CySEC Mandates Default Leverage 1:50 for Forex and CFDs, Kills Bonuses

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission today issued a new circular that is introducing some changes to some key broker regulations.

The financial watchdog is introducing some changes in line with the latest update to the European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) Q&A relating to the provision of CFDs and other speculative products to retail investors under MiFID.

As reported by Finance Magnates in the middle of October, companies operating across Europe will be forbidden to use bonus promotions related to trading activity in order to market to their clients. CySEC has updated Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs) on the matter and is stating that the the practice exposes investors to unnecessary risks.

CySEC said in a statement: “It is expected that CIFs have already assessed in depth the ESMA Q&A and took, or are in the process to take, appropriate measures and actions in order to operate in line with the Q&A.

CySEC Chair Demetra Kalogerou elaborated that companies are frequently not acting in the best interests of their clients, a practice that she called in a media statement “not acceptable”.


Leverage to Default to 1:50


Another major point in the circular that has been sent out to companies from the industry is some changes that are being made to the ways that brokerages are providing leverage to their clients. The CySEC has mandated the industry to default the leverage choice of new clients to 1:50. This new requirement for CIFs is not a cap on leverage.

Only clients that explicitly ask for higher leverage can be presented with an appropriateness test, that will determine whether they are suitable to trade with lower margin requirements.

The companies will also have to adhere to the MiFID regulation that has already been highlighted by Finance Magnates about same day withdrawal requests. Only requests that are received outside of business hours can be executed on the following day.

Companies from the industry will have until the 30th of January 2017 to implement all of the necessary changes, which will include asking existing clients what level of leverage they are willing to trade with. This is provided that they pass the ESMA test, which the CIF has to provide them with and keep the records.

The circular elaborated on the final term to implement the changes: “In case where a CIF needs to amend its trading system so as to be in line with the provisions of the Q&A and of this circular, this should be done the soonest and not later than two months from the date of this circular (30 January 2017).”

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