It is noteworthy that in the past few weeks we have seen an upsurge of warnings being issued against several forex and binary options brokers from various regulators across the globe. This is not an inexplicable phenomenon, but it is still interesting to observe. The fact is that regulators worldwide are stepping in more effectively and strictly especially because the forex industry is being hit and plagued by scandals and allegations for lack of transparency and effective regulation, which were recognised over the years as one of the causes for the world financial crisis and the blow to investor confidence.
At the same time, the binary options industry is emerging more and more from obscurity and moves closer into mainstream trading through increased regulation, which leads to greater accountability. It is only natural therefore, that complimentary to the concerted efforts being made at the collective level, through the decisions of the G20 group for example, and the regional level, such as the EMIR and the MiFIDII in the EU, each local regulator is also joining in the effort for a crackdown in their respective jurisdictions.
In a nutshell, here’s what has caught our eye in terms of such warnings issued in the past few weeks:
- The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), based in Vancouver Canada and having a track record for being especially strict in protecting investors in its jurisdiction, issued a warning on 10th January 2014 warning against RBoptions, which according to the BCSC is “an unregistered online trading platform claiming to operate out of Toronto, Ontario.” In the same announcement, the BCSC is also is also warning the public about 24options.com, GOoptions.com, and TradeRush.com, pointing out that “these binary options companies were placed on the BCSC Investment Caution List in August 2013.”
- The French regulating authority Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) also announced in mid-January an update to the list of binary options websites which are not authorized to offer such services in its jurisdiction. As noted by the AMF this particular list is not exhaustive and it is also dynamic and subject to changes. Having said that we should point out that the current list contains 69 such unauthorised binary options websites and compared to its previous version, which as announced in September 2013, four firms were removed while nine new ones were added. The firms removed and thus which are no longer warned against are: 24option.com, euoptions.com, ezbinary.com, and zoneoptions.com. The nine firms which were added to the AMF warning list are: www.abcbinaire.com, www.agfmarkets.com, www.betonspot.com, www.excellencebroker.com, www.golden-bank.com, www.interactiveoption.com, www.optimarkets.com, www.optionrama.com and www.tradobk.com.
It is also noted that the French regulator had issued an update of its list of unauthorised forex websites in mid-December 2013.
- The Belgium Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), which is the joined regulator in Belgium along with the country’s National Bank, issued a warning against ForexTrada, a company that offers investment services under forextrada.com, saying that this firm is not an authorized investment firm or a credit institution in Belgium, and therefore it is not allowed to provide investment services in or from Belgium. This same firm was also included in the warning list of the French regulator AMF in December 2013.
- Finally, on 20th January 2014, the Cypriot regulator CySEC issued a warning against FX TRIDENT 365 Ltd, the company behind the forex website www.tridentfx.com, in order to clarify that the said company is not permitted to provide investment and ancillary services in Cyprus, as it is not authorised and regulated by CySEC. The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission also urges investors to check out the list on its website before conducting business with any investment institution, in order to discern whether each particular entity is authorised to provide financial services in the Republic of Cyprus.
With your best interest in mind, we will keep reporting on such warnings by regulators. As always we advise that when choosing your preferred broker through which to trade forex or binary options, you take into account such warnings by regulators in order to be able to avoid conducting business with crooks.