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This means these firms will need to be authorised and supervised by the FCA, and individual complaints will be handled by the Financial Ombudsman Service and consumers will have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. But the regulator has now sought to inform consumers that these investments are "high-risk" and "speculative". Binary options allow an investor to make a bet on the price of value of a stock, commodity, currency, index or anything capable of being measured in financial terms.
The time periods involved tend to be very short, ranging from between 30 seconds to five minutes. The FCA stated its data found the majority of consumers who invest in binary options lose money and find it hard to make sustained profits over a series of bets.
The City watchdog stated: The FCA has also pointed out that in most cases, the firm a consumer buys options from benefits when they lose. This means the firm's interest is in direct conflict with the consumer and increases the risk of poor conduct by firms offering these products. In the first six months of this year people reported having lost money to this type of fraud.
Binary options are currently regulated by the Gambling Commission but only if the firm has gambling equipment in the UK.
The FCA has also renewed its warning about cryptocurrencies, particularly contracts for difference using these as the underlying investment. Cryptocurrency CFDs allow investors to speculate on the change in a price of a virtual currency, like Bitcoin. Page 1 of 2 Previous Next. FCA authorisations crackdown sees success. FCA defends policing after watchdog criticisms.
FCA under fire from watchdog for failing to police firms.