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Licences and Regulated Forex Brokers

February 26, 2016
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The forex market is a decentralized financial market with huge trade volumes. Due to the inherent nature of the market, there is no central exchange. The absence of a centralized control body makes it possible to commit foreign exchange fraud more easily. The government and independent bodies supervise the forex market by defining the regulations and license requirements. The forex broker willing to obtain the license from these supervisory bodies must adhere to the stringent regulations and requirements. That is why it is important for traders to choose forex brokers with appropriate license and registration.

    • Why should you choose a broker with proper license and registration?

Compliance with the regulatory bodies is not mandatory for forex brokers, but those brokerage firms that don’t adhere to the standard guidelines must not be trusted. A regulated and licensed broker guarantees the following features:


    • Transparency

The forex firm must submit the records pertaining to formal proceedings with the regulatory bodies. This means that traders can easily use the internet and determine the efficiency of operations by these brokers.

    • Safety

Forex firms must keep the clients’ money separate from the corporate account according to the regulatory bodies. This means that the brokerage firm can’t abscond with your money and they can’t use your money to pay another trader who has won his trades.

    • Credibility

Registration and license from top class regulatory bodies guarantee the credibility of business

    • Easy dispute resolution

Regulated forex brokers must answer to the regulatory bodies in case of disputes. Each dispute is independently investigated by the regulators to ensure formal proceedings according to the law. Non-compliance with the requirements can result in cancellation of license for the forex brokers.

  • Significance of forex regulation

The forex supervisory bodies exist only in a few countries. These bodies have their own requirement for license and regulation. While some of the rules may be common for the regulatory bodies, the actual requirements vary with different bodies. The government regulatory bodies have more value in the forex market because the brokers have to meet with the state and national laws to execute forex trades. Even though independent regulatory bodies are significant, they have considerably lesser value compared to the government bodies. Some forex brokers may be regulated by jurisdictions with lower regulatory requirements. Tax haven countries usually have very minimal requirements for offshore banking and they are more liberal with forex brokers.
Before choosing a forex broker, you have to find out the regulatory body that has provided forex registration and license. Holding a license ensures that the forex broker engages in ethical business practices. The forex brokers must be licensed and registered with the supervisory bodies in the country in which it operates. A registered and licensed forex brokers can accept international traders and execute trades on the behalf of any trader from any country. Licensed forex brokers must subject themselves to regular reviews, audits, and evaluations to ensure continuous compliance with the regulations. Forex brokers that meet industry standards are reliable.

  • Common requirements for forex regulation and license

The regulations imposed by the forex regulators ensure that the operator follows fair business practices. It also ensures that the forex broker abides by the legislative laws prevailing in the state. The brokerage firm is expected to have a local office in which it is applying for the license. In addition to that, the brokerage firm should meet the financial, leverage and capital requirements. The broker must adhere to the guidelines to establish a brokerage system with forex quotes. The brokers will benefit from reasonable taxes and simplified reporting. The initial capital requirement differs with different countries. In most of the cases, the forex brokers must wait for at least six months to a year to obtain their license.
Countries such as the USA and Japan have very strict regulations for forex brokers. To obtain a license from level 1 jurisdictions, the forex broker must provide proof of $20 million free capital exclusive of client investments. They must guarantee the highest quality of service and they must pay a larger membership fee. Great Britain and Australia are level 2 jurisdictions with lower standards. However, obtaining a license can take up to a year for forex brokers. Forex brokers with a lower capital can obtain their license from Cyprus, Malta, and New Zealand, which allow brokers with as low as $30,000 capital to start their brokerage firm with a local office. Forex brokers that mainly deal with traders from the European Union obtain the license from these simplified corporate bodies. The offshore license is provided by Belize and the process is much simpler. In some countries like St Vincent, Seychelles, etc, the forex brokers can register without having to obtain a license.
Traders should always look at the bodies that regulate the forex brokers because the reputation of the broker can be easily understood from the associated license. If a forex broker is willing to meet stringent requirements, it is safe to say that such a broker can be trusted. On the other hand, if the broker doesn’t have a license or is associated with level 4 jurisdictions, traders should always proceed with caution.

  • Authoritative forex regulators

The most authoritative regulators for forex brokers are NFA (National Futures Association), CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Committee), FSA (Financial Services Authority), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, FINMA (Swiss Financial Markets Authority), BaFin (Bundesanstalt fur Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission, USA), FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation), FinTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada), MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive), FSCL (Financial Services Complaints Ltd), and FSC Mauritius (Financial Services Commission Mauritius). Traders should be very cautious about choosing forex brokers because 95% of the forex brokers usually start their operation without a license using offshore jurisdiction policies. Top-level jurisdictions cost more for forex brokers and the brokerage firms usually, obtain their license after a few years of operation. This means that a forex broker with the license from one of the authoritative regulators should have been in the business for a few years with trustworthy operations. Choosing such forex brokers will guarantee safety and credibility when you want to build your wealth trading currencies.