Forex Resources 

The CSA has noted an increase in complaints relating to Forex market participants from other jurisdictions seeking to attract customers in Canada. 

Regulation of Forex in Canada 

Forex trading is generally regulated as trading in either a security or a derivative, and its regulation varies under applicable provincial and territorial securities and derivatives legislation. 

Under either of these categories, firms or individuals seeking to offer Forex trading services (be it by way of providing access to the market such as by acting as a broker or by providing advice with respect to trading, or both), must be appropriately registered in the province in which they intend to so act and must also be a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) if they intend to offer forex trading services on margin. For more details, please see National Instrument 31-103, Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations

Investors can use the CSA National Registration Search and also verify IIROC registration at http://www.iiroc.ca/investors/knowyouradvisor/Pages/default.aspx.  

In addition, in jurisdictions where Forex trading is regulated as trading in a security, such trading may also involve the distribution of a security and therefore be subject to the prospectus requirement in securities legislation unless the necessary exemptive relief has been obtained. Some Canadian jurisdictions have not granted exemptive relief. 

For instance, Quebec has a qualification regime for entities, other than recognized exchanges or clearinghouses, that create or market derivatives offered to the public. These entities must be qualified and the derivatives they offer must be approved by the Autorité des marchés financiers before they are offered to the public. Customers must go through a registered broker to deal with a qualified counterparty (who may also be the registered broker).  

A broker or dealer seeking to register in one or more provinces should thus consult the specific registration requirements in the province(s) it wants to offer its services. Details can be obtained from the CSA website at http://www.securities-administrators.ca/aboutcsa.aspx?id=99#ab. Click on the desired province to verify how a broker or dealer can be authorized to practice in the selected jurisdiction. 

Some Canadian jurisdictions have issued cautions to investors: 

Ontario:
http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/en/Investors_inv_news_20101012_forex.htm

British Columbia:
http://www.investright.org/forex.aspx

Alberta:
http://www.albertasecurities.com/investor/check-first/Pages/investor-alerts.aspx  

Quebec:
http://lautorite.qc.ca/en/press-releases-2012-conso.html_2012_caution-currency-market-solicitations-markets.com-bforex-ltd.html

New Brunswick:
http://fcnb.ca/common-investment-scams.html
  

In the United States, the examination of existing Forex market operators by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) indicated many brokers and dealers lacked robust safeguards to protect consumers, while others were clear frauds. 

Specific areas of concern included: 

  • Insufficient disclosure of the mark-up over the spread and/or commissions and fees.
  • Non-segregation of client funds from those of the broker/ dealer.
  • The absence of controls to ensure best execution.
  • Misrepresentations as to past and future performance.
  • Very high leverage.
  • Trading is typically done on margin, compounding the risk.
  • The non-institutional Forex market is almost completely speculative.
  • Lack of internal supervision.
  • Insufficient capitalization of firms.
  • Conflict of interest.
  • Insufficient or no disclosure of risks to the investor. 

The CFTC has issued a consumer advisory (http://www.cftc.gov/opa/enf98/opaforexa15.htm) and established a website warning of the significant risks inherent in Forex (http://www.cftc.gov/enf/enfalert.htm). 

On July 20, 2011, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also issued an investor bulletin highlighting some of the most significant risks that Forex transactions may pose for individual investors (http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2011/2011-150.htm). 

On December 5, 2011, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued an investor warning with respect to Forex (http://www.esma.europa.eu/news/Investing-foreign-exchange-forex?t=326&o=home). 

Questions 

Please refer your questions to any of the following: 

BCSC Inquiries Group
British Columbia Securities Commission
Tel: 604-899-6854
1-800-373-6393
inquiries@bcsc.bc.ca

Charlene McLaughlin
Manager, Legal
Alberta Securities Commission
Suite 600, 250-5th Street SW
Calgary, AB, T2P 0R4

General Inquiries
Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority
of Saskatchewan
Tel: 306-787-5645

The Manitoba Securities Commission
Tel: 204-945-2548
Toll Free (Manitoba only): 1-800-655-5244
securities@gov.mb.ca

Inquiries & Contact Centre
Ontario Securities Commission
Tel: 416-593-8314
inquiries@osc.gov.on.ca

Autorité des marchés financiers
Information Centre
Tel: 418-525-0337 (Québec City)
Tel: 514-395-0337 (Montréal)
Toll-free: 1-877-525-0337
Fax: 418-647-9963
Request for information

Shirley Lee
Director, Policy and Market Regulation
and Secretary to the Commission
Nova Scotia Securities Commission
Tel: 902-424-5441
leesp@gov.ns.ca

Susan Powell
Legal Counsel
Financial and Consumer Services Commission (New-Brunswick)
Tel: 506-643-7697
susan.powell@fcnb.ca

Katharine Tummon
Superintendent of Securities
Prince Edward Island Securities Office
Tel: 902-368-4542
kptummon@gov.pe.ca

Craig Whalen
Manager of Licensing, Registration and Compliance
Office of the Superintendent of Securities
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Tel: 709-729-5661
cwhalen@gov.nl.ca

Louis Arki, Director, Legal Registries
Department of Justice, Government of Nunavut
Tel: 867-975-6587
larki@gov.nu.ca

Donn MacDougall
Deputy Superintendent, Legal & Enforcement
Office of the Superintendent of Securities
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: 867-920-8984
donald_macdougall@gov.nt.ca

Frederik J. Pretorius
Manager Corporate Affairs (C-6)
Dept of Community Services
Government of Yukon
Tel: 867-667-5225
Fred.Pretorius@gov.yk.ca