Dutch binary options advertising ban set to take effect in mid-2017

Maria Nikolova

The timing details appeared in the latest annual report by Dutch financial markets regulator AFM.

The proposed ban on the advertising of harmful financial products like binary options in the Netherlands is set to come into effect in mid-2017. At least these are the intentions stated in the latest Annual Report just published by the Dutch financial markets regulator AFM.

FinanceFeeds has already informed its readers about the plans by AFM to introduce such a ban. In February this year, the regulator opened a Consultation into proposals concerning high-risk investment products, like CFDs with leverage higher than 10x and binary options. The Consultation closed on April 3, 2017.

Commenting on the plans, the Dutch regulator referred to a review conducted by the French supervisor in 2014, which showed that on average 89% of investors lost money on CFDs and that the average loss incurred was €10,887. A review by the UK Financial Conduct Authority has revealed that around 82% of investors had suffered losses. The Dutch regulatory body says that “there is no reason to believe that the results would be substantially different for Dutch investors”.

The AFM also stresses the aggressive marketing of such products.

The Minister of Finance of the Netherlands stated that he wished to introduce such an advertising ban in cooperation with the AFM in September 2016.

In terms of international co-operation, the AFM says it is actively participating in an ESMA working group that is working on rules for these products. The working group shares analyses and discusses how supervision of these products within Europe can be harmonised. The Dutch regulator backs a European policy for speculative products, including binary options and CFDs. The AFM says it has supported the Cypriot financial regulator in its review of providers offering binary options and CFDs from Cyprus.

France has already introduced a ban on the advertising of binary options and other high-risk products. However, some companies appear to be reluctant to comply.

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