In today's global economy, there are many exchanges that hedge against fluctuations in the exchange rate by trading on Forex. It is important to have a broker understanding of the forex regulations surrounding Forex and how they could impact your business. Today there is strict foreign exchange regulation surrounding transactions and trades, but as time goes on these laws will become more lenient and create more opportunities for traders all over the world to take advantage of their budgeting skills. However, to get the most out of it, traders need to know forex regulatory bodies. Hence, this article will provide you with an overview of forex license and forex trading license.
What are Forex Regulations?
There is a huge debate about the complex world of forex regulations. Unlike other financial markets, trading in the FX market is not regulated at all by any central government authority. Therefore, this unregulated market has made it difficult for investors to stay clear on foreign exchange regulation responsibilities and how it affects them personally as well as how they trade.
Usually, forex regulations are put in place to protect the consumers. Nevertheless, these regulations can vary depending on the country it comes from but all forex trading licenses usually have the same goal in mind- protecting their citizens and ensuring that they will not be taken advantage of.
The biggest thing to remember is that there is no actual forex trading regulation. This means that technically, you can trade as much as you want and with whoever you want without getting any government intervention. There are also no requirements for how many years you must trade for or how much money you make before you are considered a trader or even how many hours a day you need to spend trading before it is considered your occupation.
However, forex regulations help you protect your funds and keep you safe from scammers.
Best Regulated Forex Brokers
|Visit Broker||Rank||Broker Reviews||Location||Minimum Deposit Amount||Deposit Bonus||Payment System||Rating||Create an Account|
|3||Sydney, Australia.||$200||No Bonus||9.98||Real Account Demo Account|
|1||Sydney, Australia.||$100||No Bonus||10.00||Real Account Demo Account|
|2||New Providence, Bahamas.||$100||No Bonus||9.99||Real Account Demo Account|
|6||Sydney, Australia.||$10||No Bonus||9.95||Real Account Demo Account|
|4||Limassol, Cyprus||$5||Up to $5000||9.97||Real Account Demo Account|
|5||Beachmont, Kingstown.||$100||100%||9.96||Real Account Demo Account|
|8||Belize, C.A.||$1.00||100%||9.93||Real Account Demo Account|
|7||US||$0||No Bonus||9.93||Real Account Demo Account|
|9||St. Vincent||$1||No Bonus||9.93||Real Account Demo Account|
|10||New Zealand||$0||No Bonus||8.10||Real Account Demo Account|
|Rank||Broker Reviews||Location||Minimum Deposit Amount||Deposit Bonus||Rating|
How do Forex Regulations affect you?
Since Forex trading is not regulated by any global authority, any FX regulation that has been put in place comes from the country where the trader is located. This means that if you are from the United States, you are subject to follow the governmental forex rules and regulations. If you have a problem with your broker or if there is a dispute between you and your broker; then it has to do with your local authorities that can intervene to help settle this dispute. However, if you trade from another country, then it gets very complicated, especially when the currency that they trade-in is not yours directly (for example US dollars).
Another thing to consider is that a currency may be regulated by one country, but the company you use to buy the currency may be located in a different country altogether. This means that the forex trading license of a specific broker can greatly vary depending on where you are and even where you are trading from.
Now let's look at some common problems or consequences that can occur within the unregulated market.
If you don't trade from your own country, then your FX regulations will vary with each business and each broker. This can cause major problems if you are not careful. One issue that many traders run into is that they start a business and register their practice with the government or financial organization in a different country. If the government regulates forex trading licenses, then it may require that you have a license or certificate before you can trade on theirs. The problem is that if you register in another country, then your registration is only recognized in their country. If they do not have any forex regulations, then there are no requirements for trade to be licensed and most businesses will ignore this fact. Since there is no regulation, any broker can open up and create an account for anyone without any in-depth identity checks or verifications of any kind. A huge reason for this is that the government does not have enough resources to ensure that each business is legitimate and licensed in the country in which they are located. So, this means that a business may open up in another country but still be under the jurisdiction of their government. The only way around this problem is to register your practice with the regulatory body of your country from the start. This is not always possible but if you are trading from another country, then it may be worth checking out whether or not you can do so.
Forex Regulations can work against you as well
There are some parts of forex trading regulation that are regulated by other countries. If a trading currency is regulated by a foreign country, then it does not necessarily mean that you have been singled out or targeted. It can also mean that your money is at a higher risk of being stolen from the government. This can be a huge issue for traders.
In some countries, if you are trading in the country’s currency, then your money is under the jurisdiction of their government. This means that they have more power over it and they can freeze your accounts or even add special fees to your account to use their currency exchange services.
There are also many countries that regulate Forex traders for the protection of their citizens and investors as well as for legal reasons. If you are trading in a certain country and they have banned Forex or trading on the currency market then they will also ban all businesses that deal with it as well. These businesses can include credit card companies, banks, and even forex brokers. This ban can include any financial institution that is part of the economy. This is because Forex trading is unregulated in most countries and does not have as many laws or regulations put in place for protection on investors who initiate Forex trades from other countries.
What are the possible consequences if you do not follow Forex Regulations?
Forex regulations are in place to protect consumers, ensure transparency and stop fraudsters from taking advantage of innocent traders.
If you are trading in the country that you live in, then the consequences could be harsh. There are many countries out there that are trying to improve their economy and encourage traders from all over the world to come and trade in their currency. If they do so and they have openly declared this fact, then they have put forex rules and regulations on Forex trading to ensure the legality and protect consumers from being taken advantage of. If a trader or broker breaks these rules, then they can face a hefty financial penalty or even criminal charges if they do not comply with the foreign exchange regulation act. Many different scenarios can occur depending on where you live, but it is never worth taking a risk with your finances.
If you are trading from another country and you do not follow forex rules and regulations, then it can be detrimental to your practice as well as your career. If a broker does not follow foreign exchange regulation act in any way, shape, or form, then it is highly likely that they are not registered in any government or financial organization. This means that if anything goes wrong and the authorities need to get involved; then you will have a lot of trouble doing so. Your money is under their jurisdiction and they have the right to freeze accounts or take all of your money away at their discretion. Likewise, if one of your trades goes wrong; then all of your money could be lost in an instant.
The overall point of this is to show you what the consequences can be if you do not follow foreign exchange regulations. If you are trading from another country, then we suggest that you register your business with the government or financial institution in your own country. This will ensure a safe, secure, and regulated place for your money and a sense of security if anything goes wrong.
So, there are different forex regulatory bodies in different countries to provide ultimate protection and provide smooth trading opportunities.
Functions of Forex Regulatory Bodies
The primary objective of Forex regulatory bodies is to regulate the Forex market and ensure that the brokers in the market are following all the rules and regulations for trading in this market. Forex regulatory bodies have a responsibility to implement policies, enforce rules, give out licenses to traders and brokers, provide customer protection services and take measures against any illegal activities happening in this market. There are many institutions that have been established by various government agencies from different countries to regulate various sectors of the economy including Forex market regulation too. These institutions are accountable to their regulators which are known as the central banks of countries.
There are basically three main types of regulatory bodies in Forex market regulation, Independent regulatory commissions, Executive agencies, and Government corporations. Nevertheless, the government regulators are responsible for overseeing the activities of domestic Forex brokers while other regulators may work on a global scale and ensure all the domestic regulatory bodies from different countries adhere to a set of uniform global standards. For example, The Financial Commission or FCA oversees the activities of not just UK-based brokers, but also brokers from other parts of Europe under its jurisdiction.
The major function of these forex regulatory bodies is to audit the operations of Forex brokers and enforce rules for customer protection. They also provide training programs for Forex brokers which help them in providing advisory services to retail customers.
Further, the forex regulation and control also take measures for the prevention of market manipulation, insider trading, fraud, and any violation of customer privacy. These institutions publish reports on their website so that customers can easily access and read about their issues with Forex brokers. Their reports are based on reviews conducted by independent auditors who are appointed by these institutions.
Financial losses of retail traders have increased significantly over the past few years and this is mainly due to poor customer protection and poor client funds custody practices adopted by various Forex brokers. The matter is of serious concern to the regulatory bodies on many levels and as a result, they have taken several measures to protect customers from such issues.
To understand how safe a particular regulation is, they are divided into different tiers such as Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, etc. Tier 1 resembles the top security.
What are tiers in Forex Regulations?
If you are trading on the Forex market, it is very important to understand how different levels of regulation may affect your trades. The top tier regulators are the safest ones while Tier 2 or Tier 3 are less safe. However, that doesn’t mean that these lower tiers will be highly unsafe. Most regulated forex brokers are safe for any trader. But the top tier gives some extra protection such as negative balance protections, checking the brokers’ operation in other countries as well as the age before they give a forex license to a specific broker.
Forex Regulations by Geography
The Forex market is so huge and widespread that countries have their own forex regulations about it. By doing your research on what rules and regulations are in place for your country, you will be able to make informed decisions about the financial markets. Let’s take a quick look at the available forex regulatory bodies in different geographical locations.
|Geography||Forex Regulatory Bodies|
|Europe||Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) – Cyprus Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in Switzerland Financial Market Authority (FMA) in Austria Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) in Germany Finanstilsynet (FSA) in Denmark Comisión Nacional de Mercado de Valores (CNMV) in Spain Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) in Malta Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM) in Portugal Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) in France Czech National Bank (CNB) Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Swedish FSA)|
|UK||Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) Financial Services Compensation Fund (FSCS)|
|USA||National Futures Association (NFA) Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)|
|Canada||Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC) Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)|
|Australia||Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Australian Financial Services (AFS)|
|South Africa||Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)|
|New Zealand||New Zealand Financial Service Provider Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL)|
|UAE||Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Abu Dhabi Central Bank Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)|
|China||China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC)|
|Japan||Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA Japan) Japan Investor Protection Fund (JIPF) Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA)|
|Singapore||Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Singapore Exchange (SGX)|
European forex Legislative Frameworks
In Europe, there are two legislative networks MiFID II and ESMA to ensure the safety of the forex traders as well as the brokers. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is a European Union financial supervision authority composed of representatives from its 27 member countries. The EU's capital markets regulator, the ESMA is responsible for promoting fair and orderly financial markets in Europe including derivatives, mutual funds, share trading, and bonds.
ESMA provides investors with information about asset prices on markets across the continent as well as providing industry-specific advice. The agency gives investors access to a range of tools and services to protect their rights in the face of crises or deal with other market-related issues. It also monitors the financial sector, reporting to politicians when needed.
Top Forex Regulatory Bodies
Forex trading has taken the world by storm and has become a favorite way for some investors to diversify their portfolios and generate returns that are higher than what is achievable in domestic markets. But before you jump in, you need to know how forex trading is regulated by different financial authorities. Forex regulatory bodies also differ from one country to another so do your research and decide on which body best suits your needs. Let’s see the top forex regulatory bodies so that you can sign up with the best forex brokers.
Commodities Futures Trade Commission (CFTC) and National Futures Association (NFA)- USA
The Commodities Futures Trade Commission (CFTC) is in charge of regulating the US futures market and maintaining a fair trading environment for all participants. CFTC has been around since 1974, helping to realize the most significant changes in forex and commodity trading over the past four decades by issuing rulings, proposing regulations, and making recommendations intended to protect traders, market stability, and consumers that purchase financial products such as futures contracts.
CFTC’s main function is to oversee the financial product futures contracts that are traded on U.S. exchanges, which presently number around 60. Futures are nothing more than agreements to purchase or sell a commodity at a given price at a future date. A futures contract is a legally binding obligation and does not carry with it an ownership interest in the underlying commodity like stocks do. They also provide forex licenses to the appropriate brokers.
There are two main forex regulations within the United States Futures Industry: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA). The CFTC is the regulatory body that is in charge of licensing brokers, setting up rules and regulations, while NFA is a self-regulatory organization that oversees the futures industry.
- The CFTC’s main goal is to make sure the people who trade futures contracts are protected by regulating brokers and to make sure market manipulation does not happen within the industry.
- The NFA helps create educational materials for the public about trading futures contracts along with keeping track of any infractions that occur within the industry itself.
The biggest product traded on futures contracts are crude oil, natural gas, and soft agricultural products like wheat and coffee. Also, the futures contract prices are used to help determine the actual cash market price of such products. For example, let’s assume that over a 10-day period of time, a barrel of crude oil costs $80.00 each day. Then on day 11, crude oil prices dropped to $50.00 per barrel for no apparent reason. This would be considered an anomaly and is referred to as price discovery. The futures market price and the actual cash market price of crude oil are almost always within a penny or less of each other.
There are two main types of regulation that the CFTC enforces: over-the-counter (OTC) trades and exchange-traded contracts. For OTC contracts, there is no governing body to oversee their trading, so the CFTC steps in to make sure this type of contract trade is conducted in an orderly fashion. Exchange-traded contracts are more closely monitored by regulating bodies because they are listed on exchanges and require a lot more scrutiny than OTC products. This type of trading is more closely regulated than OTC trading.
However, the CFTC has a lot of power with regulatory agencies around them. The CFTC does not only oversee the futures commission and their exchanges in the U.S., but also any futures contracts that are traded internationally. The CFTC works closely with foreign regulators to make sure that U.S. futures contracts are operating in a fair manner so that international traders can trade easily and safely within the commodities market.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)- UK
The FCA is a supervisory body of the financial market in the UK also works as forex regulation. Its job is to make sure that UK financial markets are fair, open, and transparent for consumers. The FCA also ensures that the relevant rules and practices meet international standards by providing forex trading licenses, in particular through its European counterparts.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a public law organization in the United Kingdom with regulatory oversight of financial services companies, including banks, insurance firms, investment managers, and some non-bank lenders such as payday loans.
The FCA has three main functions:
- Compression - The FCA compresses the distribution chain to make sure that it only distributes to authorized distributors of its own choosing.
- Market Surveillance - It monitors and reports on market practices in financial services companies.
- Compliance & Enforcement - It enforces standards and controls through enforcement action, both within the firms themselves as well as against rogue actors outside them.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was founded in 2013 in the wake of the global financial crisis to shore up confidence in the financial services market and protect consumers. The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, whose recommendations led to the FCA's creation, had found that a multitude of acronyms did not prevent financial products from causing consumer detriment and that there were serious problems with supervision. The FCA took over from a number of existing regulators which it brought together under one single roof.
The FCA is accountable to Parliament rather than directly to Government ministers. It has a broad range of powers, covering consumer protection and conduct of business rules in addition to the protections already mentioned. It can investigate any firm, person, or product it wishes. Further, it has an implied right to intervene in the affairs of any firm which it considers in need of its intervention and can remove any executive or non-executive director from its post so long as it provides them with due notice.
Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)- Switzerland
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is the financial markets regulatory agency of Switzerland and forex license provider in Switzerland. The tasks of FINMA are to regulate and supervise Swiss financial market participants, to provide a sound and competitive financial system, to promote Switzerland as a leading hub in the global financial system, and to promote public confidence in Switzerland’s finance industry.
The FINMA regulates the Swiss securities market, forex, banking sector, and insurance industry. FINMA operates independently from political influence with an extensive legal mandate aimed at safeguarding Switzerland's economic prosperity. In addition to its national mandate, FINMA also assists other countries in regulating their financial sectors with a view towards building up cross-border supervision rather than competing with one another.
Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)- Australia
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is a government agency that investigates and takes legal action against companies that are suspected of breaching securities, trade practices, or corporation’s law. ASIC is responsible for protecting investors from misleading conduct, dishonesty, theft, and abuse as well as the integrity of the financial markets by approving forex licenses for respective brokers.
ASIC has a number of specific roles and responsibilities. ASIC is responsible for the fair and efficient functioning of Australia's financial system. Further, it administers the Corporations Act, which covers most corporations. The Act includes provisions that require companies, partnerships, and other bodies to register with ASIC and forms part of the Commonwealth's consumer protection framework. The Act also provides a range of powers for ASIC to deal with problems in the financial markets.
One of ASIC's key responsibilities is to make sure that forex brokers comply with their reporting obligations to their investors under the Corporations legislation (the Corporations Act). The Act requires all public companies to lodge reports with ASIC on an annual basis and file specific information in their financial reports. These include information relating to the company's financial performance and financial position, details of any proposed mergers or acquisitions, and details of any changes to the company's constitution.
However, ASIC does not have the power to regulate the prices at which securities are traded. Nevertheless, ASIC does have a role in ensuring that retail investors are not misled about or by the securities that are being offered for sale. It is illegal for a person making a market for an issuer's securities to make misleading or deceptive statements about those securities.
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)- Cyprus
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is the Cyprus Regulatory Authority for the financial markets and also acts as forex regulation.
CySEC has a variety of tasks, such as:
- Supervisory functions include market surveillance and risk management.
- Regulatory functions consist of authorizing international investment funds to operate in Cyprus and implementing legislation at the European Union level.
- Policy responsibilities cover issues affecting both features and customers such as product designations, business conduct standards, or shareholder protection policies.
- Regulating the securities market in order to protect investors' interests and promote fair competition between participants in the market.
- Supervising Cyprus' Financial Institutions according to its statutory powers under Law 87(I)/1997.
- Promoting investor protection through educational services and public awareness programs, as well as enforcing investor protection rules in the field of financial institutions, insurance companies, and other regulated entities in accordance with its statutory powers under Law 87(I)/1997.
- Establishing and maintaining investor education programs in the fields of risk management, investment and securities trading, financial markets, and other related matters.
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission's mission is to protect investors by regulating the financial system of Cyprus with a view to facilitating market access for Cypriots as well as to safeguard consumer interests in the financial markets being most regulated forex brokers by CySEC.
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)- Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the central bank of Singapore. Its responsibilities include managing the exchange rate of the Singapore dollar, managing monetary stability, setting monetary policy and forex regulations, promoting financial inclusion with universal access to affordable credit.
- Managing the Exchange Rate of Singapore Dollar: MAS manages both foreign exchange reserves and intervenes in currency markets to carry out its mandate to manage the rate at which Singapore dollars are exchanged for different currencies. It does this by buying or selling foreign currencies through open market operations. This ensures the stability of the Singapore dollar in relation to other currencies. If the exchange rate is too high and if MAS does nothing, the inflow of capital into Singapore would increase and this would push up prices in Singapore. Fewer people outside will buy goods from Singapore because they will buy them cheaper from other countries. If the exchange rate is too low, there would be less inflow of capital into Singapore and this would result in lower wages and lower productivity as less money to invest would be available.
- Managing monetary stability: MAS also looks into monetary stability which means ensuring that prevailing economic conditions are indeed favorable for economic growth to occur. It does this by ensuring that inflation is low, stable, and predictable. It does this by identifying possible causes of inflation, judging the extent of the impact on prices, and calculating their forecasts for prices. This enables MAS to have a clear view of the future economic growth of Singapore as a result of controlling inflation.
- Setting Monetary Policy: MAS also sets monetary policy which refers to what interest rate should be set at any point in time. This is done by knowing the economic situation in Singapore and the impact it has on interest rates. For example, if Singapore's economy is growing, MAS will reduce interest rates in order to boost growth. If Singapore's economy is shrinking, MAS will increase the interest rate to prevent further fall in demand and make use of available resources more profitable. However, changes in interest rates affect different people differently, depending on the amount of money they are holding and the type of loan that they have applied for or have taken (for example whether it is a fixed deposit or a variable deposit) (MAS, 2011). This makes it difficult for MAS to set one single interest rate. Thus, MAS decides on how much money banks should hold as reserves which it refers to as the required reserves ratio.
Forex regulations are important because of the need to protect consumers from fraudulent foreign exchange brokers. This protection is especially needed for people who do not know how to assess a company's legitimacy and due diligence. Foreign exchange regulations help consumers by, among other things, helping them understand their rights as well as the limitations of their rights when dealing with foreign entities.
Best Forex Brokers By Countries List