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[Poll] Is Forex Trading Legal in Your Country?

July 17, 2017 by Andriy Moraru

Various countries deal with the retail Forex trading industry differently. Long gone are the days when regulators ignored small traders and their relationship with brokers. Developed countries set up the regulatory frameworks that protect the retail customers but create many restrictions. At the same time, some countries go as far as prohibiting retail FX trading altogether.

Is Forex trading legal where you live?

Below, I will list some of the countries that have important restrictions on retail Forex trading activities:

United States

Following the Dodd-Frank reform implementation, the CFTC enacted rules that significantly limit the possibilities for the retail traders who reside in the United States. The most significant of those rules is the one that restricts companies not registered with the CFTC and NFA to deal with the US retail traders. This means that the choice of FX companies to trade with is very limited for the US traders. The number of the properly regulated US brokers is low because of a very high capital requirements ($20 million). Additionally, the retail traders are limited to 1:50 maximum leverage with the major currency pairs, FIFO execution, and the lack of position hedging (locking) capabilities in their trading platforms. Also, CFD trading instruments are not available to the US traders.

China

Forex trading is completely legal and relatively unrestricted in China, but the strict capital controls prevent Chinese traders from opening accounts with the foreign brokers. This means that big international brokers attract Chinese customers by setting up their own local companies in the country. Even though it somewhat reduces the competition in the industry, Chinese retail traders may still opt for doing business with the offshore FX companies that accept deposits in Bitcoin or some other uncontrollable method of payment.

India

Retail Forex trading is legal in India but only on the registered exchanges. It is illegal for Indians to engage in spot currency trading. Not only that, but trading is only allowed in INR currency pairs. This puts Indian FX traders into a rather poor situation compared to the rest of the world.

Japan

The Financial Services Agency allows Japanese Forex traders to operate only through domestically licensed brokers. It also applies a rather heavy restriction margin trading — 1:25 maximum leverage for major currency pairs. Despite that, the Japanese retail FX industry is very competitive and is booming for quite a long time now.

South Korea

Forex trading in Korea is a tougher mix of China and Japan. Similarly to China, it is illegal for Korean Forex traders to open accounts with foreign brokers due to the capital controls. At the same time, domestic brokers provide very restricted trading conditions due to tight regulation. The maximum leverage for FX trading is just 1:10 there.

Turkey

Turkey has recently enacted regulations that prohibit foreign brokers to work with the country’s retail FX traders. A brokerage company has to be licensed by Capital Markets Board of Turkey to be allowed into the country’s retail market. Traders will have to cope with 1:10 maximum leverage and ₺50,000 minimum deposit (about $14,000) when dealing through such brokers.

Poll

Luckily, many traders (me included) still live in the countries that do not restrict retail FX trading quite seriously. In most of Europe, one can still open a Forex trading account with a foreign broker despite the warnings issued by the local regulators. And how is the situation in your country?

Is retail Forex trading legal in your country?

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If you want to share some interesting points about the legality of Forex trading in your jurisdiction or if you want to add something about restrictions in a country not mentioned in the post, please do so using the commentary form below.

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