Exclusive: Poland Mulls ‘Experienced Trader’ Category for Retail Clients

The Polish financial regulator is among to bring the best of both worlds into its regulatory framework

The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) is considering to introduce an additional category of retail traders. There is an ongoing discussion within the local regulatory circles whether to allow this additional measure which apparently is popular with some customers.  

Last year, the new ESMA regulation across the EU impacted the interests of many traders and brokers alike. With national financial watchdogs slowly turning the pan-European regulatory framework into localized rules, their approach so far has been rather unremarkable.

The Polish KNF is the first local regulator that could take a different approach to the ESMA and introduce a brand new category and therefore broaden the ESMA’s rules in Poland. The new “experienced trader” category is supposed to be somewhere in-between the current retail and professional trader statuses as defined by the current pan-European regulation.

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Commenting to Comparic24.tv, the Director of the Department of Investment Companies in the Office of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, Maciej Kurzajewski said that since December the KNF has been conducting “conceptual works” on the implementation of permanent product intervention in Poland.

At the beginning of April, the KNF deployed a survey among retail traders, to collect some data on their opinions on leverage limits and the ESMA’s rules. The survey was only concluded yesterday, and the results are yet to be published.

That said, Kurzajewski said that in December the KNF had appointed a team to examine the possibility of introducing permanent product intervention measures in Poland. The approach is a surprise, considering a recent media campaign aimed at educating the public about risks from crypto and CFDs investments.

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“The ESMA’s product intervention has a defined time horizon – it is a fact that for the time being it is regularly renewed, but if something is temporary, it can be suspended sooner or later. Therefore, we have started conceptual work on market intervention on a national level. The survey we have prepared is intended to examine the experiences and reactions of retail investors to the changes in the markets,” commented Maciej Kurzajewski.

‘Experienced Traders’

With a common worry on the part of brokers that experienced traders are fleeing to other jurisdictions outside the EU, the KNF is aiming to investigate this phenomenon and has therefore sent out a survey to get to know the opinions of experienced Forex traders.

“We also want to see how much experience these investors have. The survey data will be used to gain knowledge that will allow us to make wise decisions in the future about product intervention that takes into account the local market,” Kurzajewski elaborated.

The KNF official also explained that the conceptual work on a domestic intervention has already been started and could include a mechanism that will allow the regulator to separate, experienced investors, from the common retail client category.

“The name is so far a draft version, but it refers to people who have both theoretical knowledge, relevant academic titles, but also practical experience. Obviously not gained during a few days of paid training or a short series of opened and closed transactions, but in a longer time horizon,” Kurzajewski explained.

The changes could make Poland for an attractive jurisdiction and might be especially beneficial to local brokers. Over the past week shares of XTB have rallied about 6.5 percent.

That said, nothing is set in stone. There is no certainty that the KNF will implement such a customized version of the ESMA guidance for retail traders. Kurzajewski highlighted that the parameters would be set in a way that permits the regulator to asses that the new category only includes people who have the necessary knowledge and consciously take the risk of investing in CFDs.

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