Credit Risk

Credit risk refers to the possibility that an outstanding currency position may not be repaid as agreed, due to a voluntary or involuntary action by a counterparty. Credit risk is usually something that is a concern of corporations and banks. For the individual trader (trading on margin), credit risk is very low as this also holds true for companies registered in and regulated by the authorities in G-7 countries. In recent years, the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have asserted their jurisdiction over the FX markets in the US and continue to crack down on unregistered FX firms. Countries in Western Europe follow the guidelines of the Financial Services Authority in the UK. This authority has the strictest rules of any country in making sure that FX companies under their jurisdiction are keeping qualified customer funds secure. It is important for all individual traders to thoroughly check out companies before sending any funds for trading. It is fairly easy to check out the companies you are considering by visiting the authorities’ websites:

  • CFTC
  • NFA
  • FCA
  • PRA

Most companies are happy to answer inquiries from customers and often post notices pertaining to security of funds on their website. It should be noted, however, that minimum capital requirements for Futures Commission Merchants (“FCMs”) registered with the CFTC are much less than those of banks, and under present CFTC regulations and NFA rules, protections related to the segregation of customer funds for regulated futures accounts do not extend fully to funds deposited to collateralize off-exchange currency trading. For these and other reasons, the CFTC and NFA discourage any representation that the registration status of a Futures Commission Merchant substantially reduces the risks inherent in over-the-counter Forex trading.

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