Marielle Cohen-Branche, the AMF Ombudsman, today published the annual report for 2015, raising concerns about the rising number of claims regarding the activities of Forex/binary options companies. The bulk of complaints, the Ombudsman noted, relates to firms regulated in Cyprus.
Each year, the number of cases related to FX/binary options that the Ombudsman receives continues to grow. In 2015, the total number of claims received regarding such firms is 228, a jump of 62% from 2014 levels and a fivefold increase for the past five years.
There is a significant rise in complaints regarding authorized entities which operate under the so-called “European Passport”. Such companies obtain their licenses in a EU jurisdiction other than France and, therefore, cannot be included in AMF’s blacklists. At the same time, such companies often use deceptive practices to lure clients.
The Ombudsman notes that 85% of the requests for mediation concerning EU-regulated firms in 2015 related to CySEC-regulated FX/binary options firms.
The French regulator issued 43 recommendations, including 42 recommendations for financial compensations. The size of the compensations varies from €200 to €52,700. The total of such compensations is € 379,209 (€ 214,057 in 2014). The sum awarded accounts for 86% of the sum claimed.
France’s regulators are pushing for a ban on electronic advertising of such products, with the proposal to form a part of a bill to be presented by the Finance Minister in the spring of 2016.
The services of he AMF Ombudsman are free of charge. They can be used by those having a problem with their financial intermediary or a company that issues securities they have invested in. The AMF Ombudsman and her mediation team seek to help investors settle the problem amicably and in reasonable time.
You can view the full report by the AMF Ombudsman by clicking here.