AMF Continues Crackdown Against Unauthorized Binary Options Firms

The crusade of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) against unauthorized binary options trading activity has continued this December with its latest warning. The binary options space in 2017 continues to be an imploding industry, wracked by years of abuse and fraudulent activity that has taken its toll.

Over a year ago, France made its stance on binary options pretty clear, resulting in domestic authorities banning advertising for the instrument where leverage was higher than 1:20. Since then, the AMF has taken an active role in helping curb and stamp out any unauthorized binary options activity in the country.

Its latest warning entails a general warning to the public against the activities of several players that offer binary options trading without being authorized to do so. The announcement is part of the AMF’s periodic publication of identified websites that should not be dealt with that are offering binary options in France. This includes the following sites:

Investors and market participants are advised to abstain from any contact or activity with the aforementioned websites as they are not authorized or regulated to do business in France. Individuals would be well served to check the status of any brokerage or company by accessing the AMF’s website.

The latest warning follows on the heels of an update issued by the AMF last month, which outlined more details on its advertising ban. Of note, the update touched on the promotion of CFDs instruments, which would be allowed under new guidelines provided that it “contains a built-in protection mechanism that structurally prevents the client from losing more than he initially invested.”

Furthermore, the watchdog authority also excluded vanilla options from the scope of the prohibition since the instrument type does not meet any of the three statutory criteria that the AMF has set out. In light of growing attention surrounding sponsorship agreements, these deals were also forbidden so long as their purpose was linked to promoting trading of financial derivatives or advertising investment services.

(Photo: pixabay)

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