Welcome to forex Ortus. You are partially right. Let me elaborate a bit according to what I’ve come to understand.
Alright this is how it works with etoro and most CFD low budget brokers.
Etoro has offices in different countries. They advertise they are regulated by FCA, ASIC and CySEC which is correct and sounds good, right? Well in reality they are giving a false sense of protection misleading new customers that don’t really know how they operate.
The services provided to you are not the same provided to everybody else. The services you receive are regulated only by the regulatory body that corresponds to your jurisdiction:
a) Only if you live in Australia the services they provide you comply with the strict regulations by ASIC. Good reputation, exemplary resolution of disputes.
b) Only if you live in UK the services they provide you comply with the strict regulations by FCA. Good reputation, exemplary resolution of disputes.
c) For everybody else -that is the majority- (who do not live in any of those two countries) the services are offered by etoro europe company located in Cyprus which is only regulated by CySEC. The reputation of this institution is awful compared to the others, regulations are very light, penalties are rare and low. Collective complaints are investigated by CySEC while individual complaints from all over the world go through the Financial Ombudsman of Cyprus (FOC).
As you might guess, the FOC piles complaints and complaints and complaints from all over the world and as a result their service is bad. You can visit their website and you already get the picture: totally outdated site with a 20 year old appearance. There are no updates from their end, they reply late to inquiries, they don’t even respect the times specifically written on their own laws. You do not get personalized responses or contact from investigators. Just late semi-automated responses telling you to wait is what they offer, and believe them, you’ll have to wait.
Now with this scenario I believe they have a great need to clear a huge backlog of complaints and close cases fast, which might lead to quick unfair resolutions without proper professional investigations. But I can’t really say that their ruling has a bias towards local companies which is what I believe you are suggesting. There’s only few cases I found shared in the web to read from and certainly haven’t found enough evidence to support your idea.
It’s clear why low budget CFD brokers/companies from anywhere choose Cyprus for the location of their main offices that provide services to (almost) the whole world: light regulations from a regulatory body that goes easy on them and a system for complaints that is totally inefficient and very convenient to them.
Many of these things I didn’t know back then.
I can say Ameritrade is certainly a good choice. I’m glad you are on the right path on this and that my case has clearly confirmed you have chosen wisely.