In a move that was anticipated the ESMA, the European securities market regulator, has not renewed its temporary prohibition of the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients in the European Union. Not that the regulatory body believes all is good now. Such intervention is not necessary since most of the European Union countries have taken permanent measures against digital options. E.G.

  • Germany
  • UK
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Cyprus
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Etc.

No EU company can offer BO to retail traders

The following announcement has been published on ESMA website:

“The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU securities markets’ regulator, will not renew the temporary prohibition of the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients in the European Union (EU).

ESMA has taken product intervention measures regarding binary options, imposing a temporary prohibition on their marketing, distribution or sale, in Decisions (EU) 2018/795, (EU) 2018/1466, (EU) 2018/2064 and (EU) 2019/509. If the temporary prohibition is not renewed again, the currently applicable measure in ESMA Decision (EU) 2019/509 will automatically expire at the end of the day on 1 July 2019.

As most national competent authorities (NCAs) have taken permanent national product intervention measures relating to binary options that are at least as stringent as ESMA’s measure, ESMA will not renew its temporary prohibition.

ESMA will continue to monitor activities in relation to these and other related speculative products to determine whether any other EU-wide measures may be needed.”

It is important to emphasize that trading binary options in the EU is not illegal. It is the marketing, distribution or sale that is. Therefore, it is still possible to trade them via offshore platforms. Which means one has to be extra cautious.

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What are the options to trade binary options in the EU

  • Offshore AND regulated brokers. There are some fair platforms, such as, open to EU traders and offering a fair & safe environment to trade digital options (early closure, capital protection, advanced trading limit system, etc.)
  • Exotic products similar to binary options. To circumvent the measures, brokers have created similar products that are not binary options, but share some similarities.
  • Professional traders: they can basically trade with any brokers since ESMA measures concern only retail traders.