Cysec Regulated Binary Options Brokers – Investor Protection

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CySEC Regulation & Forex Brokers in Cyprus

CySEC is one of the most popular regulatory agencies in the world when it comes to regulating all types of financial companies operating out of Cyprus. The Cyprus Securities And Exchange Commission was introduced way back in 2001, even before Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004. Ever since Cyprus became a part of the EU, the CySEC also became a subsidiary of the European MiFID regulatory organization, thereby enabling all CySEC members to carry out business across the European continent.
Cyprus is a highly popular attraction for Forex brokers who wish to set up base in a relatively easy and convenient location. Cyprus offers a lot of advantages when it comes to setting up a corporate headquarter, which is one of the main reasons why Cyprus sees the maximum number of Forex brokers offering financial services for traders across the world. CySEC Forex brokers are completely accountable to the CySEC under the MiFID directive, and are liable to legal action, including hefty fines and suspension of licenses, for non-compliance of the stipulated laws and guidelines.

CySEC has relatively easy regulatory guidelines and a fast approval process that allows CySEC regulated brokers to set up camp in Cyprus with minimum formalities. Cyprus was also formerly known as a tax haven before being admitted into the EU, which provided additional incentives for companies who wished to save on taxes and increase their revenue.
CySEC also used to be broker friendly in terms of fines or suspension of licenses for misdeeds, which attracted criticism from all quarters of the globe, especially from other European Union members and their regulatory agencies. CySEC regulated Forex brokers have been known to indulge in financial malpractices and fraud, which had resulted in clients losing millions of dollars on an annual basis. This forced the CySEC to reform its regulatory guidelines to ensure that all regulated Forex brokers adhere to the most stringent laws to protect clients’ funds and interests.

A Pioneer In The Field Of Regulations

While CySEC received wide-spread criticism for its governing policies during the initial days, CySEC is clearly a pioneer in terms of bringing ground-breaking regulatory guidelines that changed the financial markets for the better. CySEC is the first regulatory agency in the world to regulate binary options by terming it as a valid financial instrument and is at the forefront of regulating a majority of leading binary options brokers in the entire world. CySEC paved the way for all the other regulatory agencies to quickly follow in their footsteps by recognizing binary options as a valid financial instrument and regulating related brokers in their respective countries.

How Are The Consumers Protected?

Since 2020, CySEC has been continuously updating their regulatory framework to incorporate several new initiatives that are designed to safeguard consumers against financial crimes and abuse. CySEC now works extensively with the European MiFID to create guidelines that concentrate on ensuring that all compliant members are honest in their dealings with the general public to ensure the integrity of the markets.
Unlike the NFA or CFTC, CySEC does not entertain consumer complaints directly. The CySEC has instructed all regulated members to address their clients’ complaints in an efficient manner through a dedicated customer support channel. Therefore, a trader should contact their broker directly regarding any complaints and await further instructions on a problem resolution. In case the client does not receive an amicable solution, CySEC recommends contacting the Financial Ombudsman, or the Court as a last resort.
The primary mission of CySEC is to regulate the markets and to supervise the conduct of financial organizations operating on Cyprus soil. While investor protection is a top priority in their updated mission, consumers can not contact the CySEC directly for any complaint resolution or arbitration services.

Verifying The Authenticity of CySEC Regulated Forex Brokers

The relatively easy CySEC regulations provided scam Forex brokers to make false regulatory claims and trick unsuspecting users. Current CySEC regulations state that all Forex brokers are required to quote the five digit CySEC license number prominently on their website. Consumers are also encouraged to verify the authenticity of a Forex broker by confirming the license information through the official CySEC website.
CySEC frequently updates its circulars and warning notices to inform the public about members that have been fined or have their licenses revoked for any financial wrongdoings. In case the consumers are confused about the status of any particular company, they can directly contact the CySEC to get more information.

Criticism & Way Forward

CySEC can be considered as a controversy’s play child since most EU regulators often criticise the way CySEC works. Most regulators often feel that the fines levied on members for non-compliance is small, and companies are let off with a simple warning for financial frauds that can get them banned in other countries. Therefore, the MiFID constantly oversees the working of the CySEC to ensure that their regulatory guidelines are continually adjusted to bring financial firms in line with standard protocols.
Despite the fact that CySEC has a long way to move forward in terms of regulation, it is indeed one of the most popular regulatory organizations that have achieved a tremendous growth rate. Financial companies still favour CySEC over other agencies due to the relative ease of regulation and lesser formalities. However, all of that is set to change in the next few years if CySEC hopes to be taken seriously by the MiFID.

CySEC Regulates Binary Options Trading

It was recently announced that CySEC would be regulating Binary Options and vetting applications from brokerage firms for this much sought after certification. CySEC’s decision to recognize that Binary Options fall within the purview of the Investment Services and Related Activities Law (2007-2009) has stirred great interest in a rapidly growing industry. The exponential growth of Binary Options in the wake of the SEC’s announcement that they were to be listed by the Chicago Board of Trade in 2008 is more than likely to be repeated now with a new generation of online platforms that have come to the market in the past few years.

CySEC, or The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, is the financial regulatory body of The Republic of Cyprus. CySEC became a public corporate body in 2001 and is responsible for granting licenses and regulating financial firms based on the island. They also provide ongoing supervision in order to ensure that companies maintain standards and continue to operate according to the criteria that had to be met for CySEC certification in the first place. The body has the authority to impose sanctions on firms that fail to do so, with a company’s repeated failure to comply eventually resulting in their CySEC license being revoked.

Cyprus’s 2004 induction into the European Union has resulted in an increased number of applications for regulation. This is partly because upon joining the E.U CySEC joined MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive), which grants companies with CySEC certification entry into European markets. As a result, since 2004 there has been a marked increase in the number of companies registering themselves in Cyprus, the majority of these being Forex brokerage firms, but with the growing interest in Binary Options the most recent wave of companies to base themselves on the island have been Binary Options brokerages.

Initially CySEC was reluctant to disclose whether it would be regulating Binary Options but this changed with an announcement made on 5 May 2020 emphatically stating that CySEC would indeed be regulating the trading of Binary Options. This was big news in an industry that had hitherto been completely unregulated.

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What this means for the Industry:

Binary Options regulation is a boon for an already booming industry. The recognition of Binary Options as legitimate financial products by CySEC means that standards will inevitably rise. The most reputable firms are bound to become evermore visible while other less reputable ones will soon be weeded out. Also on the retail end regulation provides a previously lacking sense of security to the consumer, who can now rest assured that they are protected when they deal with CySEC license holders. In addition to this MiFID makes it possible for all firms that receive CySEC regulation to passport their certificates into all other European Member states. This is likely to result in the further growth of an industry that has already grown beyond all expectations.

Banc De Binary is the first to Receive CySEC Regulation

To date only Banc de Binary has managed to receive CySEC certification, placing itself in an enviable position in the Binary Options industry. Banc de Binary, one of the first companies to offer Binary Trading to the consumer market, was founded out of a small office in New York by a group of four brokers. It now boasts four offices globally with more due to be opened in the forthcoming year. The company has been responsible for innovating Binary Options for the online market. It prides itself on transparency and customer service, having quickly grown to hold the lion’s share of the Binary Options market. CEO Oren Laurent has openly discussed his desire for Binary Options to start rivaling traditional Forex trading within the next

Best CySEC Regulated Forex Brokers 2020

You’ll be surprised by how many brokers are based out of Cyprus these days. Some good, some not so good, but the majority regulated by CySEC. In this article we’ll explore the background of the CySEC regulation and we’ll also show you the best CySEC regulated Forex Brokers based on our intense research into the operators.

The brokers below represent the best CySEC Regulated Forex Brokers

Your capital is at risk.

MT4, MT5, Proprietary

Market Maker, STP

Your capital is at risk.

Your Capital is at Risk

cTrader, MT5, Zulutrade

Your Capital is at Risk

Your capital is at risk

IRESS, MT4, MT5, webtrader

No dealing desk

Your capital is at risk

90% of retail CFD accounts lose money

No dealing desk

90% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Your capital is at risk

Your capital is at risk

76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money


No dealing desk

76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money

62% of retail CFD investors lose money


cTrader, Currenex, eToro Platform, Keystone, Marketspulse, Mirror Trader, MT4, MT5, Tradologic, Zulutrade

Market Maker, No dealing desk, STP

62% of retail CFD investors lose money


BDS Markets Ltd is an online financial services provider licenced and regulated by the FSC Mauritius, offering forex and CFD for trading on its online trading platforms. Its sister company BDSwiss Holding PLC is operating under CySEC licence No 199/13, Today, BDSwiss Holding PLC is located in Limassol, Cyprus and has a Tied Agent in Germany. Both companies belong to the BDSwiss Group of companies.

IC Markets

IC Markets was founded in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), as well as the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA). According to the broker’s website, they processed $646 billion worth of trading volume in April 2020 alone.

While the broker offers services and features designed for both beginner and professional traders, the company promote themselves as the ‘go to’ choice for high volume traders, scalpers and trading algos due to their New York Equinix NY4 data centre – processing over 500,000 trades per day.

Broker Rating Official Site Regulations Min Deposit Max Leverage Trading Platforms Foundation Year Publicly Traded Trading Desk Type Currencies Commodities Indices Stocks Crypto Commission on trades Fixed spreads offers promotions Official Site
Pros: Cons:
  • True ECN broker with institutional grade liquidity.
  • MetaTrader and cTrader available on desktop, web and mobile.
  • Wide range of tradable products with 24/7 customer support.
  • Impressive library of educational material and videos.
  • Beginner traders may be overwhelmed by the choice of markets and platforms.

FP Markets

FP Markets is the brokerage arm of First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd, an Australian firm which was established in 2005. In over 14 years of brokerage operations, FP Markets has grown to become a foremost online forex and CFD broker.

FXTM, short for ForexTime, is a platform with a primary focus on foreign exchange. That specialization allows it to rise above many others when it comes to Forex focused trading platforms and tools. CFDs are available on 50+ currency pairs including major, minor, and exotic pairs. Leverage is available up to 1000:1.

Spreads are competitive across all platforms with 24-hour trading open 5 days per week. FXTM is based in Cyprus and licensed by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulators in and out of the EU. A free demo account is available.

Pros: Cons:
  • Support for 250+ products to trade across global markets, including Forex, commodities, shares, indices and cryptocurrency CFDs
  • Competitive spreads
  • MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platform support
  • Low maximum order size
  • No native Mac desktop app

NBH Markets

NBHM has solid roots in gold trading and investment and is the only brokerage firm with gold-backed stability offered by the National Bullion House.

The broker offers leverage up to 1:500 across a range of different asset classes including Forex, CFDs, Cash Indices, Precious Metals and Commodities. Clients can choose from three account types called Standard, Pro and Elite which can be funded with USD currency.

The account types offer a range of commission-free and fee-based trading using the MetaTrader 4 and the MetaTrader5 trading platforms.

Pros: Cons:
  • Commission-free accounts available.
  • Can trade on MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 trading platforms.
  • High leverage up to 1:500.
  • Forex, Indices, Precious Metals and Energies available to trade on.
  • Zero fees on deposits.
  • Only accounts available are in USD
  • The minimum bank wire transfer amount is $25,000


Plus500 has been in the brokerage business for a decade. They boast of 317,000 clients from all over the world. They are properly regulated in four different countries including Australia, UK and Cyprus. The trading platforms are simple, user-friendly, fast and secure. Platforms that can be used across multiple devices and operating systems are available for trading in various situations.

No educational materials are available, which is a huge minus. Furthermore, no research materials (else then the economic calendar) or technical analysis is provided.

Pros Cons
  • 2,000+ CFD products available for trading across global markets, including cryptocurrency CFDs
  • Offers guaranteed stop-loss orders
  • Multiple regulations from different countries. Regulation includes FCA, ASIC, CySEC and MAS.
  • Over 100 chart indicators are available in the web platform
  • Lack of content and news headlines
  • Lack of Trader Education to clients
  • No phone support offered


eToro is an online trading platform that was founded in 2007 by the Assia siblings and their friend David Ring in Tel Aviv, Israel. Formerly known as RetailFX, eToro is the pioneering online broker for social trading. Their Openbook social trading platform in fact changed the nature of the way beginner online traders can trade the financial markets. It made the markets accessible to everyone, no matter what their level of experience by creating a user-friendly environment and allowing traders to copy the trades of other traders’ strategies automatically.

Pros: Cons:
  • Highly regulated broker (FCA, CySEC and ASIC)
  • Innovative trading platform
  • Wide range of assets to trade with
  • Ability to earn 2% management fee as an Investor trader
  • Spreads are higher than average
  • Does not have the MetaTrader platform

Introduction to Forex Regulations

For many beginner traders who are new to online trading, the normal assumption is, if a broker is not regulated, then it is likely to be operating illegally. However, this is not the case for the forex market, as it is an OTC market with no specific regulations covering it. What you should be aware of is that most of the forex regulations that we often hear about only cover a specific jurisdiction and do not apply to the entire industry on a global scale. So if a forex broker is able to operate with no regulatory oversight, why bother regulating it? In fact proponents of the free market theory might argue that a market work most efficiently when it is not curtailed by any artificial regulations. While this might be true in theory, the reality is very much different.

Regulations unlike legislations are not written by the lawmakers but instead are crafted by bureaucrats based on their understanding of what the market needs in order to function smoothly. In other words, regulations are flexible and can change accordingly to circumstances unlike legislations which require amendments to the legislation before any changes can take effect.

over the last decade has become the major center for financial services providers to set up shop in Europe. Given the fact that Cyprus is also a member of the European Union (EU), under the MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) rules, forex brokers are permitted to “passport” their authorization issued by CySEC and operate legally in other member states within the EU.

What is CySEC regulation?

The Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission or CySEC as it is often known, is the regulator for the financial industry in Cyprus. As a member state of the EU, it is required to abide by the regulatory framework as established under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. MiFID was passed by the European Parliament in 2008 in order to harmonize the regulations governing the financial services industry within the EU. It established the standards for financial services providers to follow. It is primarily focused on OTC transactions such as the forex industry.

When Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, this meant that CySEC fell under the MiFID rules. This gave firms regulated under CySEC access to the financial markets within the EU. While Cyprus was previously known internationally as a tax haven, as a result of the MiFID, the financial regulatory framework in Cyprus since then changed significantly to much higher standard on par with other major financial centers around the world. In fact, CySEC became the first major regulatory body in Europe with recognize and regulate binary options as a financial instrument.

CySEC’s Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of CySEC are as follows:

  • Supervision and control of the Cyprus Stock Market
  • Monitor transactions carried on the Cyprus Stock Market
  • Monitor the conduct of listed companies and financial services providers
  • Grant operation license to investment firms, consultants and brokers
  • Monitor investment services companies, investments funds and related services
  • Apply penalties or administrative sanctions for non compliance of regulatory requirements

How CySEC Regulation protects you

So how do CySEC regulations protect you as an investor? Since the majority of Europe’s regulated forex brokers fall under the jurisdiction of CySEC, the regulations imposed by CySEC have a strong impact on investor’s protection. It implies that forex brokers under the oversight of CySEC are required to operate with transparency and in a fair manner. Specifically as an investor trading with a CySEC regulated forex broker, you will benefit in the following manner:

  • All your monies are kept in a segregated trust account which the broker is not permitted to access. This helps to prevent any abuse of your money by the broker. In other words, the broker is not allowed to use your money for its own operational needs. Another benefit of having your money separated from the broker’s own funds is that the fact that creditors of the broker cannot file a claim on this money as it is not part of the broker’s asset.
  • Regulated brokers under CySEC are required to maintain sufficient capital to meet the capital adequacy ratio requirement. This is ensure that the broker have sufficient capital at all times to fulfill the contractual obligations arising out of the transactions of their clients.
  • CySEC regulated brokers are required to submit regular financial statements to CySEC in order for the regulatory agency to monitor their compliances of the regulatory requirements. In this way, brokers will not be able to hide anything that is not in the interest of the investors.
  • As part of the regulatory requirement, CySEC’s regulated brokers are required to submit an independently audited financial report to CySEC.
  • Before any forex broker can be issued a licensed by CySEC, the broker is required to join the Investor Compensation Fund Scheme. The purpose of this fund is to protect investor should the broker becomes bankrupt and is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations. Under this scheme, an investor can file for compensation up to a maximum amount of 20,000 euros.
  • Brokers are constantly kept on their toes to ensure they operate fairly as they run the risk of having sanctions and penalties imposed on them. In the worse case scenario, the offending broker might even lose its operational license.

Guidelines for CySEC Regulated Brokers

Before a forex broker can be issued a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) by CySEC, it must first be able to meet certain guidelines. Some of these guidelines include:

  • Having more than one individual involved in the administration of the forex brokerage.
  • Under its CySEC license application, the broker must list all the services and products which they plan to offer.
  • Must have an initial share capital of at least 200,000 euros if they handle their clients’ funds.
  • Must have an insurance coverage of at one million euros for individual loss and a total coverage of 1.5 million euros annually for losses resulting from inactions or negligence.
  • CySEC Forex brokers should maintain at least €750,000 in operating capital.

Verifying the Authenticity Of CySEC Regulated Forex Brokers

In order to help investors and traders verify the authenticity of a CySEC regulated broker, CySEC has published a list of regulated brokers on its website which investors can refer to check the authenticity of a broker’s CIF license number. The link to this list is:

In addition, CySEC also regularly issue warnings on its website to warn investors of any unregulated broker claiming to be regulated by CySEC. This list is updated regularly and can be viewed at the following link:


Although an unregulated forex broker does not necessarily mean that the broker is in any way inferior to a CySEC regulated broker, we have to bear in mind that CySEC’s main objective is to protect the interest of investors. It has no other vested interests except to maintain the reputation of Cyprus as an international major financial center. Furthermore, we should also remember that even regulated brokers can sometimes break the rules. The difference between the unregulated broker and a regulated broker is that for the latter, you have an independent body that will hold the broker accountable for its infractions. So ask yourself this, why should you accept any less from a broker when you obviously have a better choice in term of a CySEC regulated forex broker?

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