The existence of forex brokers with multiple licenses creates the illusion of higher credibility. But the facts about trusted forex brokers are not so simple.
Many forex brokers nowadays are regulated and licensed across multiple jurisdictions. A North American-based forex broker may hold licenses from the US and Canada authorities, as well as Australian and European Union. It creates the illusion of higher credibility; the more licenses they have, the more trustworthy they are. But the facts are not so simple.
Beginner forex traders should understand that every forex broker must seek to operate a legal and lucrative business. To this end, multiple licenses may be needed. The number of licenses owned by each forex broker merely marked the number of countries where the company is liable to operate legally, but it certainly does not guarantee that the company is a 100% trusted forex broker everywhere.
Why Forex Brokers Opt for Multiple Licenses?
The foreign exchange (forex) market is the world's largest and most liquid financial market. It has daily trading volume of around $6.6 trillion. Consequently, the forex market has become a competitive industry in which forex brokers contend to win more and more clients' funds.
Merely recruiting more clients is not enough. Forex brokers should also boost their credibility and reputation, as well as legalize their services across multiple jurisdictions. Without credibility, how would the company expects its clients to deposit more money? Without official licenses, who knows when the authorities would seize its business?
Accordingly, there are two major reasons why many forex brokers opt for multiple licenses:
- to comply with regulatory frameworks in the countries where they offer trading services.
- to maintain market integrity and build investor confidence in the company.
Are Forex Brokers with Multiple Licenses More Trustworthy?
Financial markets regulatory agencies around the world do not have a single policy framework. Each establishes their own rules, revise and improve them as needed, and so on. To comply with rules in different countries, forex brokers that seek multiple licenses may have to prepare millions of capital, pay expensive fees, and more.
Thus, not every forex broker could actually gain licenses in multiple jurisdictions. First, they should have enough capital. Second, they have to streamline their businesses in order to conform to different official requirements in different countries.
Let's say ABC forex broker is seeking licenses from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Both established different leverage limitations, different capital requirements, and even some conflicting rules (read more: UK FCA vs ASIC, Which Forex Regulator is More Reliable?). The UK FCA allows forex brokers to run a "market maker" business, while ASIC prohibits forex brokers to form any conflict of interest with their customers. To gain both licenses, ABC should offer a "hybrid" model in which clients from different countries would be offered different types of services.
The ability of ABC forex broker to comply with both agencies' requirements is certainly commendable. It enables the UK and Australian citizens to trust them more. However, what if you are not a citizen of the UK or Australia? It should be clear that ABC may not comply with your countries' law and is not liable for any damages.
Long story short, forex brokers with multiple licenses may be more capable than forex brokers with single license. But multiple licenses do not guarantee trustworthiness. The best option is for you to register with a trusted forex broker that is officially licensed in your own country.
Moreover, not all forex brokers with multiple licenses are ranked equal. ABC broker that holds only two licenses from the UK and Australia may have more credibility than its rival that holds five licenses from offshore authorities. See the examples below.
Examples of Forex Brokers With Multiple Licenses
|AvaTrade||Ireland, Australia, Japan, South Africa, British Virgin Islands, UAE|
|CMC Markets||UK, Germany|
|Exness||UK, Cyprus, Seychelles, South Africa|
|FBS||Cyprus, Australia, Belize|
|FXCM||UK, Australia, Italy, Cyprus, Israel, UAE, Hong Kong|
|FXTM||UK, Cyprus, Mauritius, South Africa|
|FXPro||UK, Cyprus, South Africa, UAE|
|IG||UK, Germany, Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, UAE, Australia, New Zealand|
|Interactive Brokers||USA, UK, Australia, Ireland, Singapore|
|OANDA||USA, UK, Japan, British Virgin Island, Malta|
|OctaFX||UK, Cyprus, St Vincent and Grenadines|
|Pepperstone||Australia, Germany, Cyprus, UAE, Kenya|
|Plus500||UK, Cyprus, Australia, Israel, South Africa, Singapore|