The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published a list of 94 firms without FCA authorisation that it understands to be offering binary options trading to UK consumers.
Since January 3rd 2018, firms involved in binary options trading in the UK have been required to be authorised by the FCA. Firms that are not authorised by the FCA, and continue with binary options activities beyond that date, will be acting in breach of section 19 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), which is a criminal offence.
This list is based upon information that the FCA has received from consumers, partner agencies and from monitoring the binary options market. Many of these firms claim to be based in the UK but the FCA believes that most of the addresses they provide are false and that the firms are actually based overseas.
The FCA is examining each of these firms to determine whether any are genuinely operating from within the UK. If they are, the FCA will consider taking enforcement action through the courts to stop their illegal activity.
Binary option consumers typically lose money, and these losses can be significant. Any consumers who trade with an unauthorised binary options firm will not have access to the the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme should things go wrong. Firms that are authorised to offer binary options to UK consumers are listed on the FCA’s register.