India is the second most populous country in the world that is home to one of the largest group of working class people, who have an increased affinity towards investing in the several attractive opportunities available throughout the globe. Forex trading is one of the very new investment concepts in India that was popularized by several brokers promising massive returns with minimal investments. An increasing number of broker scams and financial malpractices, along with the risky nature of Forex trading, has forced the Indian Government to put severe restrictions on the way Indian citizens are allowed to trade in the Forex markets.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is a Government appointed regulator that received its statutory powers in 1995 to regulate and supervise all financial entities dealing in the securities market. SEBI is responsible for overseeing the activities of brokers, companies, as well as individual investors to ensure that the securities market operates with integrity and transparency without affecting the overall stability of the Indian market. The SEBI is one of the most influential regulatory organizations in the world that takes the matter of regulating the security markets quite seriously indeed. SEBI regulated brokers are routinely audited and supervised for any financial discrepancies, which has resulted in several brokers, investment firms, securities companies, and investors to receive hefty fines and cancellation of licenses due to the lack of adherence to the SEBI rules.
Restrictions Imposed On Forex Trading For SEBI Regulated Brokers
Indian Forex traders are not supposed to indulge in any currency pairs that does not involve the INR as the base or quote currency. The Indian Rupee is the official currency and the legal tender of the country, and it is illegal for Indian citizens to transact in any other currencies while they are in India. Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), it is also illegal for the people of India to send the INR to overseas countries for the purpose of currency conversions or investments, unless approved by the Government. Therefore, Converting the INR to USD or other currencies for the sake of trading the FX markets with overseas Forex brokers is considered to be an illegal activity that can attract severe fines and even prison time. SEBI Forex brokers have the option of offering Forex trading products as part of its services portfolio, but these brokers are required to follow all guidelines issued by the SEBI and the official authorities governing the FEMA act. Failure to stick to the rules and guidelines will result in all SEBI regulated brokers to face severe consequences, which can also ultimately result in drastic legal concerns. SEBI also imposes restrictions on the maximum available leverage, types of trading, and the rules governing exotic currency pairs. In reality, SEBI Forex brokers are only allowed to offer INR based currency pair options for USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY. Almost all other currency pairs are barred from FX trading unless authorized by the Government authorities. Forex trading used to be a private activity in India that was exclusively made available to the Reserve Bank of India, other allied banks, and large financial institutions. However, with time, more individuals and smaller financial institutions started indulging in Forex transactions for global businesses and other investment opportunities, which allowed Forex trading to gain immense popularity in the country quickly. A significant portion of the country has millions of expats that work in different countries across the globe, which has resulted in an influx of foreign currencies into India by way of foreign direct investments through its non-resident citizens. Therefore, Foreign exchange and Forex transactions play an integral part in the Indian economy.
Staying Protected From Broker Scams
Forex brokers in India should be regulated by the SEBI and should be authorized by the relevant authorities to ensure that all companies follow the FEMA guidelines on Forex trading. India is also highly proactive in its anti-money laundering laws, and the Indian Government is very thorough in its policies that deter its citizens from investing in overseas brokers. While the SEBI and the authorities are tasked with the responsibility of preventing any citizen from trading with international Forex brokers, there are exceptions to the case that may prevent the authorities from doing their job. Most international Forex brokers in India operate through branch offices, Introducing Brokers, or through affiliates without actually being regulated by the SEBI or any other organization. These brokers offer their services illegally without any consent from the authorities, which prevent the Government from tracking their activities. A majority of traders typically lose their money in the markets due to a lack of knowledge and due to scam and fraudulent activities from the brokers’ part. Therefore, Forex scams and other financial malpractices are highly rampant in the country, which has forced the Government to intervene and severely limit the freedom enjoyed by Forex brokers.
As a Forex trader in India, you should always make sure to invest your money with Government approved SEBI Forex brokers, as it is imperative from a legal perspective to adhere to the policies and guidelines issued by the authorities. Some SEBI regulated brokers may offer the convenience of investing in other countries, but a majority of Forex brokers in India only allow its traders to trade on INR related currency pairs. If a broker promises to offer other currency pairs, check the legality of the broker and ensure that their services are in line with the regulatory guidelines imposed on them by the SEBI.
What If I Want To Trade The FX Markets With International Brokers?
Trading with an international broker and depositing money from an Indian account to an overseas bank account without the Indian authorities’ consent is strictly against the law. There are several penalties and legal ramifications that may affect a person if they are found to be in violation of the existing rules. Therefore, if you are looking to trade with overseas brokers, you should make sure that you acquire the necessary permissions and get in touch with a professional expert, who can provide you with guidance on your future course of action. If you are indeed choosing an international Forex broker, take your time to research and choose regulated Forex brokers that have an excellent reputation. Don’t be lured by false promises that may guarantee an insane amount of profits and a free unlimited income potential, as Forex trading is far from the ultimate quick riches scheme that it is portrayed to be. Never choose an international Forex broker, especially if you are advised against it, but Non-resident Indians are free to choose a Forex broker of their choice according to the laws applicable in their jurisdiction.