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Mapped: Which Foreign Exchange Regulators Can You Trust?



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Which Foreign Exchange Regulators Can You Trust?

Global trading volumes in foreign exchange (forex) markets reached $7.5 trillion per day in April 2022. Notably, this was 30 times greater than daily global GDP. With so much money at stake, it’s important that investors know which regulators they can trust.

In this graphic from, we look at the trustworthiness of forex regulators around the world.

The Trust Tiers of Forex Regulators sorts regulatory jurisdictions into five trust tiers:

  1. Highly Trusted
  2. Trusted
  3. Average Risk
  4. High Risk
  5. Do Not Trust

Tier 1 regulators have the most strict and efficient regulations in place. They also typically carry out periodic audits to ensure that brokers are meeting compliance obligations. On the other hand, lower-tier jurisdictions have less stringent regulations—or no regulations whatsoever. They may also not respond to or resolve complaints quickly.

Below, we show how more than 100 regulatory jurisdictions around the world stack up.

Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇦🇹 Austria
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇦🇺 Australia
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇧🇪 Belgium
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇧🇬 Bulgaria
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇨🇦 Canada
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇨🇭 Switzerland
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇨🇾 Cyprus
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇨🇿 Czechia
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇩🇪 Germany
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇩🇰 Denmark
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇪🇪 Estonia
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇪🇸 Spain
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇫🇮 Finland
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇫🇷 France
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇬🇧 UK
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇬🇷 Greece
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇭🇰 Hong Kong
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇭🇷 Croatia
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇭🇺 Hungary
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇮🇪 Ireland
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇮🇸 Iceland
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇮🇹 Italy
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇯🇵 Japan
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇱🇮 Lichtenstein
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇱🇹 Lithuania
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇱🇺 Luxembourg
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇱🇻 Latvia
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇲🇹 Malta
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇳🇱 Netherlands
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇳🇴 Norway
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇳🇿 New Zealand
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇵🇱 Poland
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇵🇹 Portugal
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇷🇴 Romania
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇸🇪 Sweden
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇸🇬 Singapore
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇸🇮 Slovenia
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇸🇰 Slovakia
Tier 1: Highly Trusted🇺🇸 United States
Tier 2: Trusted🇧🇷 Brazil
Tier 2: Trusted🇨🇳 China
Tier 2: Trusted🇮🇳 India
Tier 2: Trusted🇮🇩 Indonesia
Tier 2: Trusted🇮🇱 Israel
Tier 2: Trusted🇯🇴 Jordan
Tier 2: Trusted🇰🇪 Kenya
Tier 2: Trusted🇲🇾 Malaysia
Tier 2: Trusted🇲🇽 Mexico
Tier 2: Trusted🇵🇭 Philippines
Tier 2: Trusted🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia
Tier 2: Trusted🇿🇦 South Africa
Tier 2: Trusted🇹🇭 Thailand
Tier 2: Trusted🇹🇷 Türkiye
Tier 2: Trusted🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates
Tier 3: Average Risk🇦🇷 Argentina
Tier 3: Average Risk🇧🇲 Bermuda
Tier 3: Average Risk🇧🇴 Bolivia
Tier 3: Average Risk🇧🇼 Botswana
Tier 3: Average Risk🇨🇱 Chile
Tier 3: Average Risk🇨🇴 Columbia
Tier 3: Average Risk🇪🇨 Ecuador
Tier 3: Average Risk🇬🇹 Guatemala
Tier 3: Average Risk🇭🇳 Honduras
Tier 3: Average Risk🇯🇲 Jamaica
Tier 3: Average Risk🇵🇰 Pakistan
Tier 3: Average Risk🇵🇾 Paraguay
Tier 3: Average Risk🇵🇪 Peru
Tier 3: Average Risk🇷🇺 Russia
Tier 3: Average Risk🇺🇾 Uruguay
Tier 4: High Risk🇦🇲 Armenia
Tier 4: High Risk🇧🇸 Bahamas
Tier 4: High Risk🇧🇿 Belize
Tier 4: High Risk🇧🇶 BES Islands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba)
Tier 4: High Risk🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands
Tier 4: High Risk🇰🇭 Cambodia
Tier 4: High Risk🇰🇾 Cayman Islands
Tier 4: High Risk🇨🇷 Costa Rica
Tier 4: High Risk🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
Tier 4: High Risk🇸🇻 El Salvador
Tier 4: High Risk🇬🇪 Georgia
Tier 4: High Risk🇬🇾 Guyana
Tier 4: High Risk🇲🇺 Mauritius
Tier 4: High Risk🇳🇮 Nicaragua
Tier 4: High Risk🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea
Tier 4: High Risk🇸🇨 Seychelles
Tier 4: High Risk🇺🇦 Ukraine
Tier 4: High Risk🇺🇿 Uzbekistan
Tier 4: High Risk🇻🇺 Vanuatu
Tier 4: High Risk🇻🇳 Vietnam
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇦🇮 Anguilla
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇦🇼 Aruba
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇨🇼 Curaçao and Sint Maarten
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇩🇲 Commonwealth of Dominica
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇬🇩 Grenada
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇭🇹 Haiti
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇲🇭 Marshall Islands
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇲🇲 Myanmar
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇳🇨 Nevis
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇵🇦 Panama
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇱🇨 Saint Lucia
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇻🇨 Saint Vincent & The Grenadines
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇸🇷 Suriname
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇸🇾 Syria
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇹🇲 Turkmenistan
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇹🇨 Turks and Caicos Islands
Tier 5: Do Not Trust🇻🇪 Venezuela

Source: as of December 8, 2023.

Mature markets tend to have tighter regulations. For instance, the U.S. is one of 39 jurisdictions on this list that rates as highly trusted. 

The country has implemented a number of regulations to provide a more stable and secure trading environment. In 2010, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission mandated that forex brokers must keep at least $20 million in regulatory capital and lowered the amount of leverage (borrowed funds) brokers could legally offer.

Conversely, regulators in the lowest “Do Not Trust” tier are primarily located in the Caribbean. Many of these small island nations do not have a fully developed infrastructure to regulate financial markets. 

While some countries such as Mauritius and Seychelles are developing a regulatory framework, others such as the Marshall Islands or St. Vincent and the Grenadines have virtually nonexistent rules. However, brokers can still register entities in these tier 5 jurisdictions without any properly established client protections.

Finding a Broker for Forex Trading

To trade currencies, you’ll want to find a forex broker that is licensed by secure, reputable regulators. analyzed 62 companies and found that brokers use some regulators much more often than others.

Here are the 10 regulatory jurisdictions that have licensed the most brokers.

Country/JurisdictionTrust TierNumber of Brokers Licensed
🇪🇺 EU or EEA Country* Tier 1: Highly Trusted47
🇬🇧 UKTier 1: Highly Trusted35
🇦🇺 Australia Tier 1: Highly Trusted34
🇸🇨 Seychelles Tier 4: High Risk18
🇿🇦 South Africa Tier 2: Trusted18
🇦🇪 UAETier 2: Trusted17
🇸🇬 Singapore Tier 1: Highly Trusted11
🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands Tier 4: High Risk9
🇨🇦 Canada Tier 1: Highly Trusted9
🇻🇺 VanuatuTier 4: High Risk9

Source: as of December 8, 2023. *EEA stands for the European Economic area and includes EU members as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

It’s most common for brokers to be licensed by a country within the EU or EEA, which is a highly trusted jurisdiction. However, many brokers get a license from Seychelles, which is rated as a high risk regulator.

A broker can be licensed in a number of different regulatory jurisdictions. It’s also worth noting that if a forex broker accepts customers from your country, it does not necessarily mean they are licensed in your country.

To help investors find brokers they can trust, has developed a proprietary Trust Score. The score produces an individual numerical rating for each broker based on a variety of factors, including the number and quality of regulatory licenses the broker holds.

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Explore Trust Scores from to find reliable regulators and brokers.

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