A sign read in Hebrew ‘for rent’ can be seen on the building where binary options company Banc De Binary used to have their offices located in Ramat Gan, Israel January 11, 2017 REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Banc De Binary, one of the biggest and best-known providers of online trading in binary options, which allow investors to bet on short-term moves in financial assets, said it is winding down its business, citing regulatory pressures.
“Banc De Binary will be gradually downsizing its operations due to regulatory constraints,” the Israeli-owned and Cyprus-registered company said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
“For clients that have eligible funds in their account, we are encouraging them to withdraw the remaining balance.”
Banc De Binary paid $11 million in restitution and penalties in the United States last year over allegations it had signed up U.S. investors illegally.
A Reuters special report published in September shed light on the extent of the industry and accusations by clients of London-based lawyers who say they have been duped out of vast sums of money by some Israeli firms.
The industry is growing fast, with trading in binary options soaring over the last decade in China, Japan, the United States and Europe. Two Israeli trading platforms that supply technology to online brokers say they handle a combined $8 billion in volumes annually.
Securities regulator Hauser banned companies from selling binary options in Israel in March and has asked the attorney general to consider changing the law so he can ban Israeli companies from selling binary options abroad.