ASIC requests Apple and Google to drop Binary Options apps


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission asked Apple and Google to drop Binary Options apps following its research results. How did the tech giants react?

2 August, AtoZForex - The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has decided to take serious action on the Binary Options industry in Australia. More specifically, the financial regulator holds a negative stance in relation to the Binary Options offering to Australians.

Earlier this March, the regulator reviewed 330 applications which were offered to Australians by unlicensed entities and individuals.

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ASIC requests Apple and Google to drop Binary Options apps

In detail, the applications have been divided into three different subgroups. Two-thirds of them have provided the opportunity to trade Binary Options. Other 25 percent have offered trading signals, with the rest being introducing brokers’ apps.

The ASIC stresses that the owners of such applications appear as a concern to the regulator. According to the ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour:

“This is a timely reminder for investors to remain vigilant and not fall for flashy advertising or hard selling. Investors also need to make sure any financial service provider, regardless of the way that financial service is being provided, is adequately licensed and authorized to provide those services.”

The apps’ descriptions have included misleading statements that aimed to encourage Australian residents to trade Binary Options. For example, according to ASIC:

• ‘Earn up to 90% in less than an hour, in fact, you can profit quickly as 60 seconds and profit as much as 620% via one trade’

• ‘ generates around 85% profitable signals from the top traders to guarantee the safe trading.'

Moreover, a number of marketing slogans that have been used by Binary Options providers appear to be used on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

In addition, almost 80 percent of all apps did not provide any risk disclaimer. In fact, introducing brokers did not reveal the mechanism of the compensation to the end users.

Apple Bans Binary Options Facilitating Apps 

The regulator has highlighted that some of the apps were aiming to collect data. The ASIC has issued an official announcement in regards to the matter. The supervisor states that the potential clients were entering their personal details in the process of using a certain app. Afterward, the entities were cold calling them and pressuring with hot sales tactics.

The ASIC states that it has contacted Apple and Google in regards to this issue. The regulator has asked them to ban the applications. As ASIC requested Apple and Google to drop Binary Options apps, both the companies have removed the 330 applications from their app stores.

Moreover, Apple has changed its developer guidelines. Specifically, Apple has banned all of the apps that facilitate Binary Options trading.

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