The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission is in the news once more, issuing a new circular related to bonuses. Following an announcement in November that the regulator is banning cash rewards that are tied to trading, the regulator appears to be broadening the scope of the ban.
Brokers that are offering similar promotions are encouraged to review their practice and apply the appropriate changes. CySEC highlights that instead of using bonuses, brokers can offer to their clients lower spreads.
The broad categorization that CySEC issued in November has been interpreted for brokers in order to provide additional clarity.
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As we can see, a number of bonuses that are not directly tied to trading are still considered to be soliciting. CySEC is not taking any chances here and pretty much every trick in the book has been included in the circular. Welcome and deposit bonuses are joined by trading volumes based bonuses, referrals, verification/webinar promotions, gifts and gadgets, tournaments, trials, risk-free accounts, cash rebates and bonus interest rates.
A number of Cypriot brokers have been relying on all of the bonuses that are listed above in order to attract clients. The move is encouraging, however the key to the success of CySEC’s operation would be the appropriate enforcement actions.
As mentioned earlier, companies that wish to provide their clients with additional incentives are advised by the regulator to offer lower spreads. Contingent on enforcement, the competition resulting from such a move could clean up the Cypriot industry. Many brokers that up to now have been relying on misleading advertisements could be forced to dramatically restructure their businesses.