Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Brokers 2024

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 5 best brokers authorized by the CySEC:

#1 - AvaTrade

Why We Chose AvaTrade

AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for day trading, from CFDs to AvaOptions and now AvaFutures, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

"AvaTrade offers the full package for short-term traders. There is powerful charting software, reliable execution, transparent fees, and fast account opening with a low minimum deposit."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM
  • Platforms: WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro)

#2 - Exness

Why We Chose Exness

Exness is a Cyprus-based forex and CFD brokerage established in 2008. With over 260,000 clients, several awards and reputable licensing, the broker has maintained its position as a highly respected global brand. Active day traders can access the popular MT4 and MT5 platforms, raw spreads and multiple account types.

"Exness remains an accessible broker for all experience levels, though experienced day traders will particularly appreciate the ultra-low commission rates, fast withdrawals and high-quality charting software."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
  • Regulator: FSA, CySEC, FCA, FSCA, FSC, CBCS
  • Platforms: Exness Trade App, MT4, MT5, TradingCentral
  • Minimum Deposit: $10
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:2000

#3 - Pepperstone

Why We Chose Pepperstone

Established in Australia in 2010, Pepperstone is a top-rated forex and CFD broker with over 400,000 clients worldwide. It offers access to 1,300+ instruments on leading platforms MT4, MT5, cTrader and TradingView, maintaining low, transparent fees. Pepperstone is also regulated by trusted authorities like the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC, ensuring a secure environment for day traders at all levels.

"Pepperstone stands out as a top choice for day trading, offering razor-sharp spreads, ultra-fast execution, and advanced charting platforms for experienced traders. New traders are also welcomed with no minimum deposit, extensive educational resources, and exceptional 24/7 support."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting
  • Regulator: FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)

#4 - XM

Why We Chose XM

XM is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker with 10+ million clients in 190+ countries. Since 2009, this trusted broker has been known for its low fees on 1000+ instruments. XM is regulated by multiple financial bodies, including the ASIC and CySEC.

"XM is one of the best forex and CFD brokers we have tested. The flexible account types will suit a variety of short-term trading styles while the $5 minimum deposit and smooth sign-up process make it easy to start trading."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: Forex, Stock CFDs, Turbo Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Precious Metals, Energies, Shares, Crypto, Futures
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, FSC, FSCA
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5
  • Minimum Deposit: $5
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots

#5 - IC Markets

Why We Chose IC Markets

IC Markets is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker known for its excellent pricing, comprehensive range of trading instruments, and premium trading technology. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Australia, the brokerage is regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA, and has attracted more than 180,000 clients from over 200 countries.

"IC Markets offers superior pricing, exceptionally fast execution and seamless deposits. The introduction of advanced charting platforms, notably TradingView, and the Raw Trader Plus account, ensures it remains a top choice for intermediate to advanced day traders."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Futures, Crypto
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, FSA
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Deposit: $200
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global)

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.