Wondering About Forex Trading in Ireland? Read our Guide to CBI Forex Brokers
When it comes to Forex trading, wherever you might be located, it’s important to gain an understanding of the regulations. And preferably pick a Forex broker which has been licensed and is regulated by the relevant body. There are a number of regulatory bodies around the world. However, some are more reputable than others, and there are others who have very little clout. For those of you located in Ireland regulation of Forex brokers comes under the jurisdiction of the Central Bank of Ireland Commission. Up until 2010, Irish financial institutions were regulated by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Otherwise known as the Financial Regulator, it was replaced in 2011 by the new Central Bank of Ireland Commission.
What is the Central Bank of Ireland responsible for regulating?
The Central Bank of Ireland has several important supervisory roles, aside from issuing licenses to CBI regulated brokers. It also regulates the activities of:
- Investment intermediaries, credit institutions, financial exchanges, stockbrokers, collective investment schemes, funds, compensation of investors and other related issues
- Insurance including life and general insurance along with related consumer issues
- Mortgage and credit providers, moneylenders, monitoring customer charges by such companies and related consumer issues
- Credit unions
As you can now appreciate the CBI has to pay attention to the operations of a number of individuals and businesses. But what are the main purposes of such regulation?
- The promotion of safe and fair financial services for consumers
- The promotion of solvent and sound financial institutions which will give depositors and other consumers confidence their funds are safe
- Monitoring and enforcing consumer protection, business conduct, and prudential requirements as well as setting minimum competency requirements
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In order to meet its obligations, the Central Bank of Ireland imposes a number of statutory codes of conduct on financial service providers and Forex brokers in Ireland. These aim to ensure financial institutions operate in a fair and transparent manner. Acting in the best interests of their customers. The CBI manages the financial industry and enforces its regulations with on-site visits and its own enforcement powers. We found a lot of negative reports and comments regarding the effectiveness of the CBI but it appears the Central Bank is trying to redeem itself and up its game. Because in March 2016, the Central Bank threatened to revoke the licenses of 20 retail investment brokers.
The key stages in the application process for CBI Forex brokers
Forex brokers come under the heading of brokers/retail intermediaries, and as such are required to obtain a license and be regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland Commission if they want to operate in Ireland. There is a strict process which needs to be followed to achieve such a status. Each applicant must be able to satisfy the Central Bank it is able to meet authorization standards set in the various regulations. Only those applicants deemed in compliance with the standards are authorized. Forex brokers in Ireland seeking to obtain authorization must first submit an application form with all supporting documentation, which will be acknowledged by the CBI.The documentation required includes a business plan, and a programme of operations. When the bank is satisfied all the key information and documentation has been proved the applicant is given login details for the bank’s online reporting system. There is an individual questionnaire which has to be completed and if the applicant is a sole trader or company with a single director a Garda vetting form will also be required. When the Central Bank has all the information and documentation to hand it proceeds to the assessment phase of the procedure.
How to make a complaint about CBI Forex brokers
Should you have any problems with CBI regulated brokers your first step will be to contact the financial services provider. The complaint should be made in writing and it would be advisable to keep a copy of the letter. It is your duty to give the provider an opportunity to look into the problem in order to reach a resolution. If a resolution cannot be reached or you aren’t satisfied the complaint has been dealt with in a fair and transparent way, you are entitled to take the complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman. The Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau was started in 2005, following its establishment under the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority Ireland Act 2004. The Ombudsman is an independent officer in charge of investigating, mediating, and adjudicating any unresolved complaints from customers of Forex brokers in Ireland and other financial services providers.
Is the Central Bank of Ireland able to efficiently regulate Forex brokers in Ireland?
While the Central Bank of Ireland may not be one of the better known and more respected regulatory bodies it nevertheless has a part to play, particularly for Forex traders in Ireland. It controls all financial institutions and their activities in Ireland. The purpose of such control is to enforce and maintain a safe and fair environment for consumers. As well as enforcing and monitoring consumer protection it also ensures financial bodies are operating within the guidelines. Another role is the fixing of minimum competency requirements. The Bank has also been responsible for creating statutory codes of conduct for financial bodies to ensure operations are carried out transparently, fairly, and in the sole interest of clients. The bank ensures CBI Forex brokers and other regulated concerns are following the guidelines, rules, and regulations with on-site visits. The bank also has very good powers of enforcement. On paper, it all seems great but there are suspicions lurking under the surface. The Central Bank of Ireland has received some pretty bad press over the years. While we will always recommend you pick a regulated broker for your online trading the CBI may be one regulator you shouldn’t look for on its own. There are plenty of Forex brokers to choose from and you might want to consider looking for authorization and regulation from a more respected body as well.