France’s financial markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), on Thursday shed light on several unregulated binary options brokers representing their offering under several brands. The blacklisted firms have been providing professional investment services to domestic clients without proper authorization, which is a criminal offense.
The one size fits all reasoning that the AMF gives is that these companies might be running scam operations, and so they have not received licenses to trade with French clients. These brokers have also been found guilty of making unsolicited calls and sending out similar emails to locals regarding online trading, financial consultation, and credit without gaining the necessary approvals.
Binary options are a significant source of fraud in Europe, and while many of these firms on the AMF’s blacklist claim to be based in France, but most of the addresses provided are false and the firms are actually based overseas.
The List of Providers That Were Published Includes the Following Domain Names:
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The AMF said that the full list of unauthorized sites such as those described above is available on the regulator’s website, and emphasized that these domains may change very quickly and that the list is not meant to be exhaustive.
The regulator has been quite active in policing binary options and in addition to such warnings, it announced back in January that all electronic advertisement of forex and binary options in France will be banned. Companies will still be able to offer CFDs (contracts for difference) provided that they meet certain requirements.
Furthermore, the AMF recommends that traders seeking to invest in France do so only with financial institutions authorized to do business in the country. The AMF also warns market participants that “any unauthorized intermediaries run the risk of criminal sanctions” and advises against “responding to offers from any broker on the published lists.”
Any financial intermediary offering or recommending investments must be on the list of financial institutions authorized to do business in France, as can be verified via www.regafi.fr, and a list of authorized intermediaries in additional investor advisor categories can be accessed at orias.fr/search.