French investors submit fewer enquiries and more complaints about cryptocurrencies

Maria Nikolova

The latest risk map drafted by France’s Financial Markets Authority underlines that investors continue to be attracted to speculative and atypical products.

France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) has earlier today published its 2019 Risk Map. The document provides a comprehensive picture of the major factors influencing the French financial markets, the newest trends and the risks associated with them.

The document mentions a trend whereby investors continue to be attracted by speculative and atypical products. The list of such products includes FX, CFDs, binary options, diamonds, as well as crypto-assets.

The product intervention measures introduced by ESMA, as well as the implementation of the Sapin 2 law in France have helped reduce the marketing of such products. This has resulted in a lower number of enquiries about FX, binary options and diamonds received by the Consumer Contact Line of the AMF.

In the face of well pronounced interest into crypto-assets, the overall number of enquiries received by AMF’s consumer contact center regarding these products has fallen since the end of 2018. The regulator notes that crypto-assets spur fewer questions and enquiries now, and lead to more complaints.

In June this year, the AMF informed the public that five more websites of entities whose activities are related to crypto-assets have been added to its “blacklist”. The websites have been added to the list in about a month.

Three of the websites were added in May, with two more added in June:

  • www.bforfinance.com
  • www.coin-financial.com
  • www.gwt-capital.com
  • www.jbcapitals.com
  • www.xcoinbroker.com

France’s AMF has compiling its own “blacklist” of websites that offer investments in crypto-assets since March 2018. Overall, the French regulator has warned the public against more than 100 unregulated entities or websites whose activities relate to crypto-assets.

AMF’s Annual Report for 2018 has revealed the positive effects of the Sapin 2 law which tried to put an end to the marketing of toxic online trading products such as binary options and high-leverage CFDs, while highlighting concerns associated with the rise of crypto-assets. On the brighter side, the AMF has observed the positive effects of the introduction of the Sapin 2 law. In 2018, the number of advertisements dedicated to speculative products has fallen to 311. This compares to an annual average of 582 for the period from 2014 to 2016. Most (83%) of the ads for online trading products in 2018 were legal. Only 51 ads contravened the Sapin 2 law – they were issued by 9 entities “regulated” in Cyprus.

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