French financial regulators Autorité des Marchés (AMF) and Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) have updated their list of forex brokerages and websites which operate without authorization and licenses in France. The entities are: Active Markets, Brokers500 (MARKET CITY INTER. SRL), CVC LTD, IC Markets (INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL MARKETS PTY LTD) and ZARFX (RGV MEDIA LTD).
Among the brokers, IC Markets’ presence on the list is of particular interest. The firm is the only one of the five that has proper regulation- with Australia’s ASIC. It is also the largest broker by trading volumes of the group and one of the bigger forex and CFD brokers headquartered in Australia.
While the firm doesn’t have a European license, it is worth noting that the broker has recently hired staff in Cyprus. This may mean that it is preparing to obtain a European license. However, it has been operating thus far in France without the necessary regulation, similar to the four other entities identified by the AMF.
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IC Markets representatives expressed surprise in the AMF’s announcement as they don’t target France with their marketing. The broker believes the AMF may be confusing them with unregulated ICM Markets which would consistent with the other four brokers listed that are unregulated.
Among regulators in Europe, France has been one of the most aggressive in terms of issuing warnings and fines against entities that offer financial services while not holding the relevant authorization to do so. Back in 2015, Finance Magnates reported on the AMF’s decision against FXCM over its violations of local regulations even as they operated with a broker license in France. In that case, FXCM was forced to pay a €200,000 fine due to its cooperation with money managers who had not been regulated but were nonetheless managing French clients’ accounts.