November 8th 2021, The Financial Commission today announces increases in amounts awarded to traders, as well as amounts sought from member brokers in October 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization also experienced a significant improvement in already swift average dispute resolution times, with a 6.8 days average for the month.

Key monthly highlights for October 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Demand for retail trading and investing looks to be continuing judging by several key metrics of the Financial Commission for October 2021. Steady numbers for filed and resolved complaints suggest traders are continuing to try and take advantage of market opportunities with the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) continuing to process a larger number of complaints than in the summer months. The DRC was able to award a larger amount of compensation to traders than in the previous month while experiencing a jump in the amounts sought by traders from broker members in October.  At the same time, over 23% of all new complaints filed with the DRC in October were valued between $1,000-$10K+, highlighting the continued importance of the organization to investigate complaints with a significant monetary value. During the month, the DRC was able to resolve 8% fewer complaints than in September with some complaint investigations and decisions carrying over into November, while improving average resolution times, which still continue to outpace alternative EDR services. 

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

October 18th 2021, The Financial Commission today announces increases in newly filed complaints, resolved complaints, as well as amounts sought by traders and average complaints values for September 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization also experienced a slight slowdown in already swift average dispute resolution times, with 9.4 days average for the month.

Key monthly highlights for September 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Demand for retail trading and investing looks to have picked up following the summer months as highlighted by the growth of several key metrics of the Financial Commission for September 2021. Increases in new filed and resolved complaints suggest traders are continuing to try and take advantage of market opportunities with the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) continuing to process a larger number of complaints than previous months. The DRC was able to award a smaller amount of compensation to traders in the previous month while experiencing a significant jump in the amount sought in all submitted complaints.  At the same time, over 23% of all new complaints filed with the DRC in September were valued between $1,000-$10K+, highlighting the continued importance of the organization to investigate complaints with a significant monetary value. During the month, the DRC was able to resolve 33% more complaints than in August with continued operating efficiencies, while the rise in newly filed complaints led to an uptick in average resolution times, which still continue to outpace alternative EDR services. 

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

September 14th 2021, The Financial Commission today announces increases in newly filed complaints, resolved complaints, as well as amounts awarded to traders for August 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization also experienced a slight slowdown in already swift average dispute resolution times, with 7.6 days average for the month.

Key monthly highlights for August 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Trades continued to rely on external dispute resolution services (EDR) in the late summer as highlighted by the growth of several key metrics of the Financial Commission for August 2021. Increases in new filed and resolved complaints suggest traders are continuing to try and take advantage of market opportunities with the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) continuing to process a large number of complaints. The DRC was able to award a significantly larger amount of compensation to traders in August despite a lower total amount sought in all submitted complaints.  At the same time, a little over 22% of all new complaints filed with the DRC in August were valued between $1,000-$10K+, highlighting the continued importance of the organization to investigate complaints with a significant monetary value. During the month, the DRC was able to resolve 55% more complaints than in July with additional operational resources, while the complexity of cases and communication times led to an uptick in average resolution times, which still continue to outpace alternative EDR services. 

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected]

August 11th 2021, The Financial Commission today announces increases in newly filed complaints, resolved complaints, as well as amounts sought by traders for July 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization also experienced a noticeable improvement in already swift average dispute resolution times, with a 6.5 days average for the month.

Key monthly highlights for July 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Interest in trading global markets has continued to support demand for external dispute resolution services (EDR), as highlighted by the growth of several key metrics of the Financial Commission for July 2021. Increases in new filed and resolved complaints amounts sought, as well as average complaint values, suggest traders are continuing to try and take advantage of market opportunities. At the same time, non-trading complaints rose 35% during the month, indicating that traders may be having issues with such things as bonuses or brokerage terms and conditions.  Roughly 23% of all new complaints filed with the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) in July were valued between $1,000-$10K+, highlighting the continued importance of the organization to investigate complaints with a significant monetary value. During the month, the DRC was able to resolve 58% more complaints than in June, with average resolution times improving 33% to a still manageable 6.5 days. 

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

July 13th,  2021, The Financial Commission today announces its operating metrics for the first half of 2021 as part of its ongoing Complaints Digest publications highlighting the organization’s performance. Continued interest in trading volatile global financial markets following the Covid-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in some key metrics of the dispute resolution service of the organization, while average dispute resolution times continued to improve. The organization also added 5 new broker members and certified two platform providers during this period.

Key Half Year Highlights (as compared to 1H 2020):

A Detailed Summary

Key Takeaways for 1H 2021

Conclusions

The Financial Commission continues to effectively resolve traders’ disputes and public inquiries during continued elevated trader and broker activity around the world. Continued interest in trading opportunities in global markets has resulted in more demand for trading services among broker members, who have adapted their internal dispute resolution (IDR) processes to the influx of new traders seen in 2020 and, as such, have led to the reduction of compensation amounts sought from their trades. The Dispute Resolution Committee witnessed a significant rise in compensation sought from non-member brokers of 217%, indicating that trader protections are still lacking around the world. Several key outliers in amounts awarded to traders and average complaint values have negatively impacted 1H 2021 results, yet these metrics reflect the continued effectiveness of the dispute resolution service. “Trading related” complaints rose by 19% for the first half of 2021, while “non-trading related” complaints more than doubled to 325 in this time period, highlighting the broad scope of issues experienced by traders today. The highest trending complaints topics included account blocking, withdrawal of funds and price check requests further highlighting the continued interest in trading FX and CFD markets by traders of all experience levels.

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

June 9th 2021, The Financial Commission today announces significant increases in key metrics, including new complaints filed, amounts sought and awarded in May 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization also experienced a further spike in trading related complaints while average dispute resolution times increased to 7.2 days for the month.

Key monthly highlights for May 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Continued massive demand for trading on global markets, including digital currencies and derivatives, continues to drive the external dispute resolution services (EDR), as highlighted by several key metrics of the Financial Commission for the previous month. Increases across the board in new filed and resolved complaints amounts sought and awarded to traders, as well as average complaint values, suggest more traders are taking on substantial risks in their trading sizes as they try and take advantage of market opportunities. Roughly 32% of all new complaints filed with the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) in May were valued between $1,000-$10K+, highlighting the continued importance of the organization to investigate complaints with a significant monetary value. During the month, the DRC was able to resolve 15% more cases than in April, with average resolution times rising by 29% to a still manageable 7.2 days. 

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

May 13th 2021, The Financial Commission today announces steady month over month figures for newly filed complaints, resolved complaints and other key metrics for April 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization also experienced a continued rise in trading related complaints while average dispute resolution times fell to just 5.6 days for the month.

Key monthly highlights for April 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Trading in global markets with a new focus on digital assets and derivatives has continued to support demand for external dispute resolution services (EDR), as highlighted by several key metrics of the Financial Commission for the last month. Increases in trading related complaints by 29% suggest more traders are taking advantage of market opportunities and having issues with trade execution or pricing. Roughly 26% of all new complaints filed with the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) in April were valued at $1,000-$10K, highlighting the continued importance of the organization to investigate complaints with a significant monetary value. During the month, the DRC was able to speed up the resolution of cases with average resolution times falling by 32% to just 5.6 days. 

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

April 7th 2021, The Financial Commission today announces increases in newly filed complaints, resolved complaints, as well as awards to traders and amounts sought from member brokers for March 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization also experienced a rise in trading related complaints while maintaining a steady average dispute resolution time of just 8.3 days for the month.

Key monthly highlights for March 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Renewed interest in trading global markets has continued to support demand for external dispute resolution services (EDR), as highlighted by the growth of several key metrics of the Financial Commission last month. Increases in trading related complaints suggest more traders are taking advantage of market opportunities and having issues with trade execution or pricing. Roughly 25% of all new complaints filed with the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) in March were valued at $1,000-$9,999, highlighting the continued importance of the organization to investigate complaints with a significant monetary value. During the month, the DRC was able to ramp up the resolution of cases with total resolved complaints rising 10% from February while maintaining a steady average resolution time of 8.3 days. 

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

March 9th 2021, The Financial Commission announces increased amounts sought and awarded to traders, as well as average complaints values for February 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization recorded a decrease in new complaints filed, but maintained a steady rate of resolved complaints, percentage awarded and several other key metrics while achieving an average dispute resolution time of just 8.3 days.

Key monthly highlights for February 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

The recent trading frenzy in equities has supported the demand for external dispute resolution services (EDR), as highlighted by the growth of several key metrics of the Financial Commission in recent months, with a noticeable slowdown in February as a result of markets returning to range-bound trading in some areas. Nonetheless, compensation amounts sought by traders, as well as average complaints values and the awards to traders in February 2021 by the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) highlight a persistent demand for EDR services. Financial-related complaints were beaten out by non-trading complaints in February, suggesting investors are having more issues with such things as bonus policies, account blocking and customer service-related issues. During the month, the DRC was able to maintain a steady rate of total resolved complaints, down just 8% from January 2021 and in doing so resolved complaints at a speed of 8.3 days, albeit increasing this metric 46% MoM, but still keeping it well below other comparable dispute resolution services available to traders.

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

February 15th  2021, The Financial Commission announces continued monthly growth in submitted complaints, as well as compensation sought and awarded to traders for January 2021 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization recorded a significant increase in compensation sought, percentage of awarded compensation, complaints ruled in favour of traders and several other key metrics while achieving an average dispute resolution time of just 5.7 days.

Key monthly highlights for January 2021:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Renewed focus on equities markets, as well as commodities, continued to garner trader interest and provide for solid trading volumes across different asset classes. The continued interest in trading has supported the demand for dispute resolution services, as highlighted by several key metrics of the Financial Commission, including new complaints filed, average complaints values and total compensation sought by traders. While financial-related complaints continued to dominate, trading complaints jumped 27% in January, suggesting investors are having more issues with regards to trade executions and pricing than at the tail end of 2020. At the same time, the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) was able to once again rule a significantly higher number of complaints in favour of trades in January, as cases ruled in favour of clients jumped 190% month-over-month.

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

January 14th, 2021, The Financial Commission today announces the results of its operations for the previous year with the publication of the 2020 Complaints Summary. The organization achieved record annual growth in key metrics, as well as significant membership expansion during a challenging year impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic while maintaining a quick and efficient average dispute resolution time.

New records set in 2020

Other key metrics & accomplishments in 2020

Annual Complaints Summary

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

The Financial Commission mitigated disruptions caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic to continue providing quick and efficient dispute resolution services to traders and broker members in 2020. Market volatility events during the last year, including those in oil, gold, and equities markets provided for a hefty amount of new complaints for the organization and led to new records in operational metrics. 

The organization further expanded in the Middle East, with several new Turkish broker members, as well as the addition of a Turkish expert on the Dispute Resolution Committee. The organization’s free dispute resolution service to traders gained popularity in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa with new complaints from these regions growing 202%, 15%, and 14% respectively in 2020. The Financial Commission also saw a 17% decrease in complaints from Russia and former Soviet republics, as local market restrictions impeded the normal online trading operations FX and CFD traders have come to expect. 

The majority of complaints in 2020 were related to financial issues with 55% of the total, while trading related disputes accounted for 25%. The most popular topics for complaints dealt with funds withdrawal (31%), agreement breach (17%), price check (14%), and account blocking (6%). Of all resolved complaints, 52% were resolved “in favor of the broker” and 18% resolved “in favor of the client”, while 30% were found to be outside the organization’s jurisdiction. 

Heading into 2021, the Financial Commission sees continued global challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as political instability in the US as having a substantial impact on market prices and volatility in the near term and expects to continue to see elevated numbers of new complaints submitted by traders in 1Q 2021.  

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges, and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD, and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

January 12th, 2021, The Financial Commission announces continued growth in submitted and resolved complaints, as well as compensation awarded to traders for December 2020 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization recorded a significant increase in resolved complaints, percentage of awarded compensation, and several other key metrics while achieving an average dispute resolution time of just 6.1 days.

Key monthly highlights for December 2020:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

Global impacts from Covid-19 continued to impact market volatility as investors looked to have embraced equity and shares Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading more so than traditional Forex. Continued interest in trading has supported the demand for dispute resolution services, as highlighted by several key metrics of the Financial Commission, including new complaints filed and total complaints resolved, average complaints values, and non-member compensation sought. While financial-related complaints continued to dominate, non-trading complaints jumped 39%, suggesting investors are having issues outside of traditional trading and funding or withdrawals. At the same time, the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) was able to rule a significantly higher number of complaints in favor of traders in December, as cases ruled in favor of clients jumped 100% month-over-month.

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges, and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD, and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

November 16th,  2020, The Financial Commission announces a significant rise in its operating metrics for the month of October 2020 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization recorded a significant uptick in newly filed complaints for the month while experiencing growth in compensation awarded to traders, the compensation sought, and several other key metrics while achieving an average dispute resolution time of just 7.8 days.

Key monthly highlights for October 2020:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

As slow summer months have come and gone with Covid-19 global impacts and US elections continuing to influence market prices, the Financial Commission experienced a resurgence of complaints and requests for compensation in disputes from traders. The increased trader activity in global markets, including equities and Contracts for Difference (CFD) had increased the demand for dispute resolution services, as highlighted by the improvements in several key metrics, including new complaints filed, amounts sought and amounts awarded. While financial-related complaints continued to dominate, trading related complaints experienced a 20% rise month over month, suggesting investors are back to finding trading opportunities following a summer lull. At the same time, the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) was able to rule a significantly higher number of complaints in favor of clients in October, as the month over month total jumped 90% to 42 complaints from 22 in September.  

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges, and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD, and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

October 7th,  2020, The Financial Commission announces its operating metrics for the month of September 2020 as part of its monthly Complaints Digest. The organization recorded a slight decrease in newly filed complaints for the month while experiencing growth in several key metrics and achieving 132% in the amount of compensation awarded to traders as part of its dispute resolution service.

Key monthly highlights for September 2020:

Month Over Month Comparison

Key Takeaways

Conclusions

The end of summer has brought with it a resurgence of Covid-19 related disruptions around the globe along with subdued volatility in global markets, leading to fewer opportunities for traders. Echoing these short-term changes the Financial Commission experienced a slowdown in several key metrics, including average complaints value, amounts sought by traders, and total new complaints. Financial-related complaints continued to dominate, indicating that traders are continuing to deal with issues related to funds withdrawal, rather than trading, as witnessed in previous months. At the same time, the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) awarded significantly more compensation to traders in September than previous months, while increasing average dispute resolution times in order to provide sound and reasonable resolutions to traders.  

About Financial Commission

Founded in 2013, the Financial Commission is a leading independent member-driven external dispute resolution (EDR) organization for international online brokerages, exchanges, and Blockchain firms that participate in global foreign exchange (forex), derivatives, CFD, and digital asset markets.

The Financial Commission provides efficient compliance solutions to its members, alongside its External Dispute Resolution (EDR) mechanism that serves as an effective channel for processing complaints from clients of member firms.

For more information please contact us at [email protected].

New Members and Services, Continued Growth and Efficiencies, Additional Business Segment and Appointments

February 6th, 2019: The Financial Commission today announces the results of its 2018 annual report. From the creation of a new business segment for digital asset firms to the expansion of its existing member services for FX and CFD brokers, the Financial Commission proves its ability to diversify and the vital role it continues to play supporting international market participants.

Accordingly, Financial Commissions continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most recognized independent SRO and EDR body in the global retail Forex industry.

Financial Commission’s 2018 annual report shows sustained growth in many of its key business drivers, surpassing some previously achieved records. While the amount of total compensations awarded to broker member clients in 2018 moderated to $784,380, down from $1,564,700 YoY, the number of total new complaints rose to a record 945. Likewise, the number of resolved complaints increased 23% YoY to 816, up from 629.

Financial Commission services – including assisting with disputes – continue to see significant demand and interest from the broader trading community. The amount of complaints registered against non-member brokers totaled 129, with a majority (82) related to funds withdrawal issues. Furthermore, the amount of trading-related complaints for the non-member segment increased 3x as compared to 2017.

As the number of filed and processed complaints increased by 20% and 23% respectively for the calendar year, the timeframe of resolving the average complaint increased by nearly 20% to 7.9 days, as compared to 6.59 days in 2017. The Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) of the organization attributes this rise to the increased number of processed complaints and the complexity of submitted cases that require additional time for expert input to ensure a balanced and transparent resolution.

The Dispute Resolution Committee continued to see increased geographical diversity among broker clients who submitted complaints or otherwise inquired with questions to the organization. Specifically, a significant amount of complaints were received from Asia, Latin America and The Middle East, as compared to prior years. Likewise, only 21% of all complaints were submitted in English, highlighting the Financial Commission’s multi-language capabilities of handling disputes.

The Commission remained steadfast in improving its core business in 2018 with the launch of additional “Value added” services for broker members. Provided at little or no cost depending on the needs of the member, the services include a virtual dealer platform, multi-asset liquidity, a community-driven registry of client watchlists and an order execution quality certification from partner Verify My Trade.

The Verify My Trade order execution quality certification is similar to the “best execution” requirements in major international jurisdictions, providing an added layer of transparency for brokers and their customers by highlighting the quality of trade executions. In 2018, nine broker members were certified by VMT.

Further to Financial Commission’s core business, the organization launched new a self-regulatory effort in response to cryptocurrency market developments, with the establishment of a Blockchain Association, and guided by a newly formed Blockchain Expert Committee (BEC). Membership in the Blockchain Association will extend the free dispute resolution service already available to a new segment digital asset (cryptocurrency) traders and Blockchain firms. The Association and BEC aim to solve common issues and questions arising from physical exchange of digital currencies by customers, storage of digital assets on the Blockchain, and regional regulations and compliance in key global markets where digital currencies are in high demand. In 2018, the Association added 4 approved member firms and appointed 11 experts to the BEC.

Financial Commission also took proactive steps to improve trader education and regulatory insights for its broker members. In September 2018 the Expert Opinion column was launched on the organization’s official website providing free articles from industry experts, including members of the DRC and BEC.

The organization’s cross-border synergies with national regulatory bodies continued in 2018, including participation in several meetings with the Association of Forex Dealers (AFD) and Russia’s State Duma Committee on Financial Markets by Financial Commission Chairman, Peter Tatarnikov, where Mr. Tatarnikov consulted committee members on variety of areas, including the regulation of CFDs, improvements to the current Forex legislation and KYC requirements for broker clients, advising on forex and derivatives trading.

In step with its strategy of expanding into digital assets and Asian markets, Financial Commission attended numerous events and participated as an exhibitor, and on a panel at key industry gatherings in 2018 across the globe, including in Europe, Asia, Israel and the US providing ample interaction with the public including gauging hearing industry sentiment.

Financial Commission 2018 Results in Review

On the backdrop of significant regulatory changes in key Forex market geographies including ESMA-related changes in Europe, as well as volatile trading conditions, Financial Commission was strategically aligned with the needs of the industry in 2018, as evidenced by its results and record achievements. Furthermore, with the expansion into digital assets and Blockchain, the organization also expanded its reach to cryptocurrency traders, investors and tech firms.

Even in mature and electronic markets, it is natural for disputes to arise from time to time, yet the process for resolving disputes between counterparties, including broker-to-client trading, is not always straightforward. Financial Commission’s mission is to assist the industry in overcoming these inevitable challenges, by providing fair and efficient dispute resolution as a core service.

When grievances cannot be amicably resolved between member brokers and their customers, a formal complaint is filed with Financial Commission – where it is then examined using a systematic approach and is fully investigated before being reviewed by the DRC to render a non-bias decision. Using a proven dispute resolution process, Financial Commission achieved another exceptional year across some of its key operating metrics during 2018, including the following highlights:

2018 Highlights

2018 Statistics in Review

Below the Commission presents further details of its Annual Report for 2018, with statistics on the number of complaints handled and key metrics regarding processing and mediation results. The statistics information is insightful to our members and their clients, the public, and for brokerages and technology developers that are considering the benefits of obtaining membership with the Financial Commission and/or are interested in learning about the organization’s structure.

As market participants continue to demand best execution and fair dealing, the need for transparency continues to grow and brokers that are willing to voluntarily demonstrate transparency by becoming members.

Building trust is crucial and using fair and neutral 3rd party dispute resolution – that Financial Commission provides – is an effective solution in cases where clients or brokers cannot resolve matters together and seek an independent channel and wish to avoid often complex legal or costly arbitration alternatives. The Financial Commission continues to achieve this objective by providing brokerages and technology firms with the benefits that accompany membership status, as seen in the statistics results for 2018.

As the number of new member continued to grow, there was a significant increase in the total number of complaints received in 2018 (945 complaints filed), compared Year-over-Year from 2017 (764 complaints filed). This nearly 20% increase was driven from the addition of new members reflecting the increasing credibility and positive reputation Financial Commission has been earning since its foundation, and coupled with market volatility from major geopolitical events during the year.

The monetary amounts for complaints filed during 2018 ranged from as low as $100 to as much as $76,800, and the total amount of compensation that was paid out was $784,380 from a total of 945 complaints filed. The six-figure total compensation sought highlights the increased monetary significance of the complaints processed by the DRC and broker client’s reliance on the Commission in getting disputes resolved (as opposed to, in some cases, resorting to other regulatory bodies and legal channels including costly arbitration).

The geographical reach of the Commission, as well as language options for traders continue to diversity the pool of traders who submit complaints for review. Thus, while the Russia & CIS region continues to be the prominent geographic origin of trader disputes, Asia, the Middle East and Latin American now account for 11%, 9% and 8% of all disputes files in 2018, respectively. Likewise, 4%, 5% and 6% of complaints were processed in Asian, Latin and Arabic languages, respectfully.

Overview of 2018 Complaints Statistics:

o   Complaints filed against Members 816 (86%)

o   Complaints filed against non-Members 129 (14%)

o   A record 945 Complainants sought $3,184,932

o   Maximum complaint amount awarded $260,240.00*

o   Minimum complaint amount awarded $10.00

o   Resolutions in favor of client 153 (19%)

o   Resolutions in favor of broker 373 (46%)

o   Out of jurisdiction 290 (36%)

*Includes account trading bonuses

Types of Complaints

Trading complaints are directly related to the process of trading on the market and the affect of execution of orders, payment of margins, calculation of commissions, forced liquidation of positions and other parts of the trade cycle. These complaints are considered by the Dispute Resolution Committee and included in the statistics.

o   against Members 228

o   against non-Members 3

Financial complaints are related to transactions on the account, and in majority of cases involve delays in withdrawals. Such complaints do not fall under dispute resolution process; however, the Financial Commission never rejects such complaints and helps advocate the payment process with clients till the end. We do not record cases of non-payment of funds to the clients by Member-companies. Nevertheless, in cases when such complaints are received against non-member companies providing of a refund to the client from the broker is often very problematic.

o   against Members 283

o   against Non-Members 82

Non-trading complaints are often clients’ complaints about the facts of losses incurred as a result of cooperation with the administering traders and sales consultants. To a lesser extent these are complaints for automatic copying transactions systems and signaling services. Such complaints do not fall under the dispute resolution process; however, we always analyze the contract, risks warning, correspondence and negotiations with the client and also give our assessment of the situation and recommendations for a possible settlement of the dispute.

o   against Members 305

o   against Non-Members 44

Geographies and Languages

Disputes processed by language:

English 21%
Russian 64%
Asian (Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, etc.) 4%
Latin (Spanish, Portuguese) 5%
Arabic 6%

 

Disputes processed by region:

Russia & CIS 62%
Asia 11%
Middle East 9%
Latin America 8%
Europe 7%
Africa 4%
North America 1%

 

Blockchain Association and Blockchain Expert Committee

Financial Commission first engaged with blockchain technology providers in 2015 and recognized the importance of developing best-practices for crypto exchanges which share many parallels to foreign exchange markets and technology used by forex brokers. This is partly because existing laws do not recognize digital assets yet or regulations have not yet been created in many parts of the world.  Even in places where guidelines and guidance exist from regulators, consumer protection mechanisms are still evolving.

Given these circumstances, the Financial Commission developed effective solutions for digital asset traders and investors to increase self-regulatory efforts in the absence of government-sponsored mechanisms. The Blockchain Association relies on the Blockchain Expert Committee (BEC) which is comprised of Blockchain industry experts, including those that have participated in independent 3rd party dispute resolutions in the past, and have studied the facts of each dispute and the processes in place to reach an official resolution. Because the dispute resolution process is not currently based on established market regulations, the resolutions provided are non-binding on the customer and their service provider yet provide significant value in the form of recommendations for both parties.

The BEC is led by Steven Hatzakis, the Global Director of Research, Forex & Crypto for ForexBrokers.com, a Reink Media Group brand. Steven is an active fin-tech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level.

Blockchain Association Members

In 2018 the Blockchain Association added 4 approved members.

Blockchain Expert Committee

In 2018, the Financial Commission appointed 11 experts to the BEC. To find out more about the business profiles of each expert, please visit our website.

Steven Hatzakis – Global Director of Research, Forex & Crypto for ForexBrokers.com

Simon Grunfeld – Founder & Executive Director – Ibinex

Dmitri Turkevich – Director of Business Development at Rambler&Co.

Aleksey Kutsenko – CEO Tools4Brokers.com

Bryan Feinberg – CEO and Founder of Etheralabs, Zephyr and P2Primex

Pavel Salas – CEO Tokenbox

Stanislav Shamayev – Crypto and Blockchain Business and Corporate Attorney

Vasily Alexeev – СТО Serenity, CEO UpTrader

Clark Hogan – Founder Byzantine Works

Rika Khurdayan – Dilendorf Khurdayan PLC

Max Dilendorf – Dilendorf Khurdayan PLC

Katerina Troshina – Co-Founder SmartDec

2018 Events, Meetings, Developments, and Cross-border Collaborations

Continuing into commitment to the APAC region, Financial Commission exhibited at the 2018 iFX Expo in Hong Kong which took place at the end of January, followed by the 2018 Asia Trading Summit in Shanghai in March, followed by the 2018 iFX Expo in Cyprus in May, as well as participated in the 2018 IFINEXPO in Beijing. In November 2018 the organization also exhibited at the Finance Magnates London Summit.

 

Echoing its strategy of expansion into digital assets and Blockchain in 2018, the Financial Commission participated in the 2018 Trading Show New York, Blockchain Shift 2018 in Miami and the Next Block Blockchain Conference in Tel Avil in December.

 

 

Continued interaction with government regulators included consultations by Financial Commission Chairman, Peter Tatarnikov at important meetings of the Expert Council of the Association of Forex Dealers (AFD) at the Committee on Financial Markets of the State Duma, as well as the III International Conference on the Protection of Investors Rights in Moscow. Mr. Tatarnikov assisted the AFD in a variety of areas, including the regulation of CFDs, improvements to the current Forex legislation and KYC requirements for broker clients.

Public feedback continued to be supportive of the role that Financial Commission holds in the industry and these views were supported by the increased number of new members and other key areas of growth experienced during the year.

New Member Announcements in 2018

 

Appointments Made to the DRC in 2018

A total of three persons were appointed to Financial Commission’s DRC in 2018, bringing the total current number of committee members to twenty one.

Demetrios Zamboglou – Chief Business Developer Officer in Lykke AG

Demetrios is a multi-award winning executive and academic financial market specialist, holding a Fellow Charter Membership from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI) and he is the recipient of the European Commission (2017), Microsoft Research Grant (2016), the Amazon Web Services Award (2014) and the 30 under 30 prize by Square Mile Magazine in 2011. Dr Zamboglou obtained his MEng in Computer Systems Engineering with concentration in Formula Engines from Lancaster University, and his MSc from CASS Business School, where he specialised in IPOs and financial markets. Dr Zamboglou holds a PhD from King’s College London in Behavioural Finance. Demetrios Zamboglou is the Chief Business Developer Officer of Lykke AG, a financial technology company, responsible for the Firm’s International Business. Dr. Zamboglou joined the Firm in November 2016 from FXTM, where he led the firm’s UK operations. Prior to that, he held progressively senior roles as a corporate executive, risk manager, and quantitative analyst. Before Lykke, Dr. Zamboglou held Executive leadership roles at FXTM, zebrafx and FOREX CLUB specialising in issues including business development, strategy, risk management, market-making, and compliance.

Roland Gemayel – Chief Dealer in Lykke

Roland Gemayel holds numerous degrees, including a PhD in Finance from Kings College in London, as well as a Master of Science with distinction from Cass Business School. Prior to joining Lykke, Roland was the Chief Dealer at Maximus FX and is also the founder of eSocialTrader – a financial resource on the topic of social trading, where Roland publishes opinions, experience, and research findings on the growing phenomenon of social trading. His work is published in top academic finance journals. Roland is a senior finance professional with over seven years of international experience in risk management, market making, financial modeling, consulting, product development, business operations, and strategy. His current work at Lykke as the chief dealer involves developing market making algorithms and building performance metrics and risk systems to ensure steady growth of trading operations.

Pavel Khizhnyak – Founder of Tradefora

With Bachelor degree in Oriental science, MBA in Project Management, vast experience in Asian markets, and being fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Pavel is a frequent guest speaker at regional industry events and roundtables.  In 2013 Pavel founded Trade Exact Consulting, which provides market entry and business development services for brokers expanding into Asian markets. In 2015 Pavel became a Founding Partner of Tradefora PLC – OTC industry’s first fully automated TCA and trade execution analytics engine for retail FX, CFD, and margin crypto traders.

Current Members of the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC)

  1. Anatoly Bulanov – Head of Dispute Resolution Committee
  2. Simon Grunfeld  – Founder, Gallant Partners
  3. Ilan Azbel – CEO, AutoChartist
  4. Lior Nabat – CEO, Tradency
  5. Aleksey Kutsenko – CEO, Tools4Brokers
  6. Juan Pablo Jutgla – CEO, Better Way FX Consulting
  7. Akin Abbak – Managing Partner, Abbak Attorneys at Law
  8. Kristina Nettles – Vice President, Integral
  9. Nir Porat – Co-Managing Partner,  Ben Basat, Porat & Co.
  10. Peg Reed – COO, Forex Development Corporation
  11. Dr. Anna Becker – Founder, Sherpa
  12. Ran Cohen – Founder, Traders Education
  13. Carl Elsammak – CEO, Kammas Trading
  14. Maor Lahav – COO and co-Founder, Panda Trading Systems
  15. Quinn Perrot – GM, TRAction Fintech
  16. Brian Phillips – Founding Partner Argosy Global Advisors
  17. Alexey Sidorov – Chairman, Financial Market Development Association of Belarus (ARFIN)
  18. Valery Dolgov – CEO IndigoSoft
  19. Demetrios Zamboglou – Chief Business Developer Officer in Lykke AG
  20. Roland Gemayel – Chief Dealer in Lykke
  21. Pavel Khizhnyak – Founder of Tradefora

Technology & Education Certifications

The Financial Commission certified the trading technology of FDCtech, Inc. (formerly Forex Development Corporation) and Binomo, as well as the trader education provider Trader’s Education. This brings the total number of certified providers to 12.

 

 

Closing Remarks from Financial Commission Chairman

“We are pleased with Financial Commission’s many achievements in 2018, and are continuing to take steps at improving and expanding our services into 2019. On the backdrop of highly dynamic conditions last year for financial markets and the financial services industry, Financial Commission experienced significant growth in some of our core operating metrics, including a record number of complaints received and processed for the second year in a row. Notwithstanding the addition of new FX broker members and certified firms, we have achieved so much in improving and expanding our core business, as well as launching a completely new venture for digital asset traders. Our Blockchain Association quickly gained traction and attention from industry participants, helping us onboard 4 member firms within just the first month of operation and assemble a group of experts to assist us going forward. We thank all of our members and supporters dedicated to helping foster transparency with their commitment to our rules and use of Financial Commission’s services, as we now enter our 7th year of operation. We continue to welcome new members and encourage new and existing brokerages, technology developers, digital asset exchange and Blockchain firms, whether regulated, unregulated, or self-regulated, to submit their membership application to Financial Commission, and review our requirements to see if your firm will qualify for approval. Members that become approved show their customer their willingness to be open and transparent and, Financial Commission will stand by both sides in cases where a complaint is filed through our EDR system, and with the aim to bring it to resolution fairly and swiftly. We look forward to continuing to improve our core services for FX traders and continue building out our digital asset and Blockchain-focused segment. Likewise, we hope to continue to provide valuable education and resources to help them determine the best way forward in their trading.”

Peter Tatarnikov,

Chairman,

Financial Commission