Like it or not, Banc de Binary was one of the biggest brokers the binary industry ever generated. A Giant. Some may call it a Monster but that’s for others to judge, not for us. For years, Banc de Binary has been an active part of the binary options scene and now they’re closing their doors for good, renouncing their CySEC licence. This piece will show you the “history” of Banc de Binary, from inception to “death” and Yes, we will update it as necessary because the brokerage has closed down, but this is definitely not the end of the story.
First Steps for Banc de Binary
January 15, 2009: Banc de Binary is founded by Oren Shabat Laurent, who owns 50% of the company and is the 50% shareholder of ET Binary Options Ltd., BO Systems, Ltd., and BDB Services, Ltd (collectively known as Banc de Binary). According to some sources, the company was founded in Seychelles in 2008 but we could not confirm.
June 2011: The company has around 20,000 client accounts, according to the company’s founder.
August 2012: The same source states in an open letter that Banc de Binary now has 200,000 client accounts.
Licensing and Registration
January 7, 2013: the company is licensed as a Cypriot Investment Firm by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), under licence number 188/13. According to Banc de Binary, all operations outside the European Union are conducted by BDB Services Limited (previous name BO Systems Limited), a company incorporated in Seychelles.
February 25, 2013: According to the Financial Services Register kept by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, Banc de Binary “is authorised or registered by … [CySEC] … and may be subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority”.
By now the brokerage was already a recognizable name on the binary options scene but the increased notoriety meant an increasing number of clients… and not everybody was happy.
The Trouble Begins
June 5, 2013: The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) files a civil Complaint, charging Banc de Binary with violating the “ban on off-exchange options trading by offering commodity option contracts to U.S. customers for trading, as well as soliciting, accepting, and confirming the execution of orders from U.S. customers. The CFTC’s complaint also charges Banc de Binary with operating as an unregistered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM).” Source: CFTC Release pr6602-13.
April 7, 2014: The CySEC fines Banc de Binary 10,000 Euros for concealing existence of close links it had with another company when it requested CIF authorization. Source: CySEC Announcement (in Greek)
May 6, 2014: The CFTC amends the previous Complaint, “charging three corporate affiliates of Banc de Binary, Ltd. – E.T. Binary Options Ltd. (incorporated in Israel), BO Systems Ltd., and BDB Services Ltd. (both incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles) – also with violating the CFTC’s ban on off-exchange options trading by offering commodity option contracts to U.S. customers for trading, as well as soliciting, accepting, or confirming the execution of orders from U.S. customers during the period from May 2011 through at least March 2013.” The CFTC also charges Oren Shabat Laurent as the Controlling Person of the Corporate Defendants and of the Banc de Binary Common Enterprise. Source: CFTC Release pr6923-14.
January 27, 2016: Banc de Binary and the CySEC reach a settlement according to which, the former will pay the latter the sum of 350,000 Euros under suspicion of possible violations of the Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Law of 2007 (the “Law”), including but not limited to misleading marketing materials and the lack of sufficient information about the brokerage and its trading assets. Source: CySEC Board Decision
The End Is Nigh
March 9, 2016: The U.S. CFTC announced that a federal court in Las Vegas, Nevada, issued a Consent Order regarding the Complaint made on June 5 2013 and amended on May 6 2014, requiring Banc De Binary to pay 7.1 Million USD in restitution to U.S. customers who traded binary options offered by the Defendants. Banc de Binary was also ordered to pay a 2 Million USD civil monetary penalty. This was at the time and still is the biggest monetary sanction imposed to a binary options company/broker. Source: CFTC Release pr7336-16.
January 9, 2017: A Banc de Binary high-ranking official publicly announced that the company will stop accepting new clients and will close its doors due to “consistently negative press”. The news was first released by Finance magnates (financemagnates.com) and soon after, it was confirmed on the official CySEC webpage in an Announcement that also revealed that Banc de Binary renounced its authorization, which lapses as from January 15, 2017. The CySEC also informed that Banc de Binary will remain under their supervision until they fulfil the obligations towards their clients.
Almost immediately after the news hit mainstream media, London-based law firm Giambrone announced they are looking to gather documentation and preparing litigation against Banc de Binary on behalf of clients that complained about fraudulent practices employed by the binary brokerage.
It seems a bit weird that a $500 million company decides to simply close shop, return all the money in accounts to their owners and be gone forever. It is very likely that we will see a rebranding of Banc de Binary, where the owners and key persons decide to start another brand and continue to sell their services. However, that’s just speculation and I don’t really like speculation. What we know is that an important chapter in the Big Binary Options Book has just closed… but the story is far from over.