The Israeli parliament’s State Control Committee (government oversight) convened earlier today to question the Israeli Securities Authority (ISA), the State Comptroller and the justice department on the authorities’ handling of local firms conducting international binary options marketing.
The meeting was called in response to pressure from a local media outlet with a well established anti-binary options track record, the Times of Israel. As such the discussion was completely one-sided with all speakers holding a negative view of the industry with no representative from the companies under discussion present. The only disagreement between the different speakers was whether new regulations were needed to allow the ISA take action against companies that do not market to Israelis, or if the practice is inherently illegal – and therefore the police should just storm all the offices and arrest everyone right now.
The ISA Chairman Prof. Shmuel Hauser explained that he would have wanted to take action against the binary options firms but that the current law only gives the ISA authority over companies that market to Israelis. The justice department representative explained that giving the ISA powers to regulate what can be done with clients in other countries is an unprecedented move and it will take time to carefully draft such a proposal, as they must make sure that it will not infringe on the jurisdiction of regulators in other countries. Under pressure from the committee to get this done as soon as possible, the representative said that the draft could be ready in a few weeks.
The discussion focused on what can be done to stop the marketing of the instruments, so the issue of providing binary options technology services, such as platform development, was not brought up. However some speakers asked for the banning of SEO services and even personnel recruitment companies known to have worked with binary options firms.
Karin Elharar, the committee head, called for a follow-up meeting in February to make sure the legal draft is ready.