Israel’s Knesset to discuss ban on binary options offering abroad – media

Israel’s Knesset to discuss ban on binary options offering abroad – media

Israel’s legislative body, the Knesset, will discuss the eventual ban of offering of binary options abroad from the territory of the country.

According to the site Finance Magnates, the “Binary Options Act” will be tabled by Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon on June 18, 2017. It has been drafted by the finance ministry, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) and legal experts from the parliament and the Justice Ministry.

If the law passes at the two readings in parliament, the offering of binary options to clients abroad and taking foreign will be forbidden. A breach of the law will be treated as money laundering and offenders (companies and individuals) can face various punishments, including one year in prison.

Earlier this week ISA’s director Shmuel Hauser has likened binary options to “blood diamonds” and said proceeds from the industry was money taken by fraud and robbery.

The offering of binary options to people within Israel has been banned for a little over a year, but the authorities in the country have been turning a blind eye to the unscrupulous and often fraudulent binary options industry. Most likely the main reason was that it was “too big to fail”. Estimates of the industry’s turnover vary from $1 billion to $10 billion and their call centers employ thousands.

First indications that the Israeli authorities are planning to take measures against the binary options industry offering its products abroad appeared towards the end of 2016. The matter has been discussed at several committee meetings in the Knesset.

At the first sign of upcoming trouble Banc de Binary – one of the largest Israeli binary options brokers – closed up shop, renounced its Cyprus license and stopped accepting clients from the EU.

Another major binary options broker, again with a Cyprus license, Anyoption, also closed its Israeli call center and recently merged with the forex brokerage and portfolio management provider.

Considering that most binary options brokers (the regulated ones) have license from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the expected changes would hardly affect their business, except their call centers. Nevertheless, the new law would at least send a strong signal to them.

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