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Online Forex trading is steadily beginning to enjoy popularity in Central Europe as well. Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and the Schengen area in 2007 and has since become a financial center, attracting foreign investment, including Forex brokerages.
As a member-state of the European Union the Hungarian government has to meet all the regulatory standards set out by the European Securities and Markets Authority. Such rules are well-known in the Forex trading world and include the segregation of accounts, negative balance protection and a cap on the maximum allowed leverage of 1:30.
Hungary does not take a twin peaks approach and like Ireland has delegated the regulatory oversight of the financial sector to its National Bank – Magyar Nemzeti Bank. Its website is available in English and is pretty informative. All Hungarian brokerages who wish to operate on the territory of Hungary have to be licensed by the MNB and comply with their requirements which are quite strict. They include a minimum capital, as well as a minimum of 5 years experience for certain positions within the company.
Furthermore, the National Bank oversees an organization named Financial Consumer Protection Center (Pénzügyi Fogyasztóvédelmi Központ). All complaints regarding Forex brokerages in the country have to be sent there and processed by the relevant officials. If the Brokerage warrants further investigation – official inquiries will be made to the Financial Arbitration Board of the MNB.
As in every EU member, Forex brokerages registered and licensed elsewhere in Europe may provide their services to Hungarian traders as well, as long as they register formally with the MNB and have their license rubber stamped.
The most popular payment methods in Hungary are the standard Visa and MasterCard, as well as Bank wire.