Israel is on the precipice of changing its law on unregulated binary options companies, which at present, outlaws these companies targeting Israelis, but does not address overseas citizens. Following the February publication of a bill proposing a ban on the industry, there was a lot of deliberation about what this would mean for the online Israeli trading industry. The law was officially proposed to the Israeli parliament’s cabinet on June 18 by finance minister Moshe Kahlon. The proposal was followed by a unanimous approval by the cabinet in its first reading on June 26.
For the bill to be passed, the law needs to be approved by parliament’s Reform Committee in two further readings. The Reform Committee, chaired by politician Rachel Azaria of the Kulanu party met on Monday, August 31, beginning a series of three hearings, which are open to members of the public.
The Knesset – the name for the Israeli parliament – heard testimony from advocates and opponents alike. Among the speakers was our head attorney Veronica Birman. In her speech, Veronica eloquently relayed the story of one of her clients and described some of the practices perpetrated against the client.
Other testimonies advocating for the new law included chairman of the Israel Securities Authority Shmuel Hauser, former employees of binary options companies, victims of scams from Israel and abroad, and lawyers like Veronica Birman, representing victims of binary options fraud.
This proposed law would require online trading companies to obtain licenses from the countries they targeted. It would also grant the Israel Securities Authority, which helped draft the law, the authority to impose prison sentences of up to two years to any citizen who violated the law.
Among those who opposed the law were binary options company owners, binary options platform service providers, and employees of binary options companies concerned for their livelihood. The committee will hear further testimony next week.