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.
Is Forex Trading Legal in Canada?
Forex trading is legal in Canada, and it’s overseen by the CIRO (former IIROC) which is the national regulatory body.
The regulatory environment in Canada is however somewhat more complex when compared to other countries. In fact, each canadian 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:
- CIRO (former IIROC) regulated;
- If not directly regulated by the CIRO, then operating in the country with the support of a financial firm that is CIRO regulated (such as AvaTrade with Friedberg Direct);
- If not directly regulated by the CIRO, 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.
Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO, former IIROC)
The principal regulatory entity for forex markets in Canada is the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO, former IIROC). CIRO has been constituted as a non-profit corporation. Recognized by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), it serves as the new Canada’s self-regulatory organization (SRO). Brokers operating within Canada must secure a license from CIRO.
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 Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO), originating from the merger of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MDFA), is a new regulatory entity established in 2023. Since then, only a handful of brokers have opted to be regulated by the CIRO and operate in Canada.
Regulation of forex trading precedes the establishment of CIRO. The former entity, IIROC, was the result of a merger in 2008 between the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) and Market Regulation Services Inc. (RS). Thus, trading activities in the nation have been regulated and entirely lawful for over a decade.
How to open a trading account in Canada
To open a trading account in Canada, just choose a forex broker available in Canada. Among the best ones we can find:
- Forex.com (73% of retail CFD accounts lose money)
- Vantage (74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money)
- Oanda (73.5% of retail CFD accounts lose money)
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.
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 CIRO (former IIROC).
Is FX trading legal in Ontario?
Forex trading in Ontario is legal and overseen by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
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