It’s been 10 years since global economies reeled from the effects of the 2008 credit crunch and the aftershocks are still rippling through financial systems. While it was a time of stress and disbelief for individuals and corporates alike, many initiatives that emerged in the aftermath have made the global financial system more resilient to systemic flaws, while consumers have been given more protection. In this improved regulatory environment, more top-level firms are applying for appropriate licensing to give their clients peace of mind. Following this trend, FXTM, the award-winning global forex broker, applied for and earned their UK FCA licence.
Martin Couper, a director of FXTM, says, “There were many good reasons to apply for the FCA licence, not least of which was our desire to give our clients the confidence that they are dealing with a fully compliant and regulated broker”. Another motivator, says Couper, was the uncertainty around Brexit in terms of passporting rights between the EU and UK. “We want to make sure that potential new legislation does not interrupt the services we provide to our clients. How international companies will operate post-Brexit is unclear, so we deemed it prudent to ensure there are strategic plans in place that guarantee business as usual for our clients, whatever shape the final Brexit agreement takes.”
The reams of draft regulation watchdog bodies that emerged after 2008 are starting to get some traction as the various authorities agree to standards and protocols. Regulators are continually assessing the suitability of products and client communications, so acquiring the appropriate licences is high on the priority list of all financial services firms. The FCA licence has particular gravitas for firms wanting to operate in the UK.
Currently the FCA has over 56,000 companies and 125,000 approved persons under its banner. As a collective, the industries regulated by the FCA contribute around 12 percent to the UK gross domestic product.
The FCA works closely with other Europe regulators to enforce initiatives like MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The UK financial regulator is currently working with ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) to implement regulations pertaining to CFDs (Contracts for Difference) and Binary Options. Close collaboration ensures a consistent and united front amongst regulators.
FXTM is already licensed in a number of jurisdictions, including Cyprus under CySec and South Africa under the FSB. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) licence complements FXTM’s existing operations in Cyprus and other countries, providing broader infrastructure and access to a wider market.
As a brand, FXTM documented exceptional growth in the last year; its client base grew by 77% year-on-year, while active clients grew by 64% in the same period. This growth can be attributed to a client-centric approach, exceptional customer service and a positive reputation as market leaders in the forex industry.
FXTM has won numerous industry awards and is particularly proud of its leading-edge education initiatives. “We have a firm belief that an educated client is our best client, so we strive to constantly develop materials that will enhance their knowledge of trading and markets. We look forward to providing our UK traders with the same standard of services and education as our existing global clients,” Couper says. “Financial services companies now operate under the weight of a significant compliance mandate. We are thrilled to have qualified and are looking forward to operating in the UK.”