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In some cases, this timeframe could be as short as 30 seconds. But the Financial Conduct Authority said that from January 3 it would regulate the products, which are offered by London-listed online trading platforms such as IG Group and CMC Markets as well as smaller private companies.
The watchdog warned that the majority of consumers lose money on binary options and that the quick-fire nature of that type of trading leads to uninformed decision-making and addictive behaviour. It also highlighted the risk of binary options scams, whereby online firms take money from punters but never actually place bets for them, and the potential conflicts of interest associated with the business model. In a separate announcement on Tuesday, the FCA issued a formal warning to investors on the risks of cryptocurrency derivatives offered by online trading companies.