How did I first hear about FBS?
I was reading a news article on new regulation policies coming into play, back last year and there was a mention of FBS amongst other brokers in a discussion of who would or would not be affected by these policies.
What was my first impression of FBS?
I do not have any personal contacts who had been clients of this broker so I was only going off brief comments I had seen on social media, and to be honest, I do not recall them standing out that much against other brokers, apart from the fact I read somewhere they offer high leverage in comparison to the majority of brokers, which to some degree, high leverage is desirable amongst most day traders so I thought it would be worth taking a look into, to compare their high leverage with their overall trading conditions to see if this broker is really as good as it seems.
How easy is it to navigate the broker website?
The website is quite busy and ‘’in your face’’ but once your eyes adjust, it is fairly simplistically set out and attractive. They have cleverly chosen words and phrases that instantly instil trust in a potential client that stand out on the homepage to make this broker choice seem like a good one, from just the first look. One thing that bothered me is that there is no FAQ page for a quick client reference guide, to save time asking customer support live chat the smaller questions. I asked Live Chat about the FAQ page absence, and I was advised they do not have one yet. This struck me as odd since I know they have been operating for 10 years, so I don’t understand why a small yet highly beneficial addition to their website would go amiss.
Do they offer a good variety of tradeable assets?
In short, no they do not offer a good variety at all. FBS offer only Forex and Metals. So, if you trade only these instruments, great, but if you seek variety from time to time, then you may as well stop here and take a look at an alternative review on a broker that offers more instruments. I was expecting FBS to be very much up to date or even ahead with the modern forex industry however that is clearly not the case.
Do they offer different account types and what are the benefits?
Currently, FBS offer one account type: Standard account. Honestly, it was a breath of fresh air that this broker offers some streamlined simplicity in terms of accounts as sometimes when there are many account types to choose form, there are so many hidden traps that no account actually holds any particular benefit long term for the client.
The Standard account does what is says on the tin- very straightforward and amicable.
I was also advised on Live chat that a week from the time this review was written, FBS will be launching an additional account namely a ‘cent’ account which apparently is ideal for new traders, as they can still trade live but with less risk of losing larger sums of money; the Cent account has cent lots.
How competitive are their spreads?
FBS offer variable spreads across the board, and also display the minimum and typical spreads on all instruments offered, on their website. As you can see, their ‘typical’ spreads, on some pairs, do have a major gap with the minimum spreads displayed. However, overall, their spreads are amicable, although I do know there to be brokers who offer more competitive spreads on forex and metals, as well as offering a wider variety of tradable instruments.
What is their commission charge?
FBS do not charge any trade commission fees. This always raises brows because how can a broker make such great profits without easily charging trade commissions? It is clear here that this broker makes their profit predominantly via marking up spreads rather than evening out the cost to the client via lowering the spreads and charging commission on trades. This is a well concealed way to make money as I feel not enough traders take into consideration the spreads as much as the trade commission charges. Therefore, it is easier to hoodwink clients and lure them in by offering 0 trade commissions but bumping up the spreads across the board, which could easily be dismissed.
What is the maximum leverage they offer?
Due to ESMA regulatory changes, FBS are only able to offer capped leverage at 1:30 for the two assets they offer: forex and metals. However, for ‘’professional’’ accounts, which must be requested by the client, you may trade with a maximum leverage of 1:500. However, in order to make use of the highest leverage possible, one must fill out a form and also provide what I consider to be very intrusive documentation such as bank statements to indicate the size of your financial portfolio, employment contract and professional position, and a bank statement showing at least 40 transactions for the past year. Of course, regulations have to be strict, but I do find these requirements that must be met to be highly intrusive and maybe a little excessive, just to get a higher leverage that I could actually just seek with another broker, without having to hassle about producing such personal documentation.
What do I need to open a verified account?
A standard goes, FBS require you to produce a document proof of Identification as well as document proof of residence dated within 3 months, as well as a copy of your bank card (front and back), showing the first 6 and last 4 digits, name and expiry date.
How long does it take to open a live account?
The timescale for approval is approximately 2 hours however during busier onboarding periods, this wait time could be extended, but the average is 2 hours, which is very efficient.
Are desktop/mobile/web trader versions all available?
Yes, FBS express their simple and straightforward operation once more by offering MT4 only as their platform, and not their own customized one. All desktop/mobile/web trader are all compatible. I think this was a very wise decision to offer only MT4 to keep things simple for traders and also secure some knowledge that prices cannot be manipulated like they can be on a customized platform. As a potential improvement to this platform offering, I would have liked to have seen MT5 as I feel it is becoming increasingly popular amongst the majority of professional traders.
Do they have a minimum/maximum deposit requirement?
The minimum deposit requirement is €100 for the one Standard account that is offered. There is no maximum limit on how much you can deposit. Note that if you opt for the ‘’professional trader’’ version of the Standard account, meaning you would make use of the maximum leverage, (as mentioned, one must meet requirements to qualify) assumedly you would need to deposit a much larger sum than the minimum €100.
What deposit and withdrawal methods are available?
I was disappointed that FBS do not offer Bitcoin as a deposit/withdrawal method as this is a very popular choice currently due to the speed at which the funds can be sent. Instead, FBS support electronic payments (Skrill, Neteller), CardPay (visa, Mastercard) and International bank transfers (Wire transfers). The variety available Is varied and covers the majority of client preferences.
In my experience, FBS process their transactions within timescales provided, usually they are approved within 48 hours and then funds land in the account within one day post approval. Of course, this excludes card withdrawals, which can take 5-7 business days for the funds to credit your account, after approval.
What countries are restricted form trading with FBS?
FBS is only allowed to provide their services to the following countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Do they offer a deposit bonus scheme?
FBS are not able to provide deposit bonuses since they are under EU regulation which disallows such services. This is definitely not a negative as it empowers the client to have more control over their trade decisions and trade in a style that is not influenced by encouragement to deposit sums of money that maybe they would not consider solely by themselves.
Do they sell additional products/ services/ managed accounts?
There is no mention of such services on their website so I used the Live Chat to confirm this. I was advised that although FBS allow the use of EAs and signals, they do not offer their own, nor do they offer managed accounts. Once again, this is a positive for the client as they are very much left to their own devices when it comes to trading. If assistance is required, how can you get in touch?
I was a little irritated that the website states they have 24/7 customer support, yet when I asked on live chat, I was informed that this is not the case; you can contact them (email, telephone or live chat) on Monday- Friday between 8:00 – 24: 00 GMT +3. The conclusion I drew to this is that perhaps the mention of 24/7 is a mini tool to keep clients interested if they are checking out the website, which adds attraction to draw people in.
What is the quality of customer service?
Overall, I would say the customer support is satisfactory across the board, as you do get the answers you are looking for, and efficiently. The fact they do not have an FAQ page does downgrade the customer support in general as that would be of great benefit to potential clients considering this broker as well as current clients for a quick reference guide as an alternative to speaking to the Customer Support team for the more minor questions and queries.
Do they offer an IB affiliate programme?
The reason you will have not recently seen any FBS affiliate links across social media is because currently, they do not offer an affiliate programme, but I was advised by a support agent that they will be launching this, this coming summer. Unfortunately, I was not able to get any details regarding commission structure, but all will be revealed over the next few months.
What is my overall opinion of FBS?
In simple terms, this broker is about as minimalistic as it gets it terms of their trading conditions. I think this broker is great if you are a straight sailing Forex and/or Metals trader and looking for a simple, straight-forward MT4 account to go with it. Their spreads are decent, but their leverage is not attractive, and if you wish for a higher leverage, you must be able to deposit larger sums of money than potentially you would be willing to. If not, you are fairly limited as to what you can do, and I feel this broker’s operation is a little too imperial; you cannot trade anything other than forex/metals, you are not able to deposit or withdraw via cryptocurrencies (which many people like to do), or trade cryptocurrencies. In terms of the client support, it cannot be knocked as I do feel all agents I spoke to were friendly, and knowledgeable, but this is because they do not need to know a lot of product knowledge, because the broker only offers one account, and barely any trading conditions to discuss. I would be comfortable to recommend this broker to Forex ONLY traders, in particular scalpers, as their spreads are good, and although the leverage is low, you could still make profits if you have both adequate experience and solid strategies, but it would not be easy, nor do I think profits could be made in a short space of time. If, however, you are looking for a more rounded and exciting broker, I would suggest you keep searching as this broker could disappoint you in the long run.