Trust Score

68
See all Reviews

Regulation

  • FCA

  • ASIC

Platform

  • MT4

  • Trading Station

Min Deposit

$50

Leverage

200:1

Bonus

NA

Zero Commissions

This is a summary of the forex and CFD brokerage firm known as Forex Capital Markets, of FXCM for short. This broker’s story in the last five years has been an intense roller coaster; from being fined heavily in the US for infractions, to nearly going bust in 2015, its dramatic last minute bailout deal and being kicked out of the US market by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission. This review will tell this broker’s story.

FXCM Introduction

FXCM is the financial market brand of FXCM Group. The FXCM Group is made up of the constituent companies spread out all over the world in various jurisdictions, which market the FXCM product line to clients across the globe. The headquarters of FXCM is now in the UK, where the company operates as the Forex Capital Markets Ltd. FXCM started operations in

Here is a list of the various locations where FXCM operates and the regulatory cover that the company has in those areas:

  • FXCM UK – Known as Forex Capital Markets Limited in the UK, the company is licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with registration number 217689.
  • FXCM Germany is regulated by Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), the German regulator. BaFin Registration Number is 122556.
  • FXCM operates in Australia as FXCM Australia Pty. Limited. It is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission with Number 309763.
  • FXCM Italy is regulated by the Commissione Nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa (CONSOB) of Italy.
  • FXCM Bullion Limited is a subsidiary company which offers OTC trading services in Hong Kong SAR.
  • Friedberg Direct: FXCM operates a local partnership in Canada with Friedberg Direct.
  • In Africa, the company operates as FXCM South Africa (PTY) LTD, regulated by the Financial Services Provider. Regulation is provided by Financial Services Board, with registration number 46534.

FXCM has not won any awards in recent years. It operates in a few languages which are listed below under the Customer Support section.

FXCM Trading Products

FXCM offers the trading of forex and CFDs (indices and commodities) to its clients. Due to its location in the UK market, it is also able to offer spread betting on financial assets. FXCM offers trading in more than 50 assets, distributed as follows:

  • Index and commodity CFDs (18)
  • Forex pairs (39)
  • Spread bet assets (>50).

FXCM Trading Conditions

When it comes to the Trading Conditions on FXCM, what can traders expect?

Leverage is set at 200:1 for CFDs and Forex Mini account trading. It is reduced to 100:1 for Standard accounts and Active Trader accounts. Execution speeds are about 35ms, which is close to the industry standard. This is not good enough for those who want to trade the news successfully.

 FXCM does not provide bonuses because of the prohibitions on issuance of bonus incentives by the FCA.

FXCM Account Types

Account types on FXCM are of three categories:

  • Mini (£50 minimum)
  • Standard (£10,000)
  • Active Trader: (£25,000 minimum)

Mini accounts are better suited to beginners while the Active Trader account is an elite account, suitable for advanced traders. Check out the features of each account and spot the differences.

FXCM Commissions & Fees

FXCM offers a 5-digit price quotation system. The last digit is one-tenth of the value of the 4th digit. So what are the fees and commissions on FXCM?

  • All trading costs are factored into the spread. Therefore, no commissions are charged on trades, except for the Active Trader account where a charge for premium service is applied.
  • At 0.2 points, spreads for the EURUSD are low and comparable with spreads on other brokerage platforms.

Metric

Mini

Standard

Active trader

Pricing Model

Spreads Only

Spreads Only

Spreads Only + Premium service

Average Spreads

1.3 on EUR/USD

0.2 on EUR/USD

0.2 on EUR/USD

Total Cost

£0.05 per 1K EUR/USD
(Or £49 per million)

£0.05 per 1K EUR/USD
(Or £49 per million)

£0.05 per 1K EUR/USD
(Or £49 per million)

Spread Betting, CFDs (indices and commodities)

Pricing Model

Spreads Only

Spreads Only

Spreads Only

Widening of spreads during news trades is quite common. The now-defunct US branch of FXCM was accused and proven to have manipulated prices and spreads during news trades, leading to a $14million fine in 2014. Repeat occurrences led to FXCM’s expulsion from the US market.

The Active Trader and Standard accounts are said to come with ECN trading conditions.

FXCM Platforms and Tools

What trading platforms and tools can traders expect to have by using FXCM?

  • Trading Station: This is FXCM’s proprietary software built with the Lua programming language. It has a desktop version as well as a web-based version. The Trading Station also comes with a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.
  • MT4: Traders can also get the MT4 and MT5 platforms. These come as a web-based platform, a downloadable client and a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

Traders can also get access to the native indicators on each platform, as well as the custom indicators built with Lua (Trade Station) and MQL (MT4/MT5).

Special tools are available on the FXCM App Store. Some of these tools include custom indicators. Traders can also meet developers on this platform and place orders for custom apps.

The MT4 is more user-friendly than the Trade Station platform. While both platforms will suit beginners quite well, more time will need to be spent learning to use the Trade Station platform. Both platforms come in several languages.

Is FXCM Mobile Friendly?

FXCM’s website and platforms are all mobile friendly. To trade on mobile devices, it is advised to download the mobile apps via the FXCM website and use them after installation. The mobile apps work very well and carry advanced charting, which can enable some degree of technical analysis.

FXCM Promotions

Bonuses and promotions are no longer offered on FXCM, in keeping with FCA’s regulatory requirements.

Deposits & Withdrawals on FXCM

The following is what traders on FXCM need to know about deposits and withdrawals.

  • Payment Methods: The payment methods on FXCM include bank wires (SWIFT,SEPA, BACS, CHAPS), credit/debit cards, cheques, Skrill and UnionPay.
  • Minimum Deposits: There are minimum deposit requirements for each account type. These are £50 for the Mini account, £10,000 for the Standard account and £25,000 for the Active Trader account.
  • Minimum Withdrawals: Minimum withdrawals are as low as £100 for card methods and Skrill, and as low as £500 for bank wires.

The deposit methods determine the speed at which the funds are processed. Card transactions, Skrill transactions and transactions with UnionPay are processed in one day. Transactions done with bank wires are processed in 2-7 days. UK clients can deposit or withdrawal with local bank methods or cheques.

FXCM does not have issues with withdrawals.

FXCM Customer Support

Customer support on FXCM is available 24/7, except for the Live Chat support which is available 18 hours of the day, 5 days a week. Support is available to all clients irrespective of account type or status. Support channels for FXCM UK are as follows:

  • Phone: +44(0) 207398 4500 (toll free: 08082348789)
  • Fax: +44 20 7398 4051
  • Email: [email protected]

Live chat is accessible from the home page.

Customer support is responsive and they are quite knowledgeable about issues affecting traders on FXCM. Customer support is available in several languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Malay, Mandarin, Tagalog, Bahasa.

Broker Research and Education

FXCM provides broker education and research.

Education

In terms of education, traders can access resource and educational materials using video lessons, the online classroom, ebooks, articles, webinars and in-person seminars. These are accessible by everyone (account holders and non-account holders). This is a great resource for new traders.

Research

As far as research is concerned, traders can access technical and fundamental research using the FXCM Market Scanner, Grid Insight Index, Daily Technical Analysis and Market Data signals.

Noteworthy Points to mention for FXCM

Here are some noteworthy points for this broker:

  • FXCM provides a forex VPS service for live account holders who trade with the MT4.
  • FXCM US was fined $14 million in 2014 by the CFTC (US regulator) for various market infractions which include stop hunting and price manipulations. Same year, FXCM UK was fined £4m by the FCA for issues with payments to clients.
  • In 2015, FXCM racked up losses accumulated by its clients who were hit by slippage after the de-pegging of the Euro and the Swiss Franc by the Swiss National Bank. FXCM was only able to stave off bankruptcy by an emergency deal which saw the company sell of a substantial stake of its business to Leucadia for $300million.
  • In 2016, FXCM was expelled from the US market for repeated infractions in the market.
  • Under Leucadia, FXCM attempted to clean up its act and has rebranded the company to Global Brokerage Inc.
  • FXCM US transferred all its clients in the US to GAIN Capital Inc (Forex.com).

Conclusion for FXCM

FXCM is in the process of an entire rebranding of its services and products. This is to make it more competitive as it attempts to break away from its tainted past. The product offerings have been worked on and suit beginners and advanced traders alike. FXCM cannot be said to be fully legit; its past infractions have put a stain on the firm that will be hard to shake off. Traders should therefore tread cautiously when using FXCM.

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