There is no question as to the necessity of trading with regulated forex brokers. However, choosing the best regulated forex broker can be a difficult task. A regulatory authority assures the economic strength of the broker its compliance with the law. It proves that a forex broker will treat its client in a fair way. Without regulation, traders are left without any assurance about the safety of their funds. So before taking the decision of which regulated forex broker to trade with, have a look into their regulation and if they offer services to your country of residence. Brokers with more than one supervisory body should be considered above brokers with only one. What is more, the strength of the regulatory authority should be considered as a key factor when choosing the best regulated forex broker. Below is a regulated forex brokers list for you to choose from.
Regulated forex brokers list
MAS, JFSA, DIFC
Why choose to trade with a regulated forex broker?
Considering that the forex market is decentralized and unregulated, you might wonder why you should only choose to trade with regulated forex brokers. Regulations exist in a market to ensure that the parties involved conduct their business in a fair and ethical manner. By regulating fx brokers, banks, institutional investors and support industries, traders and investors can feel safe and have the confidence to invest in the forex market. This way growth and stability is nurtured across the industry.
A forex broker must be registered and licensed by the regulatory body that is in charge of regulating forex trading and speculative, high leveraged products in the country that they want to operate in. Apart from the need to be licensed, regulated forex brokers are also required to submit regular audits in order to ensure that they meet the regulatory requirements and comply with industry standard. For example, most forex regulatory bodies will require that the broker holds sufficient liquid capital is able to execute and complete the forex contracts initiated by their clients. In addition, the broker must also be able to return all its clients’ money in the event it becomes insolvent.
What is a Forex Regulation?
The foreign exchange market or forex market for short, is the largest example of a free market at work. The daily turnover is approximately more than 4 trillion dollars worth of transactions. However, despite the amount of money that flows through the forex market, it is an OTC (Over the Counter) market and is unregulated in most parts of the world. The forex market is decentralized and there is no central exchange that is specially geared towards the handling of forex transactions. Even with the decentralized and unregulated nature of the forex market, trading on an institutional basis poses no problems due to the fact that the parties involved trust each other.
Nevertheless, as forex trading becomes more accessible and popular among retail traders, it also becomes more prone to fraud. In order to counter fraudulent activities in the forex markets, many countries have set legislation in place to regulate forex trading activities. This is done by requiring forex brokers to be regulated by regulatory agencies such as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the National Futures Association in the US (NFA). Within their respective reach, these regulatory agencies act as the watchdog for traders dealing with forex brokers operating under their jurisdictions and geography.
Major Regulatory Bodies
Forex regulation differs from country to country. Each regulatory body, has its own specific regulatory requirements and its area/geography of jurisdictions. Enforcement policies also vary from region to region. In major financial centers such as London and New York, the regulatory agencies are considered to be more strict in enforcing regulatory requirements, due to the need to protect the reputational integrity of the financial industry for that region. However, that is not always the case. As the industry attracts more interest, the need for more strict measures and regulation becomes prominent across the globe.
Below are some of the major regulatory bodies which every forex trader should be aware of:
- Australia: Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
- British Columbia Securities Commission
- Ontario Securities Commission
- Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)
- Cyprus: Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC)
- Denmark: Danish FSA
- France:Banque de France Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel (ACP)
- Germany: Bundeszentrale für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (Bafin)
- Hong Kong SAR: Securities and Futures Commission
- Indonesia: Badan Pengawas Perdagangan Berjangka Komoditi
- Italy: Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa
- Financial Services Agency,
- Japan Investor Protection Fund
- The Financial Futures Association of Japan
- Japan Securities Dealers Association
- Kanto Local Finance Bureau
- Russia: The Commission on Regulation of Financial Markets Participants Relationships
- Licensed clearing member of the Singapore Exchange
- Monetary Authority of Singapore
- Spain: Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores
- Sweden: Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen)
- Groupement Suisse des Conseils en Gestion Indépendants
- Association Romande des intermediares financiers
- Swiss Federal Department of Finance
- Organisme d’autorégulation fondé par le GSCGI
- Commission fédérale des banques
- Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
- Turkey: Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMB)
- United Arab Emirates: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
- United Kingdom: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- United States:
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.
- New York Stock Exchange
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
- Securities and Exchanges Commission
- Commodities and Futures Trading Commission
- National Futures Association
It should be noted that member countries in the European Union (EU) share a common regulatory framework under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) passed by the European Parliament. The objective of the directive was to harmonize the regulation of financial services providers operating within the European Economic Area (EEA). This means an EEA authorized forex broker will be able to “passport” its services legally to another member state through the authorization obtained from its home country. For example, a CySEC regulated forex broker is permitted to operate in the UK by “passporting” its CySEC license to the UK’s FCA.
How can regulations protect you?
Regulations play a huge role in protecting investors interest as they traverse through financial service providers such as forex brokers, and prompt them to act in a fair, ethical and compliant manner.
- A major requirement of every regulator is the segregation of funds of clients funds. Forex Brokers must maintain segregated accounts for their clients’ fund and their own operational funds in order to prevent possible abuse by the broker. Moreover, should a broker become bankrupt, its creditors are not allowed to tap into the broker’s clients fund as settlement of the broker’s debt.
- Another important regulatory requirement imposed by the regulatory bodies, is the requirement that forex brokers warn their potential clients of the high risk involved in forex trading and high leveraged products. This rule was put in place to forewarn traders that they face a possibility of losing all their investments due to the risks involved.
- Based on the above requirement, brokers must categorize their clients either retail investors or professional/institutional investors. This is due to the fact that professional investors are regarded as experienced traders with great awareness of the risks involved in trading forex. As such, brokers have to make additional efforts to educate their retail clients of the nature of risks involved with forex trading.
- Another way which regulations protect retail traders is the leverage which forex brokers are permitted to offer to their clients. Forex brokers in the U.S are only permitted by the NFA to offer their clients a maximum of 1:50 leverage ratio. Forex Brokers in the EU need to test their clients with the use of general assessment tests, in order to specify how much leverage they can use.
- Furthermore, regulators provide a level of protection to the investors by guaranteeing a certain amount of compensation, should the broker become insolvent. For instance CySEC provides compensation to the tune of 20,000 EUR for deposits lost.
Regulatory requirements from regulated brokers
As mentioned earlier, the regulatory requirements for forex brokers vary from region to region. Although the specific details of the regulatory requirements may vary from region to region, there are some commonalities observed across all regulatory agencies:
- Brokers are required to maintain sufficient liquidity to meet all contractual obligations.
- Brokers are required to maintain segregated accounts.
- Brokers are required to submit regular audits to verify their compliance on their capital adequacy ratio.
- Leverage ratios are capped to a certain limit.
There is no doubt that investors can benefit from trading with a regulated broker, as opposed to trading with an unregulated broker. To help investors verify the regulatory status of a broker, most regulatory agencies maintain an online database which investors can access in order to verify whether a broker is truly regulated by the specific agency. We have researched deeply into the very best regulated forex brokers in the market and can save you the trouble of searching for yourself. Here is a list of the best regulated Forex brokers , with a view to their reliability, technology, service standards and ancillary products.