How did I first hear about ETX Capital?
I was recommended to ETX Capital by a random social media connection many moons ago, when I first started out in my Forex career. I had not heard much about them at all other than that they are a well-established broker and are well known for Binary Options trading. This in itself raised concerns as Binary Options brokers have been in a way ‘blacklisted’ for not being a totally honest and transparent Industry. Nonetheless, they offer other instruments of interest to trade, which I considered worth looking into.
What was my first impression of them as a broker?
My first impression was rather vague because although I was aware that they are a very established broker, I did not hear too much about them on forex forums, so I checked some Facebook forex groups and found the same results; this left me to draw my own conclusion on them. A positive first impression is that I found out they offer a wide range of markets to trade, but something that struck me as a potential negative is that they not have a very informative FAQ page for clients to refer to, nor a live chat support team so contacting them is not entirely convenient, and I must admit this made me, as a new client, feel a little uneasy, as it would have been nice to be reassured with the knowledge of being able to contact my broker 24/7 via live chat, not just limited to telephone, as some trade queries need to be explained with the aid of client screenshots to resolve queries faster. Moreover, I had been made aware that this broker offers their own trading platform, which immediately made me dubious about the way in which this broker operates and make their money.
How easy is it to navigate the broker website?
Overall, I found the website layout is user friendly, simplistically set out and clearly labelled for easy navigation. They have an FAQ page for a quick reference guide which is useful also as it somewhat feels like replacement of a live chat service.
Do they offer a good variety of tradable assets?
ETX Capital offer a strong variety of instruments that are displayed on the website; 60+ Forex pairs, 20+ Indices, 7 commodities, 5 cryptocurrencies, 5 Metal futures, 12 soft futures and many bond futures relative to different countries. I feel this is a very well-rounded selection of instruments however I was slightly disappointed at the small variety of cryptos to trade, as more brokers seem to be offering a wider variety of cryptos nowadays, not just the obvious BTC and BTC Cash, for example.
Do they offer different Account types and what are the benefits?
I spoke to a customer service representative who told me that they do not offer specific account types, however, if you initially deposit a lump sum in the region of 2,000-3,000, for example, you would be offered a ‘Premium account’ along with a ‘Relationship Manager’ meaning you would have a little more than 24/5 assistance, but not quite 24/7- they would be able to respond to you directly between either 7:30am-5pm or Noon-9pm, depending on the shift pattern (UK+US). The lack of clarity of whether or not I WOULD be able to contact a relationship manager 24/7 instantly put me off depositing with a larger lump sum.
How competitive are their spreads?
I was advised by a representative that Forex spreads are more competitive on the ‘TraderPro’ platform as opposed to the forex spreads on the MT4 platform offered, so immediately it became apparent that the broker utilizes their own platform to create their own prices, which could be problematic for the client. However, if you prefer, they do offer MT4 as well (web based as well as mobile for both platforms)
In general, their ‘minimum’ spreads are displayed for a handful of their instruments on the website, being 0.6, which on the actual platform do not deviate too far from the stated minimum (Forex). However, as a heavy crypto trader I also checked out their Bitcoin minimum spreads which was simply displayed as ‘variable’ so I checked out the spreads on the TraderPro platform and was shocked to see such wide spreads, compared to what is offered by other brokers. As you can see below the ‘variable’ spread was stated as a cover for the fact the ‘average’ spread was around 55 for Bitcoin (EUR) which is incredibly high to what I have been offered by alternative brokers.
Do they offer their own platform?
Yes, ETX Capital offer their own platform namely ‘TraderPro’ (web based as well as mobile). However, for those that like to stick to MT4, you can choose from the two. I enquired with a representative over the telephone about the difference between the two in regards to the prices and was advised that the Forex spreads are tighter on TraderPro. The platform itself is highly attractive and very well organised, with the market Watch segregated appropriately and logically so pinpointing particular pairs is made a whole lot easier than if you were using MT4. One to note is that this is an encouraging way to get clients to choose their own platform over the standard MT4, a platform whereby the prices can be adjusted and manipulated- by widening the spreads on the majority of instruments, the broker is then able to profit off client losses easily.
What is their commission charge?
I found it most peculiar that the trade commission charges are not displayed on the website FAQ. So, to answer this I had to call up during office hours. I was advised by a representative that the only time you would be charged trade commission fees would be if you are trading shares which hold a fixed fee of 0.1% of the trade size, which would always be a minimum of £10. All other instruments do not incur a trade commission charge, so the broker earns money via the spread, rather than the trade commissions.
What is the maximum leverage they offer?
Again, I had difficulty locating such basic answers on the FAQ page so I asked this over a call and was advised that the ESMA regulations have capped the leverages they are able to offer, which are incredibly restricting and as follows:
Although it is not news to me that regulation comes with such restrictions, the leverages are not particularly amicable, neither competitive, and really hinder the extent of profit one could make.
How long does it take to open a live account?
Opening a live account with ETX Capital was a standard and hassle-free process whereby I needed to submit a valid document proof of ID and proof of address dated within the past 3 months. I had my account approved the following business day, so overall the process from me filling out the registration form and then being contacted for further documents which I submitted right away, to then being approved, was completed within 2 business days. Admittedly, this was a little longer than I had hoped for coming from a well-established broker.
Are desktop/mobile/ web trader versions all available?
ETX Capital offer MT4 and TraderPro which is their own variation of MT4 with a few adjustments in prices. Both MT4 and TraderPro are available as web based or mobile versions.
Do they have a minimum/maximum deposit requirement?
Yes, the minimum deposit requirement is £100 which is not entirely unreasonable. However, should you wish to deposit larger sums of money and become a ‘’Premium’’ account holder, you could qualify for an ‘’account manager’’. Note: you would need to deposit the equivalents of £1,000 to automatically qualify for an ‘’Account Manager’’ meaning you would have direct email and telephone contact with them, and although they cannot offer trading advice, they can assist you with your trading and guide you on how to use deposit and withdrawal methods, for example.
Do they offer any bonus schemes?
No, ETX Capital are not able to offer such schemes, which is a positive as this does not put pressure on clients to deposit large sums of money, but in turn leaves clients to be in control of their own decisions when it comes to depositing what they wish to, so long as it meets the minimum deposit requirement.
What are the deposit and withdrawal methods available?
With ETX Capital, you can deposit and withdraw via the following methods: online bank transfer, Debit/credit card, Neteller, Skrill, Sofort, GiroPay and China Union Pay. Note that third party payments are not accepted so all payment accounts must be held in your name and match the registered name on your trading account.
Deposits and withdrawals are reasonably fast which makes trading easier, as you do not have to sit around impatiently waiting for a deposit to land in your account to then resume trading. Similarly, there is no major wait time for withdrawals to land back in your personal accounts either; the maximum withdrawal wait time is up to 7 business days, but won’t necessarily take the full timescale, depending on which country your account is held.
What countries are restricted from trading with this broker?
Due to regulation restrictions, ETX Capital cannot accept clients from the United States, Belgium, Canada, Singapore or any countries where such use would be contrary to local law of regulation.
Do they sell additional products/services/managed accounts?
Although ETX capital do not sell their own signals or EAs, they do allow use of third-party services on the MT4 platform as standard goes. Managed accounts are also not offered, leaving clients to make their own trade decisions without external influences or trade advice.
If assistance is required, how can you get in touch?
The fact this broker does not offer Live Chat does reflect lightly on their old-fashioned method of operation; you may phone in or email 24/5. Although these methods of contact are amicable, in this day and age, many traders prefer to simply have a quick chat with an agent on live chat rather than dial in or compose an email to get quick and short responses.
Do they offer an IB affiliate programme?
I could not find any affiliate links on social media nor on their website, so I phoned the customer service team and asked about this. I was informed that they previously offered an affiliate programme but have recently discontinued onboarding affiliates. The reason for this is unknown, however, this is a shame for those who wish to be a client as well as an affiliate of ETX Capital.
Awards and accreditations?
ETX Capital have been awarded sporadically over the years for providing quality trading tools and software (2013) as well as being awarded two years consecutively for the ‘Shares awards’ in 2011 and 2012.
What is my overall opinion of ETX Capital?
Overall, for a well-established broker that has been operating as ETX Capital since 2007, I did feel slightly disappointed at their lack of innovation and forward thinking when it comes to maintaining a modern and updated method of operation. What I mean here is that I feel as though ETX Capital have become outdated and relied heavily on their long-standing reputation and essentially, been a little lazy in terms of updating their offerings to stay competitive in the industry. I feel as though the fact they do not offer 24/7 support as well as the lack of cryptocurrencies offered are fine examples of this. Saying that however, the customer service they do offer is of a consistent high quality and overall their trading offerings are not unattractive, but I feel they are not an all-round good broker suitable for the average trader. Instead, it seems their target market are long standing clients as well as perhaps those who seek an old-fashioned approach to trading, rather than modernizing to suit a wider client base and appealing to more varieties of traders.
I strongly feel that trading with this broker is designed with high net worth clients in focus, rather than the average trader; to use their platform is more expensive than I am comfortable to pay in terms of trade commission charges in relation to ‘what I got for my money’ as the leverage offered is not attractive at all, despite their spreads being small on the whole. Nevertheless, I would recommend this broker to those interested in shares and bonds, but I would not go out of my way to recommend this broker to those looking for a straightforward, all round good broker to trade forex.