France’s ACPR notes numerous cases of binary options, Forex fraud

Maria Nikolova

Although the overall number of complaints received by the regulator fell in 2016, the cases of online trading fraud were numerous, according to ACPR’s report for last year.

France has been among the most active jurisdictions in terms of trying to curtail illicit activities of fraudulent binary options and Forex brokers. The efforts have led to a ban on digital advertising of high-risk products, including binary options and CFDs with high leverage, as implemented in the Sapin 2 law. The financial markets regulator AMF is also co-operating with other European regulators in order to halt the fraudulent operations of online trading companies scamming French investors.

Nevertheless, the number of fraudulent entities targeting French investors remains high. According to the Annual Report for 2016 issued by France’s Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), complaints about such entities were numerous last year.

The regulator received 6,577 complaints in 2016, with the number down 11% from 2015. However, let’s note that the number of complaints received in 2015 was 31% up year on year. This means that there are grounds for concerns. After checking the complaints, ACPR demanded explanations from 10% of the companies.

A substantial amount of the complaints involved Forex and binary options fraud, the regulator notes.

These findings are in tune with those from the Annual Report for 2016 of AMF’s Ombudsman Office. In 2016, the AMF Ombudsman Office received 116 complaints against Forex and/or binary options firms regulated in an EU jurisdiction. This is down from 139 complaints in 2015, but the nature of the complaints is worrisome. The majority of complaints – 83%, concerned companies regulated in Cyprus. A number of complaints alleged psychological manipulation, harassment and draining of investor accounts – all of them were against CySEC-regulated firms.

In the report, the Ombudsman highlighted the strong effect of advertising of high-risk financial products by football clubs and the horrible effects of aggressive phone calls. This effects were underlined in a study by scientists at the University of Aix-Marseille showing how online trading firms’ sales teams use tactics like “foot in the door” to manipulate clients.

ACPR reviewed 3,933 advertisements of financial products in 2016. This number highlights the need to handle misleading advertising of high-risk financial products. Companies that have sports sponsorships resulting in the advertising of such products and who had such partnerships running through July 1, 2016, have until June 30, 2017 to terminate them. Otherwise they face penalties under the Sapin 2 law.

Read this next

Metaverse Gaming NFT

DCentral Miami brings together all of Web3, NFT, DeFi, Metaverse

The world’s biggest Web3 meeting entitled DCENTRAL Miami is set to take place November 28-29, featuring a lineup of some of the biggest and most influential names in the blockchain space.

Digital Assets

Crypto ban expands across UK banks as Starling joins ‎crackdown

UK digital bank Starling has banned ‎all customer payments related to cryptocurrencies, another blow for the crypto traders ‎who recently saw a sizable number of banks deciding not to ‎finance the wobbly asset class.‎


Markets Direct at FIA EXPO 2022: Traders know what they want from brokers

The FIA Expo 2022, one of the most prestigious events within the global derivatives trading industry, took place in Chicago on 14 & 15 November.


FIA Expo 2022: TNS addresses public cloud limitations with hybrid infrastructure

November is the month of the FIA Expo, one of the largest futures and options conferences in the world, bringing together regulators, exchanges, software vendors, and brokers in one place: the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk. 

Retail FX

Italy’s regulator blacks out Finance CapitalFX, MFCapitalFX

Italy’s Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has shut down new websites in an ongoing clampdown against firms it accuses of illegally promoting investment products in the country.

Retail FX

Suspected leader of Honk Kong ramp-and-dump scam appears in court

A leader of a sophisticated ramp-and-dump scheme made his first court appearance in a Hong Kong court today, charged with market manipulation and various criminal offences. The case stems from an earlier joint operation of Hong Kong’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), and the local police. 

Institutional FX

Cboe’s James Arrante discusses growing demand for fixed income, FX algo

We caught up with James Arrante, senior director of FX & US treasuries product and business management at Cboe Global Markets, to uncover emerging trends in the FX and fixed income markets and learn more about the bourse operator’s recent initiatives.

Retail FX

Eurotrader acquires UK broker Petra Asset Management

Eurotrader Group has formally entered into the UK market with the acquisition of FCA-regulated broker, previously named Petra Asset Management Ltd. The new entity operates under the brand name Eurotrade Capital Ltd.

Inside View, Retail FX

The Game of Chess Continues – OPEC, China and the Oil Market

Over the past decade, the US has been complaining about the amount of power which the BRIC group, and specifically China, has on the global economy. BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China; these were the world’s fastest growing economies. Only in the past 10 months, the US has turned their attention toward OPEC due to the prices of fuel. Nevertheless, China seems to have a strong influence even over the price of crude oil.