Admiral Markets, a multi-regulated FX and CFDs brokerage firm, has denied reports published in financial media about exiting the Polish market. However, it confirmed plans that its subsidiary in the country is being closed down.
The broker clarified that it actually switches the affiliation of its branch in Poland from the Estonian arm “Admiral Markets AS Oddział w Polsce” to its CySEC-regulated subsidiary ‘Admiral Markets Cyprus Ltd.’
Admiral Markets further explains that this decision was taken to provide their Polish clients with the “Experienced Customer” status – a unique categorization introduced by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority last year. While the Estonian regulator applies EU-wide leverage limits on the CFDs in its entirety, its newly-acquired Cypriot license allows the firm to re-categorize Polish clients from a retail client to an experienced.
“By replacing the Estonian regulator with the Cypriot one, Polish customers will have the opportunity to change the categorization from a retail client to an experienced client , and we will continue the highest quality of services offered on the Polish market for over 8 years,” it said.
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Polish traders chose to flee offshore
After nearly a decade, Admiral Markets plans to stop activities of its Polish branch by May 31, 2020. In its latest financial disclosure, Admiral Markets said it would continue serving existing and potentially new customers on the basis of a cross-border license.
As Finance Magnates reported last year, Poland was a notable outlier from ESMA’s new restrictions on risky trading products when it introduced an additional level between retail and professional status – ‘experienced,’ which applies only to clients who can prove their financial markets trading experience. The KNF justified the lower margin for certain customers who can get acquainted with the conditions necessary to get reclassified and make use of 100:1 leverage.
At the time, the financial regulator KNF said that both a retail and experienced client are two quite extreme types of clients. At the same time, ESMA’s efforts to protect traders have done anything other than push business offshore. Specifically, it referenced the results of surveys showing that many Polish clients had opened accounts with brokers registered outside of the EU to access risky bets with higher leverage.
Admiral Markets AS had earlier three active branches in Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic, and a representative office in Russia. The branches in Romania and the Czech Republic had also closed two years ago, and services in these countries are now provided on a cross-border basis.