ESMA lifts ban on binary options in the Europian Union

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced on Monday that it extends the restrictions imposed on binary options for another three-month period. More specifically, ESMA renews the prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail investors as of today, October 2, 2020.

The renewal of the restrictions imposed on binary options does not come as a surprise, as ESMA announced its intentions to extend it a further three-month period in August. Back then, the regulator also announced some changes to the renewal, excluding certain long-term options from the scope of the prohibition.

Previous week ESMA has also agreed to extend the restrictions imposed on the sale, distribution, and marketing of contracts for differences (CFDs) until the end of January 2020. The regulator has not changed any of the provisions which it initially announced in March this year. These include a leverage cap of 1:30 for forex majors, provision of negative balance protection on a per account basis, preventing the use of incentives such as bonuses by brokers and a requirement for the latter to state how many of their clients lose money with them.

We remind you that the pan-European regulator introduced the ban on binary options and the restrictions on CFDs in July, 2020 due to investor protection concerns. According to the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR), ESMA can only introduce temporary three-month measures, but before the period expires, the regulator can review the results and consider a further extension for another three month-period.

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ESMA announces start date of binary options ban

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced that its ban on binary options will start from 2 July 2020 onwards.

This ban will last an initial three months and renewed as ESMA deems necessary.

Once the ban comes into effect, we will no longer offer binary options on financial assets to retail clients residing in the European Union (EU). All open trades will be carried to term.

Looking forward

We are working hard to implement products such as lookback options, spot FX, and contracts for difference (CFDs) for retail investors in the EU, in line with the appropriate regulations.

We will also continue to offer binary options on Volatility Indices which remain unaffected by the ESMA ban.

Retail clients may also upgrade to professional client status in order to continue trading binary options on financial assets such as currencies and indices.

We thank all affected clients for their patience and understanding in this matter.

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ESMA Praises Binary Bans, CFD Restrictions in New Legal Opinions

The pan-European regulator said all financial authorities should introduce permanent measures that are as strict as its own

On the same day as the Central Bank of Ireland confirmed that it would be permanently banning binary options and placing restrictions on the marketing and sale of contracts for difference (CFDs), the European Securities and Markets Authority issued five positive opinions on the introduction of similar rules by other national regulators across Europe.

Over the past couple of months Czech, Slovak, and Estonian regulators have all introduced rules that mirror those introduced by the pan-European regulator last August.

That means bans on the sale and marketing of binary options to clients in or out of the jurisdiction covered by the regulator.

It also means leverage caps and marketing restrictions for CFD brokers. Firms are likely to be capped at 30:1 on major currency pairs, 20:1 for exotics and 2:1 for cryptocurrencies.

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On top of that, they’ll be forbidden from offering welcome bonuses to their clients. Risk warnings will also be mandatory on any information they release that is intended for clients.

Great joy

And, of course, ESMA is extremely pleased that this is happening.

Written from the dark confines of their bureaucracy-loving offices in Paris, the pan-national regulator issued five legal opinions this Wednesday, fawning over the Cyprus-destroying rules that the Eastern European regulators have put in place.

In each case, ESMA said that the rules implemented were “justified and proportionate.” The regulator added that it expects all national regulators to implement rules that are as strict, if not more, than those brought in by last year’s product intervention measures.

European Union Financial Watchdog Recommends Tighter Regulation of CFDs, Binary Options

Source: The Tokenist

ESMA, the European Securities and Markets Authority, has praised the impact of tighter binary option and CFD regulations. This comes on the heels of the Irish central bank’s decision to ban binary options completely and institute much tighter restrictions on both the marketing and sale of CFDs (Contracts for Difference).

The Pan-European regulator has issued five positive opinions on the general regulatory landscape that has followed its temporary ban on Binary Options and its much more rigid and robust regulation of CFDs. The opinions weigh in on the fact that many of the EU regulators have indeed implemented much stricter measures that are permanent and not temporary.

Local regulators following ESMA’s lead

In the past few months, regulators from around the European Union have been implementing suggestions from ESMA, taking their cue from the temporary measures that the European regulator instituted to curb the rampant sale and marketing of Binary Options. The Czech, Slovak and Estonian authorities have all instituted measures that mirror ESMA’s own which came into effect last August.

What ESMA did was ban Binary Options outright in any European Union jurisdiction. They banned both the sale and marketing of Binary Options leaving very little leeway or loopholes for unscrupulous brokers to take advantage of.

The leverage caps introduced on CFDs were thought to be harsh by many in the industry, but it seems that the authorities from around the European Union are agreeing wholeheartedly with ESMA that 30:1 for major currency pairs is more than enough without exposing consumers to too much risk. The leverage cap of 20:1 on exotic pairs and 2:1 on cryptocurrencies seems light compared to the caps for the major trade pairs. Welcome bonuses for clients have also been banned, along with mandatory risk warnings on any marketing that retail brokers do within the European Union.

ESMA overjoyed with reception

The reception of the temporary measures and the speed with which local regulators have implemented their own has been extremely pleasing for the European financial watchdog. This week, ESMA issued five legal opinions that practically fawned over the Eastern European nations’ introduction of regulations covering the Cyprus-destroying rules that have been put in place.

ESMA stated that the rules put in place were both justified and proportionate, adding that it still expects all national regulators to follow suit and implement rules that are just as strict. They do also mention that stricter rules would be welcome, but using the temporary measures as a guide is the minimum that is expected of all member states’ regulatory authorities.

These intervention measures have been deemed a top priority so that the situation that befell users in Cyrpus can never happen again on the territory of the major economic and political bloc. Many national authorities have been scrambling to implement the measures while avoiding scaring companies away from their markets.

The Irish regulations, which took a much tougher stance than ESMA, have rung the bell of regulation throughout Europe and now it is only left to see how quickly others follow.

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A freelance journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of international cryptocurrency publications including InsideBitcoins.com. Email: [email protected]

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