Chief of French Regulator Mentions EU-Wide Ban on “Toxic” Products Ads

More EU-wide scrutiny over the FX industry may follow after the implementation of MiFID II/MiFIR.

The marketing of financial products for retail traders was a major subject in a speech made by the head of the French financial regulator at the watchdog’s annual symposium. He highlighted that almost a year after the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) signalled that big changes are coming to the advertising of retail products in France, the results are mixed.

The Sapin 2 law, that limits the advertising of products that the AMF classifies as “toxic”, was implemented in January this year. Between February and July 2017, the number of illegal adverts that the AMF detected decreased by 26 percent.

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Which Products are Toxic?

Robert Ophéle, President of the AMF, said that he considers binary options and CFDs without a guaranteed stop loss to be toxic products.

He explained that the bulk of the brokers that illicitly advertise in France are regulated in the EU. A total of 162 adverts pertained to 28 brokers, with 26 of those being EU-regulated and 19 of them being under the supervision of Cypriot authorities. After explicit requests from the regulator, brokers removed their adverts.

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The results increase the likelihood that ESMA will continue to chastise CySEC regarding its supervision efforts. The Cypriot watchdog recently managed to rein in on some of the questionable marketing efforts of a number of brokers.

With the upcoming implementation of MiFID II, executives at the French regulator have decided to forego any attempts to scrutinise companies and are instead focusing on a different solution.

MiFID II / MiFIR

The implementation of MiFID II at the start of next year will give national regulators unprecedented powers when supervising brokers that violate local rules and regulations. Ophéle said in his speech that under the new regulations, ESMA has the power to suspend the advertising of certain products for a period of three months.

National regulators are not limited by this term and have full authority to permanently forbid the advertising of products that they deem inconsistent with best practice.

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