France’s AMF Ombudsman Marielle Cohen-Branche reported a drop in the number of complaints against forex brokers in 2016 – for the first time in five years.
According to the official data, the number of grievances filed with the ombudsman’s office this past year was 116, compared to 139 in 2015. They were aimed at 40 companies, but the majority of requests for mediation were involving five brokers. The report, however, did not reveal their names.
One thing that the document revealed, however, is that the majority of complaints (83%) were against brokers regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) who are using the passporting rules under MiFID to operate throughout the EU. Most complaints included allegations of psychological manipulation, phone harassment and siphoning of the account funds.
Of the 116 complaints, 56 were against unregulated brokerages, which is a 37% drop from 89 in the preceding year.
Of the 78 cases in which the Ombudsman came out with a recommendation, 71 were in favor the complainant and resulted in the recovery of nearly €800 000 (79% of the total amount lost).
In her report Marielle Cohen-Branche noted a new trend in 2016 – that people with larger savings were becoming targets of aggressive harassment more frequently. Some of the complaints for harassment came indeed from such people whose “advisors” were well aware of their savings. The figures, according to the ombudsman, corroborate those claims: the average recovered sum was €11 938, which is higher than in 2015, while half of the claims were for over €5000. At the same time, one of the complainants lost over €90 000 and the cumulative losses in all cases exceeded €1 million.
We remind you that AMF is at the forefront of the campaign against the unscrupulous practices of the forex and binary options brokers. Last year France became the first EU country who officially banned the forex, CFD and binary options brokers to advertise and promote their services via electronic means of communication and though sponsorship deals with football clubs.