Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has agreed on a settlement with Rodeler Ltd. (operating under the forex and binary options brands 24Option, QuickOption, 24FX and GrandOption), under which the company will pay €140,000 for not complying with the local regulation. The settlement was entered after the company had been offering trading in forex, binary options, and contracts for difference (CFDs) in Belgium without publishing a prospectus prior to that, as the laws require.
In addition, Rodeler has submitted no advertising or other documents relating to the tender offer to the prior approval of the FSMA.
In Belgium, entities that offer investment instruments to the public are subject to the obligation to publish a prospectus with information relating to the nature of the investment instrument and the issuer, as well as the risks associated with the investment. All documents and advertising relating to a public offer of investment instruments in Belgium must, prior to release, be subject to the approval of the FSMA.
The FSMA has required Rodeler to contact each local customers and offer them the possibility to terminate their contracts benefiting from reimbursement of their current balance, without any charge.
The FSMA announced earlier this month that it is prohibiting as of 18 August the online marketing of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, including forex, binary options and CFDs, on the territory of Belgium. “These are products that are marketed aggressively and are extremely risky, often involving transactions over a very short period and without any connection to the real economy,” the regulator said at the time.
Rodeler is licensed as a Cypriot Investment Firm (CIF) by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). As such, it complies with the EU’s regulatory requirements and has access to the markets in all countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). Although registered with a number of authorities, such brokers fall under the regulation of a single authority, in this case the CySEC. However, in order to operate the broker is required in most countries to be registered with the local regulatory body. They still have to meet certain regulations specific to the local jurisdictions.
As of 1 August, 24Option.com, one of the websites operated by Rodele, was banned from providing services in France for not complying with the local regulations.
Meanwhile, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) complained in July that a number of unlicensed forex and binary options websites, including those operated by Rodele, were seeking to expand their market by soliciting residents of Australia. The regulator added at the time that when contacted the entity had agreed to cooperate.