Forex Trading in Luxembourg and CSSF Forex Brokers
Luxembourg has become a very popular location for large corporations and wealthy businessmen and women to set up shop. The reason for this is because Luxembourg provides a safe haven for those seeking refuge from taxation. It is also very stable politically and economically, which draws wealthy people in from all over the world. It is officially known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and is a Western European country with no coastal borders.
There are an increasing number of Forex brokers in Luxembourg because of its favourable conditions. So if you’re considering Forex trading as a new form of investment you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that ticks all your boxes. However, we would advise you to include regulation as one of those boxes, and pick a CSSF-regulated broker, because it will offer you the best possible protection.
The CSSF and the regulation of Forex brokers in Luxembourg
In Luxembourg, it is the CSSF, or the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, which is the regulatory body responsible for the financial markets. It became the responsibility of the CSSF in 1998 when it took over from the former Commissariat aux Bourses and the Institut Monétaire Luxembourgeois. Supervision of the following markets is all down to the CSSF:
- Forex brokers
- Credit institutions
- Investment companies
- Multilateral trading facilities
- Payment institutions
- Financial sector experts
There are a number of areas the CSSF takes responsibility for, including the following:
- Supervising CSSF-regulated brokers and other firms participating in the financial market
- Promoting considerate and prudent business policies according to regulatory requirement
- Protecting the financial stability of regulated firms and the financial sector as a whole
- Monitoring internal control systems and quality of service
- Ensuring all laws, rules and regulations are complied with
- Obtaining information in order to allow it to perform its duties
The protection of investors
- Responding to investor protection queries
- Dealing with complaints
- Acting as a member of the FIN-NET programme (See explanation below.)
Unfortunately, the CSSF hasn’t got a very good reputation regarding its ability to deal with consumer complaints, and a number of influential voices are raising their concerns. The CSSF has been trying to redress the balance, but so far seems to have been unsuccessful.
The role of FIN-NET
As the CSSF doesn’t have a very good reputation with regard to customer complaints, let’s explain the role of FIN-NET and how it can help you.
FIN-NET was launched in 2001 by the European Commission. The initials stand for the Financial Dispute Resolution Network, and it is a financial dispute network of national out-of-court complaint schemes operating in the European Economic Area. It handles disputes between financial services providers and their clients.
Schemes cooperating with FIN-NET, such as the one run by the CSSF, provide consumers with an out-of-court procedure for cross-border cases. Say a consumer in one country has a dispute with a provider located in another country; FIN-NET members take on the responsibility for putting the consumer in touch with the necessary out-of-court complaint scheme and provide relevant information.
But what happens if you have a complaint about a CSSF Forex broker?
How the CSSF deals with consumer complaints about CSSF regulated brokers
The CSSF is authorised to deal with consumer complaints made in relation to CSSF Forex brokers, as well as investment firms, professionals in the financial sector, and banks. It acts as an intermediary in order to reach a satisfactory resolution to the problem. It does not, however, have the power to make binding decisions. It does not take the role of arbitrator, judge or ombudsman when it comes to defending consumer rights against a public authority.
There are a number of other instances in which the CSSF is unable to help the consumer; for example, when another out-of-court settlement body or court is already dealing with the complaint, or if the complaint relates to commercial and pricing practices of a provider, unless the consumer was not correctly informed about a provider’s charges and commissions.
So what can you do if you have a complaint that falls within the remit of the CSSF? Your first step will be to try and reach a resolution with the provider. Complaints should be made in writing to a member of the company who is authorised to deal with such issues. The company must be given a month to reply, after which you will be able to refer the matter to the CSSF.
How to check the details of CSSF Forex brokers
It’s all well and good advising you to choose CSSF-regulated brokers, but how do you go about finding them? Visit the CSSF website and you will be able to find a list of authorised institutions, not just regulated Forex brokers in Luxembourg. All you need is the name of a financial services provider and you will be able to check various details such as the validity of its licence, the activities it is permitted to participate in, and its official address. If you can’t find the provider you are looking for it is possible to contact the CSSF directly.
As well as information relating to financial services providers that are currently licensed, it is also possible to find out about those that have been issued with warnings. There are a number of reasons a warning is issued, such as when a provider is found to be giving false or misleading information with regard to regulation. It seems there are a number of scam brokers who mislead investors by claiming they have a licence – and this is one very good reason why checking the validity of a broker’s claim is so important.
You may not encounter a great deal of choice when you look for a CSSF-regulated broker; but as Luxembourg is a member of the EU and the European Economic Area, you get a wider choice of brokers thanks to MiFID and passporting rights. These rights allow brokers regulated in another member state to offer their services across the whole of the area.