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ESMA to renew distribution restrictions for binary options and CFDs. FMA calls on investors to report any instances of these products being offered.

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has renewed the distribution restrictions on binary options and contracts for difference (CFDs). The ban on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients, which has been in effect since 2 July 2018, has been extended until 1 January 2019. Likewise, the restrictions on the marketing, distribution or sale of CFDs to retail clients, which have been in effect since 1 August 2018, have now been extended until 31 January 2019. The restrictions concern leverage limits, a margin close out rule, negative balance protection and a restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs. Additionally, CFD advertising and sales materials must include clear and unambiguous risk warnings. All of these far-reaching distribution restrictions apply to the entire European Economic Area and are designed to protect retail investors from incalculable risks and losses.

Please report any offers of binary options and CFDs to the FMA

Since binary options and CFDs are mostly offered from abroad and via the Internet, the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), in its capacity as the competent supervisory authority, is calling on investors to report any instances of binary options being offered illegally or any cases of CFDs being offered without adherence to these restrictions or in the absence of a risk warning for retail investors. Reports can be made via the FMA website, either anonymously through the FMA’s whistleblowing system or by using the FMA’s contact form for consumer requests. You may also submit information by post to FMA, Otto-Wagner-Platz 5, 1090 Vienna or contact us by phone at +43 1 2459 3444. We appreciate any information that helps us monitor compliance with these far-reaching distribution restrictions for the protection of retail investors.

Journalists may address further enquiries to:

Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)

+43/(0)1/24959 5106

+43/(0)676/882 49 516

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