The Forex industry has long been plagued with complaints of improprieties on behalf of brokers, despite the heightened regulation and increasing number of watchdogs whose goal is to supervise brokers and to make sure that they act within accepted legal and ethical guidelines. To protect Forex traders and to keep brokers on the straight and narrow, the FX Global Code of Conduct was launched in May 2016 as a precursor to the document that was released earlier this month by the Bank of International Settlements.
The code is designed to create a fair, liquid, open and transparent market where traders are protected and supported by a solid industry infrastructure. The Global Code was developed by a partnership between central banks and Market Participants from 16 jurisdictions worldwide. Among the guiding principles are:
- Market Participants are expected to behave in an ethical and professional manner to promote the fairness and integrity of the FXM Market.
- Market Participants are expected to promote responsible engagement in the FX Market and to have an effective governance framework to provide for comprehensive oversite of their activity.
- Market Participants will comply with laws and regulations applicable to them in the jurisdiction in which they do business.
As it stands, the Global Code is meant to include Market Participants which are outlined as all persons or organizations engaged in the Forex market including, but not limited to organizations such as financial institutions, central banks, asset managers including sovereign wealth funds and hedge funds, non-bank liquidity providers, brokers, trading platforms, money changes and money services. The Global Code confirms that all Market Participants will act in an ethical way and to be aware of potential conflicts that will need to be resolved with professionalism and care.
The initiative is a good one – there is certainly room for additional oversight and a commitment to moral activity within the Forex industry. However, we question whether the initiative will be successful on the global level as there may always be brokers who are likely to engage in unscrupulous behavior in an effort to dupe innocent traders out of their money. For this reason, we suggest that in addition to engaging a code of conduct for Market Participants, it is also critical for traders to know their rights and to understand that such a Global Code exists, so that they insist upon choosing a broker or other financial service provider that will maintain the highest standards of ethical and professional integrity. Only with proper education on the traders' side and honorable intentions on the side of Market Participants, will we be able to make strides against Forex fraud.