Belgium’s FSMA clarifies its position regarding Plus500 settlement

Maria Nikolova

The Belgian regulator says Plus500 did not have prospectus, approved by the FSMA, for CFD offering.

Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) made some headlines this morning by posting a filing with the London Stock Exchange with regards to a settlement it had reached with Belgium’s financial regulator FSMA. As one may expect in such cases, Plus500’s statement was rather short and elusive, announcing merely that the company was fined EUR550,000 and that, under the settlement, it does not admit any guilt.

Several hours after that, Belgium’s financial markets authority also announced the settlement, providing more detail into the matter.

According to the FSMA statement, Plus500 (Plus500CY Ltd and Plus500UK Ltd, to be more precise) had failed to provide a prospectus for CFDs. The prospectus is necessary to describe the characteristics of an investment instrument offered to Belgian investors and to define the risks associated with this instrument.

Such prospectuses have to be approved by the FSMA before a given instrument is offered to Belgian residents.

The FSMA alleges that Plus500 did not have the necessary prospectuses to offer CFD trading in Belgium. On top of the fine and the publication of the associated announcement on FSMA’s website, Plus500 has to contact its Belgian clients and to offer them to terminate their contracts with the broker without any charges. Also, the broker agrees to close the website and to indicate on its other websites that the trading instruments offered are not available to Belgian residents.

FSMA has been amid the first European regulators to take a harsh stance regarding high-risk derivatives. In August last year, following proposed regulatory changes by the FSMA, Belgium outlawed certain high-risk derivatives and binary options. The Belgian financial regulator had been warning against binary options brokers long before that but the August 2016 changes represented a decisive step on part of the nation’s authorities.

Meanwhile, other European regulators, like the Dutch AFM, are seeking to implement similar measures. The Netherlands’ financial regulator has proposed a ban on the advertising of harmful financial instruments like high-leverage CFDs and binary options, with the ban expected to take effect in the middle of 2017.

Read this next


Investors transfers $424 million out of bitcoin funds in six weeks

Despite bitcoin’s decent surge last week, which took the primary cryptocurrency up 70% from the year’s low, digital asset investment products saw outflows for the 6th consecutive week.

Digital Assets

OKX has $9 billion in ‘clean assets’, shows latest proof of reserves

OKX, formerly known as OKEx, has released its fifth proof-of-reserves report amid increasing demand of crypto investors asking for transparency from exchanges they trade with.

Digital Assets

Circle seeks France license to launch Euro stablecoin

Circle, the issuer of the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, is seeking to get a dual registration in France as it aims to on-shore its flagship product for the European market – EUROC – a reserve-backed stablecoin.

Digital Assets Among Minority of Successful Companies to Renew Coveted Estonian License has successfully renewed its virtual currency service license from Estonia’s FIU for the third year in a row, despite regulatory changes that have made it harder for virtual asset providers to meet the required standards.

Inside View, Institutional FX

Time for brokers to add options trading as volumes explode on high volatility

“Usually, adding options to the typical CFDs and equities offering leads to fragmentation of the platform technology as many brokers will need additional back-end and front-end components, and that could be an important barrier for them. Apart from that, legal hassle and costs associated with proper licensing of market data could be a barrier at first. We are seeing this trend among market data vendors and exchanges to make it easier and more affordable.”

Metaverse Gaming NFT

GCEX’s DeFi education and prime brokerage offering available in DubaiVerse

“We are excited to be part of the developments of The Sandbox and to join other top players in the region, including our regulator, Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), as part of the DubaiVerse. This is a great opportunity to bridge the gap between Web3 early adopters and GCEX clients, building a community around Web3 and digital assets.”

Digital Assets

Circle wants Fed to back USDC stablecoin after “very serious stress test” with collapse of SVB

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank allegedly proves Circle’s point that there is a need for its USDC stablecoin to be backed by the U.S. Federal Reserve with its U.S. dollars held at the Fed.

Digital Assets

Google searches for and exploded by 300% amid FTX collapse

“The findings emphasize the importance of staying on top of market trends and being able to pivot strategies quickly and also offer valuable insights into the current state of the market and the behavior of traders, providing investors with valuable information to make informed decisions about their investments.”

Institutional FX

iS Prime reports £35m turnover, £16.2 million pre-tax profits, £37 cash balances

“We have plans in place to evolve the business over the next year, driving further growth for both iS Prime and for our clients.”