Israel has had a very storied past when it comes to Retail Forex Trading. Many of the “Offshore Forex Brokers” actually had their operations in Israel. Israel is unique in that it offers the ability to recruit native language talent in many different languages. It isn’t difficult to find sales and support staff who speak English and one other European language. This allows for firms operating in Israel the ability to target countries like France, Germany, and Italy. To better position themselves, some of these firms have turned to regulation in nearby Cyprus where CySec is an EU regulator that allows a company to passport into the European Union.
Some of these Forex Broker has acted in a manner that could be called less than transparent. Some have also been accused of using high-pressure sales techniques and have not followed standard AML and KYC standards. The issue of Israeli Forex became so big that Israeli regulators stepped in and made its citizens off limits. While the ISA has prohibited solicitation of its citizens, it has not moved to limit the operations of the Retail Forex Brokers.
Now it looks as if many Binary Options Brokers are operating in Israel much in the same fashion their Retail Forex predecessors. Even though many of these are also regulated out of Cyprus, this has not happened without its incidents. Last April a lawsuit was filed in the London courts on behalf of 2500 current and former clients that claim they were defrauded by many if these Israel-based brokers. The suits were not directed at the regulated entities but rather the Israeli entities and their respective directors. There is also a political component to these lawsuits as many of those being represented are from Arab speaking countries and were completely unaware that the origins of the sales calls were coming from Israel.
While it is argued by many that these industries employees hundreds if not thousands of people in Israel. Israeli regulators may need to take further action if the numbers of complaints and the reported abuses continue to rise.