The Financial Markets Authority is the public body in charge of supervising the functioning of financial markets, investor protection and information. Binary options, CFDs and forex are relatively new products, which appeared a few years ago and are of growing interest to individuals, and it has recently stepped up its surveillance in this area.
A mission to monitor all financial market participants
The AMF’s main task is therefore to monitor and possibly sanction financial market participants, primarily those who do not have a licence to operate in France:
The AMF has various means at its disposal to detect sites operating without authorisation: monitoring of advertising, company controls, complaints and/or reports from individuals via the Epargne Info Service platform.
In practical terms, the measures put in place to curb and combat this phenomenon include detecting unauthorised sites, publishing and updating a list on the AMF website and issuing alerts and warnings against such investment offers. These alerts are widely reported by the press, which regularly publishes articles warning of the dangers of these unauthorized sites. The AMF works in coordination with other competent authorities such as the professional advertising regulator and judicial authorities.
Here is what the AMF says about forex brokers in general (CFDs, Binary Options and Forex):
Many online advertisements promise fast and significant profits for those who bet on Forex.
Very attractive, these online advertisements make you believe that you can become a “trader” in a few days, supplement your income or even stop working. But as in the casino, there is no such thing as a martingale…
The Financial Markets Authority targets sites that do not comply with regulations and are not authorised to operate or approach French clients:
the AMF recommends that you systematically check whether the site offering you to invest in Forex is indeed on the list of providers authorised to provide investment services in France: consult the website www.regafi.fr for this purpose.
If the intermediary concerned is not on this list, do not respond to its requests. You would take the risk of choosing a service provider that does not comply with the basic rules of investor protection and proper information. It will also be difficult for you to make a claim against this service provider, especially since in some cases it may be a real scam. We advise you to choose securities on such as Web Option, Interactive Option and TopOption, 24option and 10trade five regulated binary option brokers CySEC and AMF which have for the most part offices in Paris and whose 100% of withdrawals are processed within 48 hours.
The website of the Autorité des marchés financiers also specifies the difference between approved and non-accredited sites:
An approved site is a site authorized to offer financial services or products to individuals in France. The supervisory authority shall verify that the company has organised itself in such a way as to be able to provide minimum security and quality to the services it offers to its customers.
An unlicensed site is the site of a company that does not have the authorization to offer financial services in France. This entity is not included in the official file maintained by the authorities. Behind an unauthorized company there is often a scam: your money is not invested in Forex and you will not be able to get it back.
It also publishes a black list of sites soliciting French customers illegally, it regularly updates this black list, which is not exhaustive.
Possible mediation in case of problems
The second aspect of the AMF’s policy is mediation, which consists of linking individuals and brokers when the usual channels of discussion are broken following a conflict. Anyone can contact the AMF Ombudsman by e-mail or paper mail. Once again, the regulator specifies:
However, please be aware that compensation will be very difficult, if not impossible. Since Forex scam sites are mainly based abroad, it is very complicated to prosecute those responsible, when they are identified, in court.
However, in some cases (few in number compared to all the Forex cases received), when the company is authorised and agrees to enter into mediation, it is possible to find a solution to the dispute by referring it to the AMF Ombudsman (by letter addressed to the AMF Ombudsman or by completing the mediation request form available on the AMF website).
The AMF is therefore a key player in the financial microcosm, it is essential to ensure that the brokers you use are properly registered in order to benefit from its support in the event of a dispute. It is also an additional guarantee of reliability to be cross-checked with the reviews of authentic customers.