The Binary Options industry was for many years like a wild jungle and the number of disputes between brokers and clients was enormous.
The situation has improved by far in the last years, since more and more brokers have become regulated by financial authorities such as Consob and Cysec.
These licenses definitely provide higher reliability and guarantees to investors.
However, having to deal with Brokers, like banks and insurance companies, may involve getting into disputes at some point.
We can’t just rule out from the start that the Broker is not acting in bad faith, so choosing a regulated broker can surely limit the exposure to risks.
The customer is often the one causing issues by acting in breach of contractual agreements stated in the terms and conditions (which hardly anyone reads).
Let’s look at the recurrent issues that customers come up against with Brokers and how to solve them.
Anti-laundering Red Flag – The details provided do not match …
The European law (and in general, the legislation of the western world) is very strict wen it comes to money laundering.
All Brokers will ask you fora copy of a government issued ID, proof of address (usually a utility bill) and if you deposited funds using your credit card, they will ask for a copy of the front and back of your credit card .
Things that you should avoid doing are:
- Register with fake data. When you ask for a withdrawal the anti-laundering red flags will block your withdrawal request. In these cases the broker will not be able to support you in processing your request and your funds will not be released.
- Deposit with a credit card with a different name. Also in this case the anti-laundering red flags will block your withdrawal. Even though you have used many times your husband’s or your wife’s credit card to fund your account, it is strongly recommended not to. All the details provided must match, starting from the name on the account, the details used to make the deposit and the data on the bank account where you want your money to be sent.
- Avoid making deposits with credit cards that are close to expiry. Issues with credit cards that are expired or have not been renewed. Brokers that receive the deposit with a certain credit card, usually send the money withdrawn on the same card up to the amount of the first deposit, the extra amounts or profits are sent via bank wire to the account under the same beneficiary name. So, if by chance you lost your card or it has expired, you may have some issues.
- If you deposited via bank wire, the broker will send the withdrawal to the same account.
- Avoid making unusual withdrawal requests; this will raise anti-laundering red flag.
I accepted the bonus and now I cannot withdraw…
Seriously? Are there still people out there that really believe that someone is going to give them thousands of euro for free and for no reason? Apparently, YES!
Bonuses are the main marketing strategy and Brokers will do anything to make you accept them.
The important thing to know is that once you have accepted the bonus, in order to withdraw you must first reach a trading volume of 20 to 40 times (depending on the broker and the bonus type) the amount received.
Let’s pretend you deposited $1000 and you have accepted an amazing bonus of 100%, so now you have $2000 on your trading account.
Before you are allowed to withdraw you should trade an average volume of $30.000.
This means you won’t be able to play a far game. Considering a minimum trade of $25 in order to reach a $30000 trading volume you should open 1200 trades.
Obviously you could increase the amount per trade but with a balance of $2000 the maximum you could invest per trade is $50, and that’s means opening 600 trades.
In the end the best you do is go for the 60 seconds trades, or else you will never reach the trading volume you need.
60 seconds trades are the most difficult options and only an experienced scalper trader can manage them. The approach to 60 seconds trading involves smaller investments and strict discipline.
So when and if you decide to accept a bonus, check carefully the terms and conditions and do your math on the trading volume before submitting.
I followed the Account Manager’s advice (or the automatic trading system, or whatever other system) and I lost everything!
This is the typical example of a faulty management of the relationship with the Account Manager, or simply a very unprofessional Account Manager.
No one ever tells you but an Account Manager is not an expert in trading, and this is true in 99% of the cases.
Specifically the Account Manager that contacts you right after you register with the broker has a very limited knowledge of trading and financial markets, and in most cases he or she has attended a 5-day crash course on marketing techniques.
An Account Manager will rarely advise you explicitly to open this or that trade (as this would be totally illegal and he or she would get sacked), but rather present you with the analysis from third parties (e.g.: I am not sure you are aware but yesterday the so-and-so agency has released an assessment on the EUR/USD indicating a target price of X amount which suggests a fall/rise in the short term).
The Account Manager works for the Broker and is hardly an expert in technical analysis, so it’s no surprise that investing with no criteria you will lose everything. Without the support of a professional technical and fundamental analysis Binary Options are nothing more than a bet with a 90% payout, and statistically speaking the more you play the more you lose.
The relationship with the Account Manager should be the professional relationship between you, the client, and the Broker’s representative.
The Account Manager is neither your confessor, nor your best friend, and his salary depends on your losses or wins.
The Account Manager’s job is to convert you from lead to client, make you deposit and communicate with you for any kind of issue; whether you win or lose is none of his concern since this is not his role.
If the Account Manager has an unprofessional conduct, you should report him or her directly to the Broker, and in most cases you may be able to resolve your dispute if you can prove (with emails, phone recordings, etc.) that your investment was unsuccessful due to the Account Manager’s misconduct and the misinformation provided on the trades.
The same thing goes for all those magic or automated trading systems that the Broker may offer you or those found on the net, both free or paid.
If you were to know a mathematical system to beat the roulette, wouldn’t you use it to become rich without trumpeting your victory from the rooftops? Traders that hold a winning system keep it for themselves. If a true winning system was out there, Brokers would take action against it.
Systems, signals, technical and fundamental analysis they can all be useful tools, but they can rarely be used automatically, they must always be put within a context.
The real market price is different from the one the Broker is willing to sell an option.
Very few Brokers (among them we count 24Option) allow you to open positions at real market prices, most of them will offer a slightly different price (with spreads), in other words the price at which the Broker is willing to open trading positions.
In the terms and conditions you usually find something like this; “The levels we present on our site are the ones XXXX is willing to sell options at, they are not the real time market levels.”
It’s important that you know the rules of engagement so that you can make the best decisions in your trading activity.
Issues with the platform have caused losses
One of the reasons why you should be careful with the broker you choose to trade with is the platform they provide a platform that is unstable or slow my cause great issues in your trading experience.
24Option in this case is a reliable choice, as well as AnyOption and OptionWeb.
Currently the Broker that gives the best guarantees is IqOption, and it’s also a great choice for beginners. It is quite rare to find bad reviews on this Broker, and we recommend it also to test it with real money since the min deposit is only $10 and the minimum trade is $1.
Delays on Withdrawals
Withdrawal issues are becoming fewer and fewer since the industry is now regulated and the only problems are related to ant-laundering red flags.
However Binary Options Brokers are not so rapid when it comes to payouts, and waiting times from the withdrawal request to the moment you actually have the funds on you account can be between a week and ten days. The most reliable brokers in terms of rapid withdrawals are IqOption and 24Option.
How to solve virtually any dispute (for normal people)
Let’s assume that there was no misinterpretation of the terms and conditions from your side and that you are actually in a situation in which the Broker is driving you insane with unreasonable delays, and if you have followed our advice, you are surely trading with a regulated broker.
In this case, which is extremely rare for a licensed Broker, all you need to do is write a few letters (in English) to Consob and Cysec, and enclose the evidence of the Broker’s misconduct. The next step is to send the same material to your account manager, informing him or her that you are reporting your case to the regulating authority unless the issue is not settled within a week time.
Supposing that you are not a Saudi Prince and that your issue involves an amount below $20.000, in 99% of the cases the Broker will try to contact you and settle the dispute.
No regulated broker will risk losing its license over something which can easily be solved.