On 16 September 2016, the Dutch Minister of Finance (the Minister) answered questions of the Dutch Parliament on the measure of 8 August 2016 taken by the Belgium regulator in respect of binary options and contracts for difference (cfd’s). The Minster states that the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) received around 50 complaints within the period of 2014 until now in respect of cfd’s and binary options. A large number of these complaints relate to foreign providers of cfd’s and binary options and concern, among other things, the (alleged) illegality of these providers and the impossibility for consumers to recover their assets.

According to the Minister most providers of cfd’s and binary options are active in the Netherlands on a European passport. The market for these kinds of products in the Netherlands deviates from the market in Belgium. The AFM received much less complaints compared to the Belgium regulator. The Minister states that MiFID II will introduce new measures for the AFM, such as rules on product governance and the possibility to impose a ban on certain financial instruments. The Minister will investigate the possibility of imposing a marketing ban similar to that already imposed in Belgium. Such investigation will, in particular, consider which categories of derivative instruments are unsuitable for marketing to consumers.

View the Minister’s letter (Dutch only), 16 September 2016.