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Binary options broker 24Option has become the latest one to close its call center in Israel on back of the harsh regulatory requirements, finance media Finance Magnates reported on Thursday. The broker’s Israeli office is scheduled for closing in May, which will lead to the lay off of more than 150 of its employees.
24Option will move its Israeli operations to another country, the media said without disclosing details.
Considering the recent industry events, 24Option has possibly decided to close its Israel base in order to comply with the latest requirements of its home regulator, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Last month, the Cypriot watchdog announced it is setting new standards for binary option brokers and their employees who provide information to customers about the entity’s services. One of the new rules requires Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs) to provide certain activities internally, either from its head office or from its branch situated in another EU member state (which Israel is not).
“During recent months, Rodeler Ltd. [the operator of the 24Option brand] has taken actions to strengthen its presence in the EU, to continue leading the trading market,” Finance Magnates cited the company as saying in a response notice to the media. “In order to adapt itself to the CySec’s latest circular, requiring all CIFs to work only with sales services providers that are located within the EU, Rodeler Ltd. has substantially expanded in the EU, and will continue to operate and provide services under the highest professional and regulatory standards.”
24Optio is not the first broker to close its contact centers in Israel. Recently, binary options brokerage anyoption did the same and laid off some 80 employees in the country. Brokers OptionRally and OptionBit also cut most of its staff in Israel who served English-speaking customers. Meanwhile, in January Banc de Binary renounced its Cypriot license, its sole one, just days after it became clear the broker no longer accepts new clients within the EU and existing clients will only be able to close their positions.
In Israel, brokers are not allowed to offer binary option instruments within the country, but they can still target foreign investors. The country is also a hub for binary options call centers. Recently, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) said it was drafting a legislation that would expand its authority and enable it to shut down entities that solicit customers abroad, as currently its authority is limited to the country’s borders. A possible ban of marketing outside of the country would mean the end of Israel-based call centers.
24Option is a brand of Rodeler Ltd., an entity licensed by the CySEC to provide investment and ancillary services. It offers forex and binary option trading mainly in Europe. The company also operates the websites www.24fx.com, www.grandoption.com, and www.quickoption.com.
The broker recently announced it was expanding its offering with forex and contracts for difference (CFDs) on the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform. With the move, the broker includes non-binary option instruments and allows its traders to diversified their.