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Forex and CFD trading is legal in France and is regulated by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) – an independent public body that is responsible for safeguarding all investments in financial instruments and the stability of the financial markets as a whole. AMF operates under the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).
AMF regulates, authorizes, monitors, and, where necessary conducts investigations and issues sanctions, being responsible for all listed companies, financial intermediaries authorized to provide investment services and financial investment advice (credit institutions authorized to provide investment services, investment firms, investment management companies, financial investment advisers and direct marketers), as well as collective investment products, invested in financial instruments.
Appart form AMF the financial sector in France is overseen also by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel (ACPR) – an agency under the French central bank – Banque De France. However, ACPR monitors specifically the activities of banks and insurance companies.
Under the MiFID directive the requirements for all brokers regulated in EU are uniform and therefore a license by AMF or the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) would give a broker the opportunity to provide services in all European Union countries, where forex and CFD trading is legal. (Here we should note that the only exception is Belgium, where forex is banned.)
And to get a license with the French authorities a broker should comply by a strict set of financial and ethical rules, among which to keep a minimum operational capital of at least 730 000 EUR, to provide negative balance protection to its customers, to keep all traders funds in a segregated accounts, to file regular reports, to allow external audits, to offer leverage not higher than 30:1 for major forex pairs and no higher than 20:1 for minors. Also all EU regulated brokers are prohibited form offering deposit bonuses.
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