Plus500 (LSE:PLUS), a UK-listed group providing trading services for foreign exchange (FX) and contracts-for-difference (CFDs) has reached a settlement with the Belgium Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) of $597,000 (€550,000), according to a London Stock Exchange filing.
The reason for the agreed settlement is that, according to the FSMA, Plus500 offered CFDs on Belgian territory without the requisite prospectus. In addition, Plus500 did not submit to the FSMA for approval any advertisement or other document relating to the CFDs.
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Plus500 did not convey an admission of guilt or non-compliance, claiming that it had correctly implemented all necessary procedures to ultimately comply with the requisite legislation in Belgium. That being said, Plus500 opted for a swift resolution. The prompt settlement illustrates that the group felt that $597,000 was an appropriate figure.
The FSMA is Belgium’s paramount regulatory watchdog authority. The group has routinely issued fines against a host of different venues operating domestically, ranging from unregulated firms to providers of binary options. The FSMA issued a blanket ban on retail online trading in forex, binary options and CFDs on August 18, 2016.
The ban only applies to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives and not to trading on a regulated exchange or on a multilateral trading facility. It was meant to supplement a Belgian distribution ban that was already in force for certain products, such as financial products with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as their underlying.