Is Forex Trading Legal in Canada?

logomark Luca Puddu calendar Last Updated: November 2021 timer 5 min read
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In recent years, there has been an overhaul in terms of how forex is regulated in Canada. The changes caused many brokers to distance themselves from Canada and ceased providing services to Canadian residents. These events caused some confusion and led some traders to wonder if forex trading is legal in Canada.

Not only is forex trading legal in Canada, but we’ve prepared a convenient list of the top 10 forex brokers in Canada. However, we’re still going to examine this topic in more detail.

Table of contents

Is Forex Trading Legal in Canada?

Yes. Forex trading is legal in Canada. The regulator environment is somewhat more complex when compared to other countries, so we’ll explain how forex regulation in Canada works.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada or IIROC is the national regulatory body. But each province also has its own local regulator.

Trading Prohibitions in Canada

As forex is perfectly legal in Canada, almost any technique and strategy are allowed. Although it is more a common product in the UK, Spread Betting is allowed even in Canada. However, being able to Spread Bet from Canada depends on the availability of brokers who offer this product. The only noteworthy exception is binary options since this product hasn’t been fully endorsed.

Legal and Illegal brokers in Canada: How to spot them

For a broker to operate legally in Canada must be either:

  • IIROC regulated;
  • If not directly regulated by the IIROC, then operating in the country with the support of a financial firm that is IIROC regulated (such as AvaTrade with Friedberg Direct);
  • If not directly regulated by the IIROC, they must obtain a local permit from a regional regulator.

You can always find information about a broker’s licenses and authorisation on its website, and to verify that information, you can double-check on the IIROC website. The IIROC website will only tell you if a broker is regulated or not. The regulator’s website will not provide any information about the features or conditions provided by a broker. If you need additional help finding a trusted broker in Canada, you should consult our top 10 Canadian forex brokers list.

How forex market is regulated in Canada

Several bodies and authorities are regulating the financial markets in Canada as the country doesn’t have national legislation for the whole country. Forex trading is regulated as either trading in securities or derivatives depending on the region or province where the forex broker is registered. Although the number of regulatory organisations adds confusion, it ensures a higher level of security in Canada.

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is the main body that regulates the forex markets in Canada. The IIROC is a national self-regulatory organisation (SRO) that was established as a non-profit corporation and is recognised by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). The IIROC must license any broker operating in Canada.

Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is formed by the securities regulators of each of the ten provinces and three territories in Canada. The organisation is responsible for developing a harmonised approach to securities regulation across the country. Each of the 13 local regulators has the power to authorise a broker or not. Refer to the table below to see the members of the CSA.

Name of the CSA Member Province and Territories
Alberta Securities Commission Alberta
British Columbia Securities Commission British Columbia
Manitoba Securities Commission Manitoba
New Brunswick’s Financial and Consumer Services Commission New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador’s Office of the Superintendent of Securities of the Service Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia Securities Commission Nova Scotia
Ontario Securities Commission Ontario
Prince Edward Island’s Office of the Superintendent of Securities Prince Edward Island
Québec’s Autorité des marchés financiers Québec
Saskatchewan’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority Saskatchewan
Northwest Territories Securities Office Northwest Territories
Nunavut Securities Office Nunavut
Yukon Territories’ Office of the Superintendent of Securities Yukon

Forex regulations in Canada

The IIROC is a relatively young regulatory body; it was founded in 2008; since then, only a handful of brokers have opted to be regulated by the IIROC and operate in Canada.

Forex trading has been regulated long before the IIROC was established. The regulator was conceived by merging two other entities. The predecessors were the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) and Market Regulation Services Inc. (RS). We can say for sure that trading activities are regulated and entirely legal for over a decade now.

How to open a trading account in Canada

To open a trading account in Canada, just choose a forex broker in Canada from our list of outstanding brokers. We always recommended testing a new broker with a demo account, especially if you’re completely new to trading.

A demo account allows you to learn how to trade in a risk-free environment. Whenever you are ready, you can upgrade to a live account by following the common steps of confirming your identity and depositing funds. Check our guide on how to trade forex in Canada to make sure you’re prepared with the best tips and advice before risking your money.

Is Forex Trading Legal in Canada? – FAQs

Can you do forex trading in Canada?

It is possible to trade forex in Canada. Activity is regulated by the IIROC.

Is FX trading legal in Ontario?

FX trading is legal in Ontario, but only for professional traders.


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About the Author

Luca Puddu

Broker Expert

Always full of different interests, Luca started to get interested in the field of personal finance in 2014.

His self-taught studies led him year by year to become increasingly interested in the investment field.

To date, Luca actively invests in the stock market and cryptocurrencies, focusing on rising markets and the industries of the future.

His main role at InvestinGoal.com is to analyze and study in the smallest detail the brokers and their platforms, while checking carefully that the information shown by them is genuine.

In this way, he provides readers with a complete and truthful overview of the broker they might be interested in.


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