The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority has issued an announcement outlining a settlement with two brokers that have been providing financial services in the country. The companies are AvaTrade and iCFD, and the payments made by both total €375,000. Back in August last year, the country’s authorities took steps to introduce a ban on OTC forex, CFDs and binary options in Belgium.
AvaTrade will be paying €175,000 to the regulator. The FSMA has outlined in an official statement on its website that the company has been providing CFDs to Belgian residents under the freedom to provide services.
AvaTrade commented to Finance Magnates that it has agreed with the Belgian regulator that the settlement does not convey an admission of guilt or non-compliance. The company claims that it had correctly implemented all necessary procedures to comply with the requisite legislation in Belgium. That being said, AvaTrade agreed to the settlement for a swift resolution.
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iCFD has agreed to pay Belgian authorities €200,000 as it was also providing binary options. The official announcement by the FSMA states that in order to provide CFDs in the country, the brokers would need to be distributing a prospectus.
“The prospectus must contain full information about the type of investment instrument and about the issuer, and must also describe the risks associated with the investment. Moreover, all documents and advertising relating to a public offer of investment instruments in Belgium must be submitted for approval to the FSMA before they may be distributed,” the FSMA’s statement reads.
The FSMA states that neither AVA TRADE EU and iCFD submitted to the regulator any advertisement or other documents relating to said public offers of CFDs.
AvaTrade and iCFD Ltd will have to contact all of their Belgian clients to offer them the opportunity to terminate their trading accounts and offer to reimburse their current balances. Both brokers have changed their websites to convey that their services are not intended for Belgian consumers.