For today we’ve prepared a list of warnings and fines issued by regulators against binary options brokers. Personally I believe these measures are beneficial for the overall binary options environment because they show that watchdogs are doing their jobs and that the Wild West days are gone. Also, it means that brokers will start to comply eventually… maybe. Ok, let’s get down to it and see who gets a warning and who gets a fine.
Worldwide Warnings Issued
Australian regulator ASIC recently issued a warning against binary broker OneTwoTrade, through their consumer website MoneySmart.gov.au. The brokerage does not have permission to provide financial services in the country because they are not authorized by ASIC. This kind of warning is very common but that doesn’t make it less important. Furthermore, OneTwoTrade is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) but according to MGA’s website, they do not regulate Spread Betting and Binary Options. These activities “are regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority under the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta).” Sources: SmnWeekly, Malta Gaming Authority.
Our next stop is Canada as the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has issued a warning against relatively new binary broker Edgedale Finance. So far, we haven’t heard a lot about this broker, maybe because they don’t have a high profile and have been launched at the beginning of the year. The warning explains that Edgedale Finance is not registered to trade in or advise on securities. Binary options are considered securities by the BCSC. Sources Leaprate (Edgedale Finance), BCSC warning on Edgedale Finance.
The same type of warning has been issued by the same regulator against binary options broker Binary Uno. The operating company of Binary Uno is DOM Technology Services Ltd. (according to the BCSC) and it’s worth mentioning that this company appears in several other warnings from regulators, but in relation with another broker: Titan Trade. On Binary Uno’s website they claim to be owned and operated by Smart Choice Pro. As you can see, this is a tangled web of uncertainties so the best choice is to stay away from these brokerages. Sources: SmnWeekly (Binary Uno), BCSC warning on Binary Uno.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which is the provincial regulator in Canada has requested binary broker RBOptions to cease trading activities in securities and derivatives permanently; the acquisition of securities is also prohibited. The order extends to the parent company of the broker: Zulutoys Limited (registered in the Marshal Islands). Source and full article: SmnWeekly.
French regulator Autorité Des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has issued a list of binary options websites for which an authorised investment service provider couldn’t be identified. In other words, the owning/operating company is not authorised to offer binary options or such a company couldn’t be identified. Some of the websites featured on the list are bosscapital.com, limited-binary.com, swiss-capitalinvest.com. For a full list, please visit the AMF Official Website. Source and full article: Leaprate.
Fines Been Given
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has imposed a 180,000 Euros fine on binary broker IQOptions. The fine was announced on September 30, 2016 and is divided into 8 categories. The biggest parts of the fine are focused on bonus procedures (40,000 Euros), misleading or improperly explained marketing material (30,000 Euros) and failure to assess the clients’ financial knowledge (40,000 Euros). Source and full article: Finance Magnates.
Recently OptionRally has been involved in one of the biggest sponsorships in the binary options industry, partnering with Ferrari but it looks like having your logo on a Formula 1 car doesn’t “protect” you from CySEC’s watchful eye. The Cypriot regulator has fined OptionRally a total of 138,000 Euros. The biggest chunks are due to the broker’s failure to act fairly in relation to the bonus terms and conditions (30,000 Euros), failure to ask clients to provide information about their knowledge and experience (40,000 Euros), and misleading marketing material (30,000 Euros). Source and full article: Finance Magnates.
The Bottom Line
On the not-so-bright side we see that brokers are still up to their old tricks, operating in zones where they are not authorized, misleading their clients through marketing material or using the Bonus to their advantage. On the bright side, regulators are not only watching, but issuing warnings and even hefty fines. This shows us that if they continue to do their jobs, we will probably have a safer trading environment and it will become too expensive for brokers to operate “outside the law”.