Polish regulator proposes new measures for investor protection

Maria Nikolova

Blocking of access to websites of unregistered entities, criminal charges and heavy fines are on the list of proposed measures.

The regulatory landscape for online trading is changing rapidly in Europe, with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA, or KNF) also seeking to boost the measures for investor protection.

Today, Poland’s financial regulator published details about its plans to change the way it supervises the financial market. The project is focusing on the FX industry but its provisions can be extended to other market segments monitored by the regulator.

Under the proposals, the KNF would gain the right to run a special register to which the domain names listed on the KNF Public Alerts List would be added. Entering a domain name into the restricted domain register would result in the blocking of access to these pages by Internet service providers. The registry will enable ISPs to automatically obtain information about the domains added to the list.

There are amendments to the Act on Trading in Financial Instruments proposed too. The regulator proposes heavier fines for companies that operate a financial instruments business without proper authorization. The proposed amendment to Article 178 of this law envisages the fine to reach PLN 10 million in case the consequences of the violation are grave. This fine is two times higher than the PLN 5 million fine envisaged for cases when the consequences are not so grave. Criminal offenders will be prosecuted in line with Poland’s criminal code.

The decisiveness of Poland’s financial supervisory body when it comes to online trading was underlined last year, as the regulator outlined new guidelines for the OTC derivatives sector. As Ireneusz Pukin, CEO & Founder at FX Invest Group, the explained in an interview with FinanceFeeds, the new rules covered not only marketing materials, but also stipulated that brokerages should not remunerate their staff based on deposit values, client losses or on preventing withdrawal of funds.

Poland is one of the European countries redrawing rules that govern the online trading industries, in order to boost investor protection. A key factor in the process will be the result of the CFD rule consultation undertaken by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – it is likely that the outcome of the consultation will be known by June 2017 and will set the tone for the rest of Europe. France has already implemented changes in its laws that aim to bolster investor protection – the measures in the famous Sapin 2 law include a ban on digital advertising of high-risk financial products like CFDs with high leverage and binary options.

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