AMF Press Conference: French authority blasts unregulated Forex and binary options sector, points finger at Football clubs

Rick Steves

The French national financial markets regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) is aiming at Forex and Binary Options firms in a press conference which is currently taking place. They found an exponential growth in unauthorized companies doing business in France, from 4 in 2010 to 360 in 2015, and 25 times more client complaints in […]

French authority blasts unregulated Forex and binary options sector

The French national financial markets regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) is aiming at Forex and Binary Options firms in a press conference which is currently taking place. They found an exponential growth in unauthorized companies doing business in France, from 4 in 2010 to 360 in 2015, and 25 times more client complaints in the same period.

In recent years, trading platforms have been positioning themselves in sports, sponsoring many modalities and Football as number one. The AMF is attacking the passiveness of Football clubs by accepting sponsorship from unauthorized companies.

For example, U.S. Città di Palermo, that plays in the Italian Serie A league currently at the 18th position, has signed a two-year deal with InstaForex in October 2015. The agreement allows the Forex and CFDs broker to use the club’s image in their online marketing, LED billboards, hospitality materials and home tickets.

The AMF had already “blacklisted” Instaforex back in January 2014, warning the public the company solicits French and European clients without authorization to do so. InstaForex Companies Group holds no financial services license in any country.

The press conference continued blasting at Binary Options brokers, saying that illegal binary options websites have caused €4.5 billion in losses to French clients, surpassing the VAT scam amid carbon credits under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme. “The promise of easy money is a total deception”, said the speaker.

Yesterday, the AMF had published a comparative study of corporate governance codes with other nine European countries (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), coming to the conclusion that the AMF is the only regulatory authority that engages in “naming” and “shaming” practices.

“Of the 15 reports considered in 10 European countries, only the AMF report on application of the corporate governance code and, to a lesser extent, the report by the Finnish Securities Market Association, cited the companies that do not comply with the governance rules by name (“name and shame”), said the document, adding that the AMF (France) and the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA, Belgium) are the only public authorities that, in their last report, made recommendations to issuers regarding compliance with the provisions in the referenced code.

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