. CySEC representatives where emphatic in their statements at this years IFXEXPO in Limassol that the regulator would not hesitate in pursuing companies registered in Cyprus that are either unregulated or are regulated but have failed to uphold the standards set out in CySEC’s guidelines.
And indeed CySEC has a great deal more to prove that better established regulators such as the British FCA. Cyprus is finding it hard to shake its reputation as a tax haven for money launderers with a lax regulatory framework. The body seems intent now to show the trading public, the CIF firms it oversees, as well as the wider world at large that it is a world class regulator that applies that takes its role extremely seriously and applies the rules it has laid out across the board.
This is definitely not a string of isolated incidents that began earlier this month with the $50,000 fine imposed on TDOptions. This is clearly the beginning of a clean-up intended to show the world that Cyprus is a serious financial hub. With many such cases in the works we will bring you the news as and when it comes in.