Open Investments and Financial Company Forex Club, a unit of brokerage Forex Club, have become the first two forex brokers to receive a statues as registered forex trading service providers with the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB), according to data published on the bank’s website. The NBRB added them both to the register on 19 April, 2016.
In Belarus, acquiring a registration with the central bank is the equivalent to acquiring an authorization or a license in other countries. Since March this year, the Belarusian central bank is required to maintain a register of all forex brokers operational in the country. Forex brokerage TeleTrade Group has also said its Belarusian unit TeleTradeBel has applied for a registration with the central bank and is awaiting the bank’s response.
In the beginning of June 2015, Belarisan president Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on a new set of laws for companies on the financial market. The NBRB also has to maintain a national forex center for supervision of the compliance with requirements of the decree.
Under the Belarusian regulation, forex brokers need to meet a number of requirements, including to keep client assets in segregated bank accounts with local Belarusian banks, and to provide a minimum capital of BYR 2 billion, or about $100,000, The minimum capital requirement is significantly lower than in other countries. For instance, in Belize the required amount for forex brokers is at least $500,000 and in the UK its €730,000. In other countries capital requirements are even higher – €1 million for full license and €200,000 for limited license in Cyprus, and $1 million in Australia. In the USA and Switzerland the required minimum capital is $20 million and CHF 20 million, respectively.
The law amendments in Belarus came shortly after Russia introduced its own regulatory framework for forex brokers. Under the new laws, as of 1 January this year, Russia-based forex brokers are not allowed to target local citizens, unless they have a license issued by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). However, foreign forex brokers can still service Russian citizens even without a local license. So far, Finam Forex is the only entity to have obtained a Russian forex license, but more entities have applied for a license, including Forex Club.
Forex Club also said on Tuesday the receiving of a status as a registered Belarusian forex broker is key not only for its development in the country, but also within Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), or the former Soviet countries.
Forex Club is a collective brand of several entities that provide trading in forex and contrast for difference (CFDs). The group companies serve clients in more than 120 countries. The brokerage applied in mid-March to be included into the Belarusian central bank’s forex register.