Binary Options Trading in France
France is a European country and occupies a leading role in the European financial markets. The assumptions that certain financial assets such as binary options are covered under the MiFID protocol and should therefore be legal to trade all over Europe have been put to the test in France.
The financial markets in France are regulated by the Financial Markets Authority, known in French as the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). Part of the operational mandate of the AMF is to sift out financial products which are considered to be too risky for retail investors in France, carrying with them a high probability for loss.
France witnessed an explosion of companies offering binary options and other CFD products. Majority of these companies were located outside of France, and used the internet and other means to advertise their products to the French populace. However, the increase in the number of companies advertising binary options led to an increase in the number of French binary options traders that traded with offshore companies. This also led to a sharp spike in the reported cases of scams perpetrated by many of these companies, causing French investors millions of Euros.
In order to protect the French trading populace and retain investor confidence in existing financial products regulated by the AMF, the organization decided to prohibit the marketing of binary options, forex and other CFDs not regulated by the AMF within France.
This has been taken a step further by the passage of the so-called SAFIN bill by the French Parliament in late 2016. This law aims to empower the French Ministry of Finance to actively block advertisements of all financial products that are considered too risky in France. The French Ministry will be collaborating with AMF in this regard, and this law is expected to take effect in late 2017, when it is published in the law paper of France.
Currency Pairs & Spread
French traders tend to trade binary options with offshore brokers who offer binary contracts in Euro-based assets such as the EURUSD, EURGBP, EURCAD, EURJPY and EURAUD currency pairs. The national currency of France has been the Euro, which makes it easy for French binary options traders to bet on these assets.
Even though spreads are not listed on these platforms, they are used in determining the expiry value of assets in short term trades.
A mix of proprietary and turnkey trading platforms will be encountered by French traders, with a predisposition towards turnkey platforms as these dominate the market in Europe.
The only brokers that award bonuses without restrictions from regulators are unlicensed European brokers and brokers licensed in jurisdictions such as Vanuatu, Seycheles, Mauritius and St.Vincent & Grenadines.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
What deposits and withdrawal are available to binary options traders in France?
- Bank wires: French binary options traders can use the SEPA system of bank wires to fund their accounts with European-based binary options brokers.
- Digital wallets: Several digital wallets are available to French binary options traders. These Skrill, Neteller, PaySafe Card, WebMoney, Sofort, QiWi and GiroPay.
- Card Options: Local credit cards in France, linked to bank accounts can also be used to make deposits and withdrawals, subject to approval for each individual binary options broker.
Legality & Regulations
What are the legal considerations attached to the conduct of binary options trading as well as binary options trading in France? It is instructive to note that what has been prohibited in terms of French binary options is the marketing and advertising of the product to French citizens. The trading of binary options is not prohibited. What AMF wants to do is to introduce specific protectionist restrictions that will screen off inexperienced traders with little capital, leaving only well-funded traders who understand the risks to participate in the market.
To this end, AMF has invited brokers and industry stakeholders to a series of consultative sessions to map out the future with regards to the trading of binary options and other risk derivative assets in France. Many brokers are of the opinion that the restrictions proposed by AMF will kill the industry in France. The general direction of brokers is that the laws should aid regulated entities and punish unregulated ones, and not gag the entire industry.
Here are the frequently asked questions that most users may have about what the binary options industry in France looks like.
- Are binary options legal in France?
Answer: What has been banned is the marketing of binary options in France. Whether the trading of binary options has been banned is presently unclear. Albeit, many traders in France still trade binary options with offshore brokers.
- Is it safe to trade binary options in France?
Answer: It is presently not very safe to trade binary options in France. Further clarification on the status of trading binary options is necessary. However, traders can still trade binary options with some of the regulated brokers in the list we have displayed below.
- How do I check the status of a binary options broker?
The AMF issues periodic warnings against unregulated brokers as well as brokers who have pending cases to answer in other jurisdictions. These warnings are published on the AMF website. Brokers who run foul of the new advertising guidelines will also find themselves on the blacklist.
- Are there any local binary options brokers in France?
Answer: There are several licensed brokerage companies in France. However, these are not licensed to offer binary options. Rodeler Limited recently had its binary options brand allowed back into France on the condition that it did not offer binary options to the local populace. Therefore, it can be said that there are no local binary options brokers in France.
Best Binary Options Brokers in France
There is no hope of locating any binary options brokers located in France in the physical sense. The AMF does not provide a license for this. Furthermore, France has one of the highest taxation rates in Europe, which locks out many binary options brokers from its market. You can only trade with brokers located in offshore locations. The top binary options brokers must therefore be licensed (preferably with CySEC) and offer smooth transactions for traders in terms of timely withdrawals. Some brokers which offer these guarantees include:
The AMF in France is still consulting with many industry stakeholders to fashion out a working regulatory environment for the trading of forex, binary options and other CFDs. This is because industry watchers and the brokers are complaining that the actions of the AMF go against the spirit of MiFID which allows cross-border brokerage services within the EU. The ban on advertising of binary options is already in effect. Will the AMF shift its stance? Feelers do not point in that direction presently. Therefore, French traders are requested to trade with the brokers listed above to ensure they get maximum protection when they trade with offshore binary options.