France’s financial markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), on Thursday shed light on several unregulated FX, binary options, and cryptocurrency 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.
The regulator has been quite active in policing crypto activities, and in addition to such warnings, it announced back in February that it is prohibiting the advertising and distribution of cryptocurrency derivatives.
The well-known details about the full advertising ban on certain offerings are all in place, but the update notes that promoting cryptocurrency derivatives demands that brokers that are offering such products must comply with a set of regulations.
Meanwhile, the recent warning shows that binary options business remains a significant source of fraud in Europe, and while many of these firms on the AMF’s blacklist claim to be based in France, 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.
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.