Russia to limit forex trading to “qualified investors” only?

Russia to limit forex trading to “qualified investors” only?

Do not invest more money than you can afford to lose.


It seems that Russian authorities are hell-bent on limiting the access of the general public to online forex trading by posing all sorts of legal obstacles and constraints.

After the latest forex regulation laws came into effect this year, Russia’s Central Bank and MPs set about amending them and coming up with all kinds of new requirements and conditions. Earlier this week came the news of the planned limiting of the maximum leverage to 1:50. On Wednesday surfaced media reports that the Russian MPs are planning to limit online forex trading only to “qualified investors” – a person with a university diploma in economics, at leas two years of experience in trading and own capital of no less than RUB 6 million (around $90 000). This in practice would exclude the general public from the list of potential retail forex traders and would limit the investment opportunities to the wealthy. Currently the average monthly salary in Russia is RUB 36 210 ($550), according to official statistics.

This particular amendment to the draft № 928614-6, changing several Russian federal laws, including that on the self-regulation of the financial markets, has been proposed by the megaregulator Bank of Russia. The law is due to be discussed at a second reading in Russia’s parliament shortly. According to publications in the Russian media, however, the proposal to limit the access of the general public to trading in forex, is already supported by the second-largest party in the parliament – the Communist Party, which has 92 seats in the 450-seat Duma.

Other proposed amendments provide that the Bank of Russia would have the authority to block the access to unauthorized forex brokers, much like the Belarusian National Bank already started doing.

Last year the average retail forex trading volume per month was $330 billion, generated by about active 460 000 traders on the platforms of the 100+ forex brokers operating in Russia. Currently there are three licensed forex brokers in Russia – Finam, TeleTrade and TrustForex. Recently the two largest ones – Alpari and ForexClub were refused Russian licenses and continue operating through offshore registrations, like the other brokers.

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