Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Brokers 2024

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Written By
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Written By
Tobias Robinson
Tobias is a partner at DayTrading.com, director of a UK limited company and active trader. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry and contributed via CySec to the regulatory response to digital options and CFD trading in Europe. Toby’s expertise and dedication to financial education make him a trusted voice in the industry, including a BBC investigation into digital options.
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Fact Checked By
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Fact Checked By
William Berg
William contributes to several investment websites, leveraging his experience as a consultant for IPOs in the Nordic market and background providing localization for forex trading software. William has worked as a writer and fact-checker for a long row of financial publications.
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A huge number of online trading brokers are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). In fact, you will find more regulated forex brokers in Cyprus than any other jurisdiction. However, what precisely is CySEC and which brokers are regulated by them? This tutorial will answer all of the above, while also covering the agency’s history, criticisms and key announcements. We have also listed the top CySEC-regulated brokers.

Best CySEC Brokers

Brokers regulated by the CySEC are required to follow strict measures to protect retail traders. Upon testing, our team have determined that these are the 1 best brokers authorized by the CySEC:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    RedMars

    Ratings
    3.3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    4.6 / 5

    €250
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
    CySEC
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
    MT5
    Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Debit Card, Sticpay, FasaPay, Bitcoin Payments, Trustly, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Klarna, Mastercard, Visa
    USD, EUR

Here is a short summary of why we think each broker belongs in this top list:

  1. RedMars - Launched in 2020, Cyprus-based RedMars offers competitive spreads on more than 300 instruments and leverage up to 1:500. Three accounts are available - Standard, Pro and VIP - serving a range of budgets and experience levels, with a fast and fully digital account opening process.

RedMars

"RedMars is the best fit for experienced day traders familiar with the MetaTrader 5 platform and based in the EU, where the broker is authorized by the CySEC. However, the threadbare education and research tools make it unsuitable for beginners."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

RedMars Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
RegulatorCySEC
PlatformsMT5
Minimum Deposit€250
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Pros

  • Clients in the EU, in particular, can trade with peace of mind knowing RedMars is authorized by the CySEC with up to €20K compensation available through the ICF in the event of bankruptcy
  • The broker supports a range of flexible payment methods, including wire transfers, credit cards, e-wallets, and notably cryptocurrencies
  • RedMars offers one of the best platforms for day trading, MT5, hosting 21 timeframes, dozens of analytical tools, flexible templates and algo trading

Cons

  • With just 300 instruments, RedMars offers a narrow trading environment, particularly compared to category leaders like BlackBull Markets which offers 26,000 assets
  • RedMars falls short for newer traders, with little in the way of education, no beginner-friendly platform, a steep minimum deposit, and inadequate support during testing
  • The no-frills trading environment offers little beyond the basics, with no Islamic account, PAMM account or copy trading.

CySEC regulations

What is CySEC?

CySEC is the financial regulatory agency of Cyprus. When Cyprus became an EU member state in 2004, all regulations, processes and operations of CySEC had to comply with the European MiFID financial harmonisation law.

Purpose & Responsibilities

As the official website details, CySEC’s main aims and responsibilities are as follows:

History

CySEC is a public corporate body that sprung to life in 2001 from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission Law of 2001. As a result of Cyprus becoming one of the EU members, all registered brokers and licensed companies were given access to European markets.

However, the EU registration and transition weren’t without problems. The move had a significant impact on the tax haven regulatory framework that CySEC has previously adopted.

By the time May 4th, 2012 had rolled around, the board made an announcement that it was changing the classification of binary options so they counted as financial instruments. All platforms operating in Cyprus had to adhere to the new binary options regulations in 30 days. These new rules included providing consumers with clear information about products and a requirement to “operate in a way that is fair to clients”.

This was a significant move for two reasons. Firstly, the majority of platforms are found in Cyprus. Secondly, CySEC became the first regulatory body to recognise and regulate binary options as financial instruments.

Structure

A board consisting of five members, including two full-time employees, a chairman and vice-chairman run CySEC. On top of that, a non-voting board member represents the Central Bank of Cyprus.

CySEC also has links to the government. The Council of Ministers decides on the board of directors after receiving proposals from the Minister of Finance.

Regulation & Processing

Regulation

When you take CySEC vs FCA or CFTC you realise the former is constantly having to adjust regulations to try and keep up with significant growth rates and more reputable regulatory agencies.

In fact, during 2014-2015, CySEC was under attack in the news from traders and industry commentators who thought more stringent regulations were necessary to monitor high-risk investment firms. In particular, there was an argument fines for binary options brokers were too low.

Processing

Because they were the first to regulate binary options, a huge number of brokers hold CySEC licenses so they can operate within the Eurozone. However, many believe verification and processing times could be much quicker.

It’s also worth noting many brokerage websites claim “Binary Options are the simplest way to trade the market. They have been available since 2008, and became regulated in Europe by CySEC in May 2012”. However, this does not necessarily mean that a particular broker is regulated by CySEC. So traders should search for the 5 Digit CySEC License Number and then verify the license on the CySEC website.

Broker Guidelines

CySEC has distributed guidelines and regulations on a whole range of trading activities. This includes bonus circulars, new guidelines for cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and directives for money laundering.

But with so many regulations, let’s touch on a couple of important examples that a regulated forex company must adhere to:

In addition to the above, CySEC can also set minimum capital requirements, bonus qualifications and leverage limits. Furthermore, brokers must meet regulations around indemnity insurance and ensure access to investor compensation funds.

Note if a broker fails to meet license requirements, their offices can swiftly receive notifications of fines or even the removal of their license.

Criticisms

Those with contacts in the industry or follow relevant news announcements will have seen there are certain criticisms of CySEC. These include:

CySEC Responses

It’s worth noting CySEC have taken action to address some of these issues. In fact, they have pursued greater transparency around listed brokers and tougher fines. Furthermore, they have taken more action to suspend and revoke licenses.

In addition, a 2016 circular said: “the name of the regulated entities, or the use of words within their name, should reflect the work/activities they are engaged in, for purposes of not misleading the investors”. Also, to tackle consumer complaints, they have brought in a new structure.

It’s also worth pointing out that despite criticism, CySEC can be in pro-active. For example, new legislation in France was brought in to prevent digital advertising of high-risk investment products. CySEC were then quick to bring out a circular informing companies they would need to adhere to these new regulations when advertising to French clients.

Final Thoughts

CySEC still has much to do to be as reputable as the FCA in the UK and the CFTC in the USA. However, they remain a popular body and continue to grow as a result of low barriers to entry and less stringent regulations.

Remember before you sign up with a brokerage, always check the firm is one of the approved brokers using their registration number and the official CySEC website.