AMF warns against binary options

By Andrew Rickard | November 30 2016 11:15AM

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is warning investors against trading in binary options, and points out that no firm is currently authorized to market or offer them in Quebec.

Binary options are essentially wagers about whether the value of an asset will increase or decrease in a certain period of time. The AMF says investors are usually asked to bet on the performance of a currency, market index, or stock in the very short term, often within just a few minutes. When this period has elapsed, the person is either supposed to recieve a pre-determied payout or lose his or her money.

Some consumers are being talked into investing on other platforms to recover their losses, and they are are being defrauded a second time. Even when investors are on the right side of a binary option bet, the AMF warns that they are often unable to collect their profits.

“Despite our many appeals to be wary of promises of payouts associated with binary options, we continue to receive reports and requests for information from the public,” says Jean-François Fortin, the AMF's Executive Director of Enforcement. “Our Case Assessment and Cybersurveillance teams are keeping a watchful eye on binary options trading platforms in Québec, in anticipation of the implementation of appropriate statutory measures. Moreover, we are working with other Canadian regulators to co-ordinate our efforts.”

The AMF has compiled a list of unauthorized trading platforms that are operating in the province.

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