The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has hit the binary options broker Banc De Binary Ltd. with a total fine of €125,000 for failure to uphold the local regulated investment services law.
Although it was just revealed, the decision was made in late October 2014. Among the four violations of the law CySEC lists, all counts relate to operating in the American binary options market without a proper license. As the Cyprus regulator is not known for handing out such high fines, it is likely to have been influenced by its US counterparts.
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Banc De Binary was fined €25,000 for being managed by two executive directors who did not have “necessary good repute to ensure sound and prudent management,” as between January 2013 to July 2013 the company had not informed CySEC, as required, about the services it offered in the USA.
Another €25,000 fine was handed out for not giving notice to CySEC about the intention to establish a branch in the United States and/or North America, and for not having authorization when it was introduced in the first half of 2013. Banc De Binary also got fined €25,000 for not informing the regulator of its intention to provide free investment services in the US and for providing such services in the US in the first half of 2013 without authorization.
The highest fine of €50,000 was for providing false assurances, asserting that it did not intend to provide investment services in the US, while it knew or should have known that it had already acquired US customers, providing investment services in some cases. In this way, Banc De Binary did not ensure the correctness, completeness and accuracy of notifications submitted to CySEC in July 2013, regarding its intention to provide investment services in other countries, therefore misleading the regulator.
The brokerage provided this official response to Forex Magnates: “Banc De Binary LTD is the proud holder of a Cyprus Investment Firm License for over 2 years. We are a thriving and growing company, and have been widely acclaimed for providing cutting-edge, secure trading platforms and services to our many EU clients. Since being the first binary options specialists to be awarded with an EU license, we have gone from strength to strength and have always remained in full compliance with all Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) regulations and legislation. With respect to CySEC’s announcement from 4 February 2015, the Company refutes the alleged claims and intend to take all necessary legal action in order to rectify CySEC’s decision.”