Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission

Who are the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission?

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is the financial regulator for Cyprus. As a member of the EU, it abides by the legislation and standards set out in European MiFID financial law.

Established in 2001, this government agency will issue a licence to any brokers and financial service providers that meet its standards – whether Cypriot or from overseas. As you may have noticed, many brokers have registered addresses in Cyprus, whether they actually originate from the country or not.

The main responsibilities of CySEC are to manage and control the Cyprus Stock Exchange, including the brokers that offer stocks and shares to investors, to supervise the activities of investment services and financial consultants, to impose punishments and sanctions on forex brokers and consultants who act inappropriately, and to issue/deny licences to financial services operators and brokerage firms that wish to fall under CySEC’s jurisdiction.

CySEC also participates in investigations conducted by overseas regulators such as the FCA, providing information and carrying out searches of premises on EU soil.

Regulatory areas and powers

The CySEC regulation covers a number of sub-sectors within financial services, including CFDs, forex brokers, stocks and more.

In 2012, a rule change adopted by CySEC meant that all providers of binary options were to be regulated, bringing the market in line with other financial services. This earned CySEC its status as the first regulator worldwide to recognise binary options as financial instruments.

CySEC does not have as many legal powers as other financial regulators. However, it can remove a license from an operator where it is satisfied that the firm is acting in a way that is against its code of conduct.

It is rare that the regulator will ban a financial services provider from operating – much more common is the issue of demands to take remedial action, fines and warnings regarding future conduct.

How to check if a broker is regulated by CySEC

You can check CySEC to see if a broker is regulated by the organisation or not. Simply head to the ‘Regulated Entities’ page of its website at

You can use the search box to type in the name of a broker, or alternatively you can click on a specific category – ‘investment firms’, ‘alternative investment fund managers’, ’financial management companies’ – to see a comprehensive list of CySEC licence holders.

If the firm you have invested with is not listed on the CySEC register, then you will need to make a complaint by following the procedure outlined in the section below.

Making a complaint

At the time of writing, CySEC is yet to be granted restitutive powers, which means that it is unable to investigate complaints from individuals and investors about a broker.

However, all complaints are noted in a case file, and these are used as evidence against an operator should further action be taken against it down the line.

If you wish to make a complaint to CySEC, you must first contact the broker or financial services provider directly in writing. It is duty bound to reply to your communications within a specified time frame – typically within eight weeks.

If you aren’t satisfied with its handling of your complaint, then you can contact the Financial Ombudsman at

If you believe that an operator is providing financial services without a CySEC licence, then you can visit and fill in the complaint form. Unfortunately, CySEC does not have the power to retrieve any investments you have made.

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