Israeli Watchdog Orders Interactive Brokers to Stop FX Trading

The move by the ISA shows it intends to keep Israeli traders from accessing brokers that are not locally regulated.

The Israeli Securities Authority (ISA) has just announced it has ordered Interactive Brokers LLC to stop offering forex trading in Israel as it does not have the needed ISA license.

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Interactive Brokers can keep offering its other services in Israel, such as stocks trading, as well as currency conversion related to its operation, just not forex.

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When the Israeli regulations first came to pass, local players were concerned that traders will simply turn to offshore or international brokers as they will be able to offer more lucrative terms without the ISA limitations. This move by the regulator shows it intends to keep Israeli traders from accessing brokers that are not locally regulated, thus providing some security to the local players.

Interactive Brokers of course is an easily accessible American firm so the ISA can get to it and ask it to stop offering forex trading to Israelis. Offshore brokers which are unregulated completely would be significantly harder for the israeli watchdog to reach, and won’t necessarily comply anyway. It remains to be seen what will the ISA do in such a case.

The ISA has recently stepped up its activity against players in the forex market. Earlier this month it fined Israeli firm Real Forex (RFX) NIS 125,000 ($35,000) for submitting significantly incomplete reports for the third quarter (Q3) 2016.

In May, ISA fined ATRADE, AvaTrade’s Israeli branch, for an estimated at NIS 150,000 (USD 42,000) after a 75 percent reduction for misleading advertising.

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