When you are one of the largest binary options brokers in the world it is not uncommon to draw fire from regulators for practices used by many others in the industry. This can be seen as the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) reached a settlement agreement with 24Option (operating via CySEC licensed Rodeler Limited) for €140,000.
The Belgian move closely follows the French watchdog’s ban on 24Option, after the broker failed to comply with certain professional obligations.
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The Belgian watchdog explains that even under EU licence passporting rules, any public firm offering investment instruments in Belgium is under obligation to publish a prospectus with information relating to the nature of the instruments, the issuer, and the risks associated with the investment. In addition, the regulators insist that all documents and advertising relating to the public offer of investment instruments in Belgium must, prior to release, be subject to the approval of the FSMA.
The €140,000 settlement was needed as the FSMA discovered that 24Option offered binary options in Belgium without publishing the required prospectus and submitted no advertising or other documents relating to the offer for the prior approval of the FSMA. In addition to the fine, the FSMA expects 24Option will contact all of its Belgian customers to offer them the possibility to terminate their contracts, reimbursing their balances at no charge.
Belgium also recently followed France, which banned online brokers from advertising, by banning retail clients from trading OTC forex, CFDs and binary options, Including with EU passported brokers.