Forex Regulations

One of the most important criteria for traders when choosing a Forex broker is the regulatory status of the broker and under which regulatory body the broker is regulated. Unregulated Forex / CFD brokerages are risky places for traders to deposit funds, and traders who do so are likely to find they have no effective remedy to counter losses caused by dishonesty or incompetence.

In the listing below, we outline the major regulatory bodies by country which are most relevant to Forex / CFD brokerages and summarize the major points of regulatory law applicable.


Forex brokers usually launch with regulation in only a single country. Obtaining such regulatory approval is usually not an easy achievement, especially in jurisdictions with stricter regulation. New brokerages typically start with regulation in a single country and will then seek to gain regulatory licenses in other countries where they wish to operate. Typically, it makes things easier for Forex brokers to obtain some kind of regulatory certification even in countries where they are not physically based, if they wish to actively market their services there.

Some of the more recognized Forex regulators globally are the FCA in the United Kingdom, CySec in Cyprus and the NFA in the United States. In addition to Forex regulation from bodies established by national governments, some brokers find it important to acquire memberships from professional and cross-border entities. Forex brokers operating in the European Union will need to comply with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), a European Union-wide regulation ensuring harmonized regulation for investment services across the 30 member states of the European Economic Area.

If a Forex broker is regulated, the name of the relevant Forex regulator should be transparently listed somewhere on the broker’s website. If it is not, the website should tell you an address for the head office of the brokerage and from this you can tell that it should hopefully be regulated in this country. If the website does not give you at least this, it is a strong sign that this broker is not regulated – for obvious reasons, brokers which are completely unregulated do not usually advertise that fact. If you have a country from which the broker operates, you can find the relevant regulatory body and you should be able to search their website to find whether this broker is within their published list of regulated Forex brokers.

Listed below are the financial regulatory bodies for each country by alphabetic order, as well as the maximum leverage that may be offered by a Forex / CFD broker operating from there to its own residents, which occasionally differs from that which may be offered to residents of foreign countries.


Anguilla Financial Services Commission

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Anguilla is not a notable retail Forex market. Offshore incorporation and management, offshore banking, captive insurance, and tourism, all sectors which heavily rely on the Forex market, form the core economic activities of Anguilla. Banks handle most Forex transactions. The retail online trading market is almost non-existent, but offshore brokers accept Forex traders from Anguilla.


Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ECSRC)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Forex trading in Antigua barely exists, and banks handle most Forex transactions primarily from tourism revenues. Antigua used to attract gaming companies and offshore banking, but neither sector plays a dominant role internationally. While offshore Forex brokers cater to Antiguan Forex traders, demand remains minimal.

Australian Securities and Investment Commission

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Australia lost some of its popularity as an offshore venue for Forex / CFD traders following regulatory changes mirroring the EU. It took on an active leadership role in the cryptocurrency and digital asset space. Australia maintains a trusted regulatory framework and is home to several industry-leading Forex and CFD brokers. What prevents many brokers from seeking ASIC regulation is the far geographic distance that makes it difficult for brokers to operate in Australia.

Forex Brokers in Australia

Forex Regulation in Australia


The Financial Monitoring Service (MFS)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Forex trading is not widespread in Azerbaijan and notably trails those of similar economies. Azerbaijan has neither domestic Forex brokers nor is it an offshore financial center. Offshore brokers generally accept Forex traders from Azerbaijan, but demand remains nearly non-existent.


Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Bangladesh is home to a growing Forex market with rising demand, and several well-established offshore Forex brokers translate their websites into Bengali. With nearly 170 million inhabitants, it presents a frontier Forex market, where the growing private sector spurs an interest in Forex trading, with mobile and copy trading especially prominent.

Forex Brokers in Bangladesh


The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Forex trading in Belgium remains minimal, where the population prefers to deal with well-established banks in the Netherlands or Luxembourg. Many offshore Forex brokers do not accept Belgian-resident Forex traders amid strict regulatory limitations and controls, which does not warrant compliance costs given the small number of retail Forex traders.

Forex Brokers in Belgium


International Financial Services Commission (IFSC)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Belize is a core financial offshore Forex and banking center, home to a business-friendly regulator maintaining competitive trading conditions. Belize ranks among the easiest countries to establish a business and obtain a regulatory license. Forex brokers in Belize have significantly more offshore clients than domestic ones, as Belize remains a primary offshore Forex haven.

British Virgin Islands:

BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC of BVI)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

The British Virgin Islands is a significant offshore financial center, which accounts for 50%+ of its GDP, with the world’s largest hedge fund administrator operates from the British Virgin Islands. It is also a primary offshore Forex center, which combines a business-friendly, independent regulator with competitive trading conditions. The British Virgin Islands also have an excellent support infrastructure, English is the official language, and the business registration process ranks among the simplest globally.


Financial Supervision Commission of Bulgaria (FSC Bulgaria)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Bulgaria is not a notable Forex market, but it features support infrastructure for offshore brokers, especially in the technology sector. At lease one major CFD broker has its research division in Bulgaria. The domestic Forex market is insignificant but continues to grow in popularity within Bulgaria.

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)
British Columbia Securities Commission
Ontario Securities Commission

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:50
Canada is not a popular venue for non-resident Forex traders due to its tough regulatory regime and very small number of Forex brokers. More details about Canada’s regulation can be found here.
Forex Brokers in Canada
Forex Regulation in Canada

Cayman Islands:

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500The Cayman Islands are a financial and tax haven and remain a leading banking and Forex offshore center. It has 100,000+ registered companies, more than the number of citizens. Financial services and tourism, both Forex-dependent sectors, comprise 60%+ of GDP. With no taxes on capital gains and corporate profits, the Cayman Islands provide a competitive environment for offshore Forex trading with a capable regulator and a good support infrastructure. Adding to the growing appeal to Forex brokers is the swift process to open a business, while English is the official language.


China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC)

Maximum Forex Leverage: Undisclosed

Forex trading in China is legal and features excellent growth rates, but offshore brokers struggle to penetrate the Chinese Forex market. The unique business environment, strict regulations, and a closed-capital policy pose hurdles, making offshore Forex trading challenging. Chinese banks, bank-brokers, and online brokers dominate the domestic Forex market, where traditional account management from trusted sources remains a favorite Forex trading strategy.

Offshore Forex brokers can partner with authorized Chinese companies, who will act as introducing brokers. China has begun to relax rules and regulations, which could see a surge in offshore Forex brokers attempting to capitalize on the tremendous growth potential China offers. The Chinese government tracks and monitors financial transactions closely, and the regulator acts fast if it identifies misconduct or receives countless complaints. This was evident in the closure of 600+ margin trading platforms by 2018.


Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (CFSSA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

The Croatian retail Forex market remains minor and notably trails comparable economies. Croatia has no domestic online Forex brokers, and local demand is insignificant. Most offshore brokers cater to Croatian Forex traders via EU-licensed subsidiaries, primarily from Cyprus. Local banks handle most Forex transactions, as tourism represents a core economic sector.

Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Cyprus is a popular offshore venue for Forex / CFD traders due to its EU membership and passporting rights to the single EU market. Many brokerage houses plus extensive supporting infrastructure exist, and most CySEC-regulated brokers cater to non-EU clients from offshore jurisdictions.

Forex Brokers in Cyprus

Czech Republic:

Czech National Bank (CNB)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Forex trading in the Czech Republic is insignificant, and there is barely a domestic infrastructure. Offshore brokers offer their services to Czech-resident Forex traders, usually from Cyprus-regulated subsidiaries, while local banks handle most Forex transactions for the booming export sector. The high-income economy makes it an attractive Forex market, but retail demand is dismal.

Danish FSA

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30
Denmark is not an especially strong venue for Forex and CFD trading but has always been the financial services hub of the Scandinavian nations. It does have one big name brokerage in Saxo Bank.


Financial Services Unit (FSU)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Dominica is an emerging offshore financial center, especially for banks, hedge funds, and payment processing companies, who benefit from a tax-free status and strict confidentiality rules. Several well-known financial providers maintain a domestic presence, but offshore Forex brokers have yet to follow. Banks account for the bulk of Forex transactions, especially for tourism, a Forex-dependent sector, which is a core economic sector, next to the economic citizenship program. Retail Forex demand is low, but offshore Forex brokers usually accept Forex traders from Dominica.

European Monetary Union:
Markets in Financial Instruments Directive

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

While each EU member has its domestic financial regulator, MiFID II governs financial markets and conducts and supersedes domestic regulation. It ensures that the same rules apply EMU-wide and enables passporting into the EU single market. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) enforces MiFID II. Many consider it the EU super-regulator.


The Financial Supervision Authority (FINANTSINSPEKTSIOON)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Estonia is a high-income economy, but retail Forex trading interest remains minimal. Since Estonia is home to a tech-savvy, high-income population focused on innovative e-services and mobile applications, Forex trading demand is set to increase, especially for copy trading strategies and mobile trading, and offshore Forex brokers have begun to take notice. Offshore brokers usually serve Estonian Forex traders via CySEC-regulated subsidiaries.


FIN-FSA in Finland

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Retail Forex trading remains limited among the population. Trusted Nordic banks handle export-related Forex transactions. Finland, which adopted the Euro, remains well-connected to other Scandinavian countries maintaining sovereign currencies, making Forex trading vital economically. Online retail Forex trading for financial gain remains in its infancy despite the well-educated and high-income population. Finnish-resident Forex traders prefer well-regulated brokers where reputation trumps competitive features.

Banque de France
Autorité des Marchés Financiers
Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel (ACP)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

France is not a strong venue for Forex and CFD trading, with most French traders preferring to use offshore brokerages. French banks form the core of the brokerage sector in France, which lacks domestic brokerages.

Federal Financial Supervisory Authority

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Germany evolved as a retail brokerage market, and German traders began to repatriate some of their offshore accounts. The trend accelerated recently with new domestic online brokers. Deutsche Bank is one of the biggest Forex traders by volume globally, and its major domestic competitor Commerzbank also expanded into online retail trading.

Forex Brokers in Germany

The Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Retail Forex trading demand remains steady, and the small sector continues to evolve slowly. Greece is home to an active stock market, while tourism and shipping are core economic sectors, making Forex trading familiar for Greeks. Most offshore brokers cater to Greek Forex traders via EU-regulated subsidiaries, where Cyprus commands a leading role. Greek Banks dominate the Balkans and handle most Forex transactions for companies and baby boomers, while younger Greeks continue to drive demand for retail online Forex trading. Greece has a few established domestic Forex brokers, but offshore brokers with EU operations account for most retail trading volumes.

Hong Kong SAR:
Securities and Futures Commission

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:20

Hong Kong is a leading offshore financial center, especially for the Asian market. It is home to many Forex / CFD brokerages due to its combination of light regulation and good supportive infrastructure. Hong Kong also took a leadership role in cryptocurrency regulation, and many hope it will serve as a compass for China. It remains a popular choice of venue for domestic and offshore Forex traders.

Hong Kong is also home to the Financial Commission, the primary independent self-regulatory organization and external dispute resolution (EDR) body for the Forex Market. It offers strict financial guidelines and audits for Forex brokers and a €20,000 per case protection fund for Forex traders, making it a core element of the global Forex retail sector.


Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority (HFSA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Hungary is a leading country in sectors including attracting foreign direct investment, mobile technology, and security while being an export-oriented economy. The retail Forex trading market remains comparably small, and four well-established Hungarian banks handle most Forex trading activities, both commercial and retail. Offshore brokers cater to Hungarian retail Forex traders, usually via EU-regulated units, but overall demand is sub-standard despite excellent market conditions.


The Financial Supervisory Authority (FME)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Forex trading in Iceland is uncommon, especially after the banking crisis during the Great Recession of 2008. Offshore Forex brokers mostly accept Forex traders resident in Iceland, but demand remains minimal. The growth conditions for the retail Forex sector are exceptional and expected to increase slowly, especially for technology-focused trading strategies consisting of algorithmic trading combined with ML/AI solutions.

Reserve Bank of India

Maximum Forex Leverage: Zero

Forex trading is only legal for Indian residents if the base currency is Indian Rupees and the counterparty currency USD, EUR, JPY or GBP. Therefore, the domestic retail Forex industry in India is practically non-existent.

Badan Pengawas Perdagangan Berjangka Komoditi

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:400

Indonesia has a growing domestic Forex / CFD brokerage industry which has begun to recover from its initial scandals generated during its early, relatively unregulated days. However, many Indonesian resident traders still tend to seek offshore brokers, and Indonesian brokers have few offshore clients.

Forex Brokers in Indonesia

Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Forex and CFD trading remain popular in Italy although the relatively weak Italian economy has stunted the natural growth of the industry. Italian traders generally prefer Italian and Swiss brokerage houses.


Central Bank of Ireland

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Ireland is home to one of the best-known and most-trusted CFD and Forex brokers, AvaTrade, but features little of note concerning the retail Forex / CFD industry besides that. Domestic retail Forex demand is minimal, and Irish-resident Forex traders primarily trust AvaTrade and UK-based brokers for their Forex requirements. Ireland is known for interest rate swaps and Forex transactions by its business community. It also has well-capitalized fund and insurance companies, where the two largest Irish banks dominate the sector and handle Forex transactions.

Isle of Man:

The Financial Supervision Commission (FSC)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

The Isle of Man is an offshore business and tax haven due to an absence of capital gains tax, wealth tax, stamp duty, and inheritance tax. There is no public register of corporate ownership, but online Forex retail trading and Forex brokers tend to prefer other offshore jurisdictions. The Isle of Man is known for gaming, insurance, ICT, and banking. Forex trading is widespread locally, given the international interconnectivity of the Isle of Man, but banks handle most transactions. Offshore Forex brokers readily accept traders resident within the Isle of Man, where UK-based brokers dominate the sector and its minimal demand. The International Stock Exchange opened a local branch that could boost Forex trading.


The Israel Securities Authority (ISA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:100

Forex trading in Israel continues its rapid expansion, and Israel has produced well-known brokers eToro and Plus500, which rank among the most trusted CFD and Forex brokers. The former is a leader in copy trading. The Israeli Forex market complies with strict regulations and limitations, but it does not stop the massive interest in retail Forex trading. Given the tight rules, some offshore Forex brokers do not accept Israeli Forex traders, and even domestic champion eToro requires an excessive minimum deposit of $10,000. Israel is home to an exceptional tech sector, and Israeli Forex traders adopt advances in Forex trading, like algorithmic and ML/AI solutions. The challenging regulatory environment prevents Israel from becoming a leading offshore Forex center.

Financial Services Agency
Japan Investor Protection Fund
The Financial Futures Association of Japan
Japan Securities Dealers Association
Kanto Local Finance Bureau

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:10

Forex trading has been extremely popular in Japan for a long time, but the market remains almost impenetrable to foreign brokers. It is a highly and tightly regulated market.

The Japanese Yen fulfills a core aspect of the Forex market, often considered a safe-haven currency, and used for carry trades. It accounts for almost 17% of daily trading volume, trailing only the US Dollar and the Euro.


Capital Markets Authority (CMA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Kenya as the second-most sought-after African regulatory jurisdiction, trailing only South Africa. Some industry-leading brokerages obtained a license from the CMA, including Pepperstone, HFM, and Exinity. It confirms the rising demand for Forex retail trading, where copy trading, mobile trading, and account management services are the most popular strategies. The Kenyan regulator is not only capable but active in combating scams and fraud while ensuring that Forex brokers educate beginners. Kenya has the infrastructure and capabilities to compete with South Africa for the most trusted and competitive Forex destination in Africa. Kenya maintains competitive trading conditions and has become one of the most exciting Forex jurisdictions of the new millennium.

Forex Brokers in Kenya


Central Bank of Kuwait

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Forex trading in Kuwait is widespread, and despite being a Muslim country, Kuwait follows a civil law system, where Shariah law only governs family laws for Muslim residents. It removes plenty of restrictions, making Kuwait one of the most versatile and competitive Forex markets among GCC countries. Kuwait is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, resulting in Forex traders managing notably higher portfolios, boosted by the Kuwaiti Dinar, the highest-valued currency in the Forex market. Offshore Forex brokers generally accept traders resident in Kuwait, who mostly prefer a combination of reputation and competitiveness.


The Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Latvia is a high-growth economy, but it is not a popular venue for Forex trading. Copy trading remains in demand, but overall interest trails that of other comparable economies, which mirrors foreign direct investment flows. Offshore Forex brokers accept Latvian-resident Forex traders, primarily from EU-regulated subsidiaries. Latvian Forex traders generally prefer Forex brokers with ties to Scandinavian or Baltic countries and value reputation over competitiveness.


Banque Du Liban

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Forex trading in Lebanon is legal, but it remains unregulated. The central bank recently devalued its currency, the Lebanese Pound, by 90%. Current economic and social turmoil has dampened retail Forex demand, but Lebanese are accustomed to physical Forex transactions. Younger Lebanese view Forex trading to improve quality of life and overall interest for active and passive Forex trading expands. Offshore Forex brokers usually accept Forex traders from Lebanon, which lacks domestic options.


Financial Services and Markets Supervision Department, Bank of Lithuania

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Lithuania is a high-income economy and technology hub, but retail Forex trading remains below average for a country of its potential. Offshore brokers cater to the small Lithuanian retail market via EU-regulated subsidiaries, while copy and social trading remain popular, especially from mobile apps. Untapped potential remains in the Lithuanian Forex market, which many consider the leader among Baltic countries.


Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Luxembourg thrives through its financial services industry and is a high-income Forex market, where its domestic banks dominate commercial Forex transactions. It became a haven for high-tech companies, making Forex a necessity, and it ranks among the wealthiest countries globally. International multi-asset powerhouse Internaxx was a Luxembourg champion before its Swissquote acquisition. Most Forex traders resident in Luxembourg prefer local banks and their brokerage units, while offshore broker penetration remains minimal, mirroring retail online trading demand.


The Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein (FMA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:200

Lichtenstein is a global banking center and features more registered companies than citizens. Domestic banks dominate the financial services sector, and offshore Forex broker penetration is almost non-existent. Forex traders in Lichtenstein tend to prefer brokers from Switzerland and Germany after their local bank-brokers. It is a high-income economy featuring wealthy Forex traders who seek Forex brokers with an excellent reputation offering their services in German, where asset management and algorithmic trading remain preferred Forex strategies.

Monetary Authority of Macau

Maximum Forex Leverage: No explicit maximum

Macau does have several brokers which get some offshore business from within Asia. Regulation is better but reputation suffers from earlier scandals plus Macau’s reputation as a gamblers’ haven.

Bank Negara Malaysia

Maximum Forex Leverage: Zero leverage

It is illegal for a Malaysian resident to trade Forex except at a regulated Malaysian bank or other similar financial institution. However, foreign investment is legal, so the law may in practice be at least a little grey, and many Forex brokers do serve Malaysian traders. Many Malaysians do hold accounts with offshore brokers, but Malaysian brokers do not attract offshore clients.

Forex Trading in Malaysia


Malta Financial Services Authority (FSA in Malta)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Malta is a core gaming center globally but is also known for its banking and financial services industry, where it is a leader in FinTech and digital asset innovation. Forex trading is popular among its residents, and tourism is a core economic activity that heavily depends on Forex transactions. The foreign population exceeds 25% of the total, adding to Forex demand. Offshore brokers cater to most retail traders, as Malta lacks domestic choices. Most Maltese-resident Forex traders favor a competitive Forex broker with a cutting-edge trading environment.


Financial Services Commission of Mauritius (FSC Mauritius)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Mauritius is a global offshore Forex haven featuring a capable financial regulator offering a mix of business-friendly regulation and competitive trading conditions. Many offshore Forex brokers opt for Mauritius, which ranks in the Top 15 globally, for ease of doing business. Financial services account for 12%+ of GDP, and Mauritius is a hub for investments in the African continent. The FSC ranks among one of the most trusted regulators globally and is a leading one in Africa, allowing international Forex brokers to cater to retail traders globally. Mauritius is also home to many international banks, investment funds, and offshore companies, plus their support services.

New Zealand

Financial Markets Authority (FMA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

New Zealand joins Switzerland as the last remaining tier-1 regulator offering business-friendly regulation with a fully competitive trading environment. New Zealand is becoming a leading FinTech and digital asset hub. Forex trading demand continues to increase in both the retail and commercial sectors, as New Zealand heavily depends on international trade. New Zealand-resident Forex traders incorporate cutting-edge technology into Forex trading, manage better-capitalized portfolios, and prefer leading Forex brokers that can meet their requirements. New Zealand and Australian Forex online brokers handle the bulk of New Zealand’s domestic retail Forex trading volume.

Forex Brokers in New Zealand


Central Bank of Nigeria

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Nigeria is an emerging Forex market with tremendous growth potential, especially since it overtook South Africa as the largest economy in Africa. Forex trading is legal, but Nigeria does not actively regulate online Forex trading. The growing domestic retail sector continues to recover from scams, frauds, and fake news that circulate. Despite the negatives, demand expands annually. Several offshore Forex brokers began to cater to Nigerian-resident Forex traders by offering base accounts in the Nigerian Naira, supported by domestic payment processors.

Nigerian Forex traders value the reputation of Forex brokers and primarily focus on mobile trading, copy trading, and passive income generation via affiliate programs. Given the small capital base, well-structured withdrawable deposit bonuses remain well-received by Nigerian Forex traders. Nigeria is on track to become the leading Forex market in Africa. More offshore brokers are likely to offer custom-tailored accounts to Nigerian Forex traders, which could lead to increasingly active regulation.

Forex Brokers in Nigeria


The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Norway is a high-income economy and ranks as the second-wealthiest country by monetary value, but retail Forex trading remains comparably minimal, despite a wealthy population. Norwegian Forex traders prefer Scandinavian brokers, where Saxo Bank enjoys a monopoly, followed by well-regulated EU-headquartered online disruptors.


Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Forex trading is legal in Pakistan, but restrictions may apply, depending on the Forex trading activity. There are no domestically licensed online Forex brokers in Pakistan, but offshore Forex brokers generally accept Pakistani Forex traders. Demand remains high, and Pakistan presents a core growth market for brokers, given its young population. Mobile and copy trading rank among the preferred Forex strategies, and Forex brokers offering domestic payment processors and withdrawable bonuses have an edge. Scams and frauds pose a notable risk.

Forex Brokers in Pakistan


Superintendencia de Mercado de Valores (SMV)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Panama is the largest regional financial center in Central America. Forex trading remains widespread and commercially necessary due to trade and tourism, with a thriving retail sector. The financial sector accounts for 10%+ of GDP, and the banking sector employs 24,000+ directly. Panama has an excellent support infrastructure, but offshore Forex brokers mostly prefer other locations as their base while handling most of the trading volume by Panamanian-resident Forex traders, who prefer cutting-edge trading services from competitive brokers. Panama also exports financial services to Latin America, increasing demand for Forex brokers with custom-tailored account management services and dedicated algorithmic and API solutions.

Forex Brokers in Panama


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

The Philippines has one of the most vibrant Asian Forex markets and represents an excellent growth sector for offshore Forex brokers. Remittances remain essential to the domestic economy, accounting for nearly 9% of GDP, exposing most residents to Forex transactions. Many offshore Forex brokers offer their services in Filipino, but English, Spanish, and Arabic are other recognized languages. Forex brokers also hold frequent seminars in the Philippines, given the rising demand for retail online Forex trading. Forex traders in the Philippines usually seek competitive offshore brokers with value-added services and high-paying partnership programs.

Forex Brokers in the Philippines


Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

While Poland is not a traditional Forex growth market, it has produced one of the leading Forex and multi-asset brokers industry wide. Polish-resident Forex traders tend to seek demanding Forex brokers with full support for algorithmic trading and account management services. Poland also has the largest-per-capita banking sector in Central Europe, while employees below 26 do not pay income taxes. While banks handle Forex transactions for economic purposes, with tourism and exports as core economic sectors, offshore Forex brokers with EU subsidiaries increase their market share of domestic retail Forex trading volumes.


Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Retail Forex trading in Portugal is somewhat uncommon, while commercial Forex trading, usually handled by domestic banks or their Spanish counterparts, is widespread and necessary given tourism and exports. Like the Spanish Forex market, most Portuguese-resident Forex traders value reputation over competitive trading conditions, and choose Forex brokers in Germany, Italy, or Switzerland. Many offshore Forex brokers offer their services in Portuguese, given the importance of Brazil in the Latin American Forex markets.

Forex Brokers in Portugal


Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Forex trading in Romania is uncommon but possesses excellent conditions for growth. The country implemented a flat tax of 16% for individuals and businesses, and the population is tech-savvy with a growing interest in secondary income streams. The pending Euro adoption plus the rise of EU brokerage disruptors in Germany, Italy, Poland, and the Netherlands makes Romania a country to monitor for a possible future online Forex trading boom.

The Commission on Regulation of Financial Markets Participants Relationships

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:50

Russia has a few brokers of note and has provided some of the most talented individuals who helped found the online trading industry in the 1990s. Some of the leading retail Forex brokers operational today were founded by Russians, but they operate outside Russia. Unfortunately, due to a combination of scandals and financial overreach, the reputation of Russian brokers suffered, and Russia attracts much less of an offshore market than it used to.


Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA Seychelles)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Seychelles is a core offshore Forex center, combining a capable financial regulator, business-friendly regulation, and competitive trading conditions. It is the least corrupt country in Africa, and conducting business is relatively straightforward, but taxes are notably high compared to other offshore jurisdictions. Many Forex brokers choose the Seychelles for their international subsidiary, allowing them to cater to Forex traders who demand competitive trading conditions. Like Mauritius, Seychelles is a gateway for investments across Africa, and the skilled English-speaking support network adds to the appeal of the Seychelles.

Singapore Exchange
Monetary Authority of Singapore

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:20

After cutting the maximum retail Forex leverage to 1:20, Singapore lost some of its competitiveness, which resulted in Forex traders in Singapore seeking offshore brokers. Singapore maintains a combination of strict but reasonable regulations and a well-established reputation as a solid offshore financial center. Forex trading remains popular in Singapore, especially automated trading, and Singaporean brokers attract a considerable offshore market, primarily from ASEAN countries.

Forex Brokers in Singapore


National Bank of Slovakia (NBS)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Forex trading in Slovakia has gained traction but remains less frequent compared to economies of similar scale. While Slovakia is a high-income economy and a crossroads for international trade, with 90% of citizens owning their homes, wealth and employment imbalances remain. Slovakia has a tech-savvy population with several leading IT companies and has become an outsourcing center. A growing number of Slovaks seek to close the wealth cap within the country, where Forex trading provides an attractive venue. Most offshore Forex brokers serve Slovakian resident from EU-regulated subsidiaries in Cyprus, and German, Italian, Dutch, and Swiss brokers are also in high demand here.

South Africa:
Financial Services Conduct Authority

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Forex has suffered a negative reputation in South Africa as it has been used as a cover in a few Ponzi schemes and other frauds, although these scams had nothing to do with the Forex industry per se. The Financial Services Conduct Authority (which replaced the FSB as the primary regulator of Forex / CFD brokers in 2018) is getting more involved as a regulator, with several respected brokerage houses in South Africa and an increasingly entrepreneurial population looking for a profitable pursuit.

There is room for the industry to expand, especially since the 2018 changes by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) regarding leverage and bonus restrictions, negatively impacting competitiveness. It saw an outflow of traders and capital from the EU, with Cyprus bearing the brunt of the moves. South Africa shares the same time zone as Cyprus, and English is a primary language, making it an ideal location for brokers to select South Africa as their location. It is also the primary offshore trading hub for other southern African nations, and the FSCA has made education a core requirement for the brokers it regulates.

Forex Brokers in South Africa
Forex Trading in South Africa

Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

The Spanish retail Forex market significantly trails most European counterparts, and besides banks, Spain does not have any domestic online Forex brokers. Most Spanish-resident Forex traders opt for Forex brokers in Germany, Italy, or Switzerland and prefer reputation over competitive trading conditions. Most offshore brokers offer their Services in Spanish, as the Latin American market remains a core growth sector.

South Korea

Financial Supervisory Commission

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:10

South Korea is an export-oriented economy, often the barometer for the health of the global economy, making commercial Forex trading a necessity, handled by the highly competitive South Korean banking system. Retail Forex trading is legal, but offshore Forex broker penetration of the local market is almost non-existent due to strict rules and regulations. South Korea has numerous well-established domestic brokers and bank-brokers who serve the growing South Korean Forex Market. South Korea has also become a global leader in digital assets and associated services.

Sri Lanka

Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:Undisclosed

As of 2019, the CBSL issued a notice confirming retail Forex trading as a violation of the Foreign Exchange Act. Several retail Forex traders reported a ban on deposits from Sri Lanka to Forex trading accounts. The legality of Forex trading in Sri Lanka appears to change, especially during the current economic crisis. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka recently lifted a ban on forward Forex sales, but it also lowered the maximum amount of foreign currency residents are permitted to own.

Many offshore Forex brokers accept Sri Lankan residents, as enforcement of the ban remains lax, with cryptocurrencies as the primary source for funding offshore accounts. Sri Lankan-resident Forex traders should consult with a qualified professional to explore possibilities to become authorized by the CBSL and avoid illegal activities.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Financial Services Authority

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an offshore business and Forex center with a 0% capital gains tax rate (a 30% corporate tax rate exists). Many Forex brokers opt for St. Vincent and the Grenadines as their headquarters, setting up international business companies (IBCs). Forex traders must understand that St. Vincent and the Grenadines does not regulate Forex brokers, but the financial regulator doubles as the corporate registrar. Offshore IBC registration is swift, and Forex brokers can offer ultra-competitive trading conditions without oversight. The support infrastructure adds to the attractiveness of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a Forex location.

Forex traders can minimize risks by ensuring their St. Vincent and the Grenadines Forex broker has regulated subsidiaries elsewhere, ensuring it has a reputation to guard. Many Forex brokers with their primary headquarters in a less favorable business environment, usually with oversight by a tier-1 regulator, select St. Vincent and the Grenadines as their jurisdiction to cater to international clients. Domestic Forex demand remains minimal, but Forex traders resident in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have plenty of choices.

Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

Despite having the Swedish Krona included in the US Dollar Index (DXY), retail Forex trading remains unpopular. Swedish banks and Saxo Bank in Denmark handle the bulk of Swedish Forex trading volume, as Sweden lacks domestic online Forex / CFD brokers.

Forex Brokers in Sweden

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
Groupement Suisse des Conseils en Gestion Indépendants
Association Romande des Intermediares Financiers
Swiss Federal Department of Finance
Organisme d'autorégulation des Gerants de Patrimoine

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:200

Switzerland is arguably the world’s oldest financial center. It combines pioneering Forex brokerages with some leading cutting-edge trading technology, making Swiss Forex brokers popular both domestically and w offshore traders. It presents an excellent combination of business-friendly regulation with a well-trusted and active regulator and competitive trading conditions.

It is also a haven for FinTech companies and other frontier sectors like blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. Following counterproductive regulatory changes in other tier-1 countries, Switzerland emerged as the best choice for Forex traders seeking a secure and competitive trading environment from a tier-1 regulator.

Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMB)

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:10

Turkey had a small but growing Forex industry which unfortunately fell into political disfavor due to the chronic devaluation of the Turkish Lira. The introduction of capital controls caps physical Forex transactions, and the government has ordered Turkish Banks to limit foreign currency holdings to 5% of equity. Maximum leverage is low, minimum deposit requirements are very high compared to offshore brokers, and Turkish residents are not legally allowed to trade Forex with brokers outside Turkey. A few Forex brokers remain in Turkey, but almost nobody outside Turkey uses them.


Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500

Forex trading in Thailand continues to expand, and many offshore Forex brokers offer their services in the Thai language, confirming its role in the Southeast Asian Forex markets. Seminars are also frequent in Thailand, as Forex brokers compete for deposits and trading volumes. Thailand, an export-dependent economy, is also an anchor economy for Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia, while tourism is a core economic sector. Therefore, Forex transactions, commercial and retail, are necessary and familiar to most Thai. Thai Forex traders favor copy trading, mobile trading, and affiliate programs, while withdrawable bonuses remain a core decision maker for which Forex broker they choose.

Forex Brokers in Thailand

United Arab Emirates:
Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates
Dubai Financial Services Authority

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

When people speak of Forex in the UAE, they usually mean Dubai, and for a good reason: it has become the offshore financial hub of the Gulf. Regulation is light, but the DFSA cut maximum retail Forex leverage to a restrictive 1:30, while taxes are almost non-existent, and the industry booms for residents and non-residents alike. Dubai is the premier Forex venue for the Arabic-speaking world and the MENA region, with a rapidly growing market and an expanding reach.

Forex Brokers in Dubai

United Kingdom:
Financial Conduct Authority

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30

The capital of the United Kingdom, London is one of the world’s oldest and most renowned offshore financial services centers, which has always included Forex and CFD brokerages. London is the world’s Forex capital, reflected by the strict regulatory touch and deep technical expertise of the UK Forex industry, which has always attracted more offshore than onshore clients.

Forex and CFD trading remain popular in the UK, partly because profits generated can be tax-free for UK residents in spread betting accounts. London will always be extraordinary in the global Forex industry and remains an ultra-attractive venue to traders. UK-based brokers rushed to obtain licenses in offshore havens to cater to non-UK traders while maintaining a cutting-edge professional Forex landscape, supported by the dominant support network globally. UK Forex brokers and financial institutions will continue to lead global finance, as no other location can offer traders the mix of regulation and competitiveness London provides.

Forex Brokers in the UK

United States:
Commodities and Futures Trading Commission
New York Stock Exchange
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Commodities and Futures Trading Commission
Securities and Exchanges Commission

Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:50

The United States is not a favored venue for offshore Forex traders, and U.S. traders have few domestic options from traditional Forex / CFD brokers. The U.S. market has always been dominated by futures brokers and remains so today, who of course allow trading in Forex futures but with much higher minimum trade sizes. The CFTC has the primary responsibility to regulate all Forex brokers in the United States, who are banned from offering CFDs or any leveraged trading in commodities. Contrary to popular belief, U.S. resident traders may use offshore Forex brokers, but most offshore brokers do not wish to take U.S. persons as clients due to onerous reporting requirements the U.S. effectively imposes worldwide.

Forex Brokers in the U.S.A


Is Forex forbidden in the USA?

Forex trading is not forbidden in the US and remains 100% legal with oversight from the CFTC. It lacks competitiveness versus global financial centers, and most offshore brokers do not accept US citizens or residents, making it a local Forex market dominated by futures brokers.

Is Forex regulated by FCA?

The FCA regulates the UK Forex market, and before 2018, it was the most competitive Forex market for retail traders. Brexit could reverse the ESMA-mandated regulatory changes, but London remains the global financial and Forex trading capital.

Is Forex regulated by the CFTC?

The CFTC regulates Forex brokers in the US, as Forex futures, forward, and options contracts dominate the US Forex market, which falls under CFTC jurisdiction.

Who is Forex regulated by?

The Forex market is a decentralized over the counter (OTC) market and does not have a central regulator. Each country tasks its domestic financial regulator with implementing and enforcing rules and regulations, creating varying degrees of competitiveness, security, protection, and reputation.

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