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ATFX Review 2020 – Fees, Security & Customer Satisfaction

ATFX is an online forex and CFD broker founded in 2014 that has a global presence and supports customers in over 16 different languages. The company has its main offices in London and Limassol, Cyprus, although it also has offshore offices in Kingstown, St. Vincent, the Grenadines and Mauritius.

ATFX is an online forex and CFD broker founded in 2014 that has a global presence and supports customers in over 16 different languages. The company has its main offices in London and Limassol, Cyprus, although it also has offshore offices in Kingstown, St. Vincent, the Grenadines and Mauritius.

They use a no-dealing-desk (NDD) straight-through-processing (STP) model.

Strengths

  • There is a low minimum deposit to open an account
  • They provide 24/5 customer service access via live chat, phone and email
  • The company provides negative balance protection on all but professional accounts
  • They are regulated in the U.K. by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and in the E.U. by CySEC

Weaknesses

  • The company offers relatively few tradable assets
  • They lack a Virtual Private Server (VPS)
  • The English language version of their website is written poorly

What can you trade?

£100
Min Deposit

Good
App Support

1:30
Max Leverage

When it comes to forex trading, they offer access to only 42 currency pairs, which is less than the majority of other platforms. They still provide you with the ability to trade all of the major pairs but offer a limited selection of minor and exotic currency pairs on their platform.

For U.K. residents the company offers zero-commission trading with competitive dealing spreads. Spreads are variable depending on quotes from the company’s liquidity suppliers

In regards to leverage, the FCA and EMSA only allow brokers in the U.K. and E.U. to offer up to 30:1 leverage for retail clients in their jurisdictions. If you trade through its offshore entities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Mauritius, however, then they can offer an increased maximum leverage of 200:1 for major and minor currency pairs, while the maximum amount of leverage for exotic currency pairs is 50:1.

The minimum lot size you can use when trading FX products is 0.01, and the maximum lot size is 20 lots.

The company also supports MetaTrader 4 (MT4), which is a popular trading platform among retail traders.

There is one unusual practice that the broker takes a one-minute trading break each day around midnight (GMT+2 or GMT+3 during Daylight Savings Time). While the impact of this may be minimal for the U.K. or European based day traders, it may not suit those who typically hold positions for the long-term or trade the Asia session. It could also impact trading robots overnight as they may fail to enter or exit positions at that time.

£100
Min Deposit

Good
App Support

1:30
Max Leverage

ATFX offers a limited selection of assets for CFD trading, some of which include 15 indices and more than 50 individual stocks.

In terms of its client coverage, they aim its CFD trading services at retail traders who use or are interested in using the MT4 platform.

The company provides a market analysis section on its website that offers educational seminars and investment research via reports that cover forex, precious metals, commodities and indices.

They also provide an economic calendar and free quarterly market outlook containing longer-term analysis that covers all of the markets ATFX offers.

The company also lets you trade CFDs using a third party or your automated trading software via MT4.

£100
Min Deposit

Mid
App Support

1:30
Max Leverage

Social trading at the company is only available via their collaboration with the MT4 trading software and community. Once logged in to the MT4 platform, you will need to register for your social trading account by clicking on the ‘auto trading’ button.

You can then click on the signals tab in the toolbox window positioned at the bottom of the platform’s display to choose trading signals that you wish to follow.

£4
Min Deposit

Many
App Support

1:2
Max Leverage

The platform offers CFDs on several of the most popular cryptocurrencies. Some of the crypto assets you can currently trade at ATFX are:

Although the selection is minimal, the spreads are quite good in relation to other cryptocurrency brokers. Their margin rate on cryptocurrency trades is 50%, which implies a 2:1 leverage ratio.

£100
Min Deposit

Mid
App Support

1:30
Max Leverage

Spread betting is tax-free for traders in the U.K. and Irelands and allows you to speculate on financial markets using margin. Furthermore, spreads for ATFX spread-betting accounts are generally competitive and start at 0.6 pips.

Traders are also given negative balance protection when trading on a spread-betting account. While hedging is allowed using the spread betting account, scalping is not permitted.

What did our traders think after reviewing the key criteria?

The company offers a decent range of trading account types that should suit most traders. Furthermore, all ATFX UK account types conform to FCA regulations, let traders enjoy free deposits and withdrawals, and allow access to their online trading course.

Only the professional account type does not qualify for negative balance protection, and all the accounts currently supported allow you to deal in sizes as small as 0.01 of a lot.

In addition to a free demo account, which uses virtual money so you can practice trading and test strategies, you can choose from the following list of account types:

  • Micro Account: This account requires a $/€/£100 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 1 pip with no commission per trade. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for the U.K. and European accounts. The account has a maximum total deposit limit of $/€/£1,000.
  • Standard Account: It requires a $/€/£500 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 1 pip with no commission per trade. Leverage is again as high as 30:1 for U.K. and E.U. accounts.
  • Edge Account: Requires a $/€/£5,000 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 0.6 pips with no commission. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for U.K. and E.U. accounts.
  • Premium Account: Requires a $/€/£10,000 minimum deposit and features raw spreads with a minimum of 0 pips and a $25 commission per side. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for U.K. and E.U. accounts.
  • Professional Account: Requires a $/€/£5,000 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 0.01 pips with no commission. Leverage is as high as 400:1 for FCA regulated accounts. Traders must provide evidence to meet ESMA requirements for elective professionals.

The company does not offer an Islamic account.

Offers a decent range of trading account types that should suit most traders. Furthermore, all ATFX UK account types conform to FCA regulations, let traders enjoy free deposits and withdrawals, and allow access to their online trading course.

Only the Professional account type does not qualify for negative balance protection, and all of the accounts currently supported allow you to deal in sizes as small as 0.01 of a lot.

In addition to a free demo account funded with virtual money that you can use to practice trading and test strategies, you can choose among the following list of live account types:

  • Micro Account: Requires a $/€/£100 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 1 pip with no commission. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for FCA regulated accounts.  Has a maximum total deposit limit of $/€/£1,000.
  • Standard Account: Requires a $/€/£500 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 1 pip with no commission. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for FCA regulated accounts.
  • Edge Account: Requires a $/€/£5,000 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 0.6 pips with no commission. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for FCA regulated accounts.
  • Premium Account: Requires a $/€/£10,000 minimum deposit and features raw spreads with a minimum of 0 pips with a $25 commission per side. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for FCA regulated accounts.
  • Professional Account: Requires a $/€/£5,000 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 0.01 pips with no commission. Leverage is as high as 400:1 for FCA regulated accounts. Traders must provide evidence to meet ESMA requirements for Elective Professionals.

Broker does not offer an Islamic account without overnight swaps, and that common account option was not listed among the available account types on the broker’s website when this review was written.

The company supports the free MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform developed by MetaQuotes. While MT4 remains the market standard for retail traders, the lack of selection is a disadvantage compared to the trading platform choices on offer with other brokers.

atfx_UK_platform

The straightforward yet sophisticated MT4 platform has a desktop, mobile and web-based application.

The website is simple and very easy to use, so you should have no trouble navigating it and finding the information you need.

A tab menu at the top of the page illustrates how the website is organised. It provides these options: About ATFX, Trading, Market Analysis, I.B. Partnership, Promotions, and Contact Us. These tabs provide a good sense of the organisation of the site, and their associated pull-down menus provide more detailed navigation information.

The company has received awards for its customer service that is focused on its 24/5 Live Chat service, although local phone numbers and email support are also available. The company’s website has a decent FAQ section to look up commonly-required information.
Although their website does not always use the correct English, it is generally understandable and has been translated into at least 16 languages.

ATFX Support

ATFX is a global company that lets clients make deposits and withdrawals via several popular payment channels. These include the following:

  • Credit and debit card payments: Card transactions are processed quickly, and you should see your deposit reflected in your account within 30 minutes.
  • Bank wire transfers: You can send a wire transfer from any bank without transaction limits. Banks usually charge for such transactions, and processing a wire transfer can take two to five business days. The broker will then credit your account within one day of them receiving the funds from your bank.
  • E-wallet payments: They support Neteller and Skrill, as well as SafeCharge that lets you use over 180 global and regional electronic payment methods, including PayPal.

There are no fees attached to deposits in pounds sterling, U.S. dollars and euros.

Non-UK traders will need to be aware that they may be charged a small fee for debit and credit card deposits.

As with most platforms, the company pays withdrawals into the same account from which they made the initial deposit.

The company currently runs two promotions as follows:

  • Welcome credit: They offer a $100 welcome credit that provides you with an additional $100 to your initial deposit when you open a live account. You will need to make a minimum deposit of $200 within 14 days of registration and trade six lots within the promotional period. At that point, you can withdraw your $100 welcome credit.
  • Rebate Promotion: It rewards traders who participate in this promotion and trade during its active period to gain cashback. The offer has five levels that depend on the net amount deposited, which determines what cashback rebate you can access. Cash rewards start at $1/lot up to $100 total for a deposit up to $1,000. The top of the range is $5/lot up to $2,500 for a deposit above $10,000.

Also, the company offers expert market analysis and trade ideas. They make an online trading course available to all live account holders and provide an economic calendar on its website.

The company has several active social media accounts for both its global and U.K. regional offices. Its Facebook page presently has over 47,000 followers, and its U.K. YouTube channel has over 22,000 views.

Their offices based in London and Cyprus are well regulated by the FCA and CySEC respectively. Those offices currently need to operate under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, and so they must ensure that funds are segregated. Companies that adhere to those regulations must also restrict leverage ratios to 30:1 among clients who trade through their U.K. and E.U. offices.

Furthermore, U.K. traders are protected against broker defaults in amounts up to £85,000 per person under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), while accounts of E.U. traders are only protected up to €20,000 by Cyprus’ Investor Compensation Fund (ICF).

The company also maintains offices in offshore locations in Mauritius and St Vincent and the Grenadines. These entities are not as well regulated, although you can access higher leverage ratios when trading through them.

When it comes to data security, ATFX makes sure your data is secure with SSL encryption. They are obligated to protect customer data following GDPR and EDPA guidelines, so they cannot disclose client information to third parties and need to guard against data breaches adequately.

As they started in 2014, they have won relatively few awards to date despite receiving typically favourable reviews. Most notably, the company’s website currently highlights that it won the Best Forex CFD Broker award at the U.K. Forex Awards in 2018.

Additional awards ATFX has received to date include the Best Forex Customer Services award for 2017 at The Entrepreneur JFEX Awards in Jordan, and the Online Personal Wealth Awards prize for the “Best No-Dealing Desk Broker” in 2018.

atfx_UK_awards.PNG

ATFX FAQs

Yes, depositing funds with ATFX is safe. Besides the Limited Liability Company registration in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the multi-regulated broker is also authorised and regulated by the

  • Financial Conduct Authority in the UK
  • Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission in Europe
  • Financial Services Commission in the Republic of Mauritius.

ATFX is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), pledges data protection, while all client funds are in segregated accounts, and come under multiple investor compensation schemes.

Yes, ATFX offers forex trading from its MT4 range of platforms accessible on all PCs, Android and iOS devices. The broker’s FX offering includes 42 currencies pairs comprising majors, minors, and crosses. For UK clients, the STP broker allows FX trading with zero commissions, low variable spreads and max leverage of 30:1.

Yes, you can open an account with ATFX if you are residing in Hong Kong. However, the broker does not offer its services to residents and US citizens due to the stringent laws which prohibit CFD trading on both domestic and foreign platforms. Besides, ATFX also does not provide services to politically-exposed countries such as North Korea, Syria, Iran and a few others.

The features of the demo account include the choice to trade in about 100 financial products across forex, gold, oil, indices and cryptocurrencies from your PC or mobile.

To open a demo account, first fill out a simple registration form by entering your name, email address, telephone number and country of residence, along with the virtual trading amount. Once you’ve done that, check your email for the login details of your demo MT4 account, download the platform and start trading.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Don’t Count On JPY Correction; Staying Long GBP/JPY

The path of the potential pace of the JPY decline may still be underestimated by markets, which continue trading the JPY long.

While the 10% USDJPY advance from September lows looks impressive from a momentum point of view, it may no thave been driven by Japan’s institutional investors reducing their hedging ratios or Japan’s household sector reestablishing carry trades.

Instead, investors seemed to have been caught on the wrong foot, concerned about a sudden decline of risk appetite or the incoming US administration being focused on trade issues and not on spending. Spending requires funding and indeed the President-elect Trump’s team appears to be focused on funding. Here are a few examples: Reducing corporate taxation may pave the way for US corporates repatriating some of their USD2.6trn accumulated foreign profits. Cutting bank regulation could increase the risk-absorbing capacity within bank balance sheets. Hence, funding conditions – including for the sovereign – might generally ease. De-regulating the oil sector would help the trade balance, slowing the anticipated increase in the US current account deficit. The US current account deficit presently runs at 2.6% of GDP, which is below worrisome levels. Should the incoming government push for early trade restrictions, reaction (including Asian sovereigns reducing their holdings) could increase US funding costs, which runs against the interest of the Trump team.

Instead of counting on risk aversion to stop the JPY depreciation, we expect nominal yield differentials and the Fed moderately hiking rates to unleash capital outflows from Japan.The yield differential argumenthas become more compelling with the BoJ turning into yield curve managers. Via this policy move, rising inflation rates push JPY real rates and yields lower, which will weaken the JPY. Exhibit 12 shows how much Japan’s labor market conditions have tightened. A minor surge in corporate profitability may now be sufficient, pushing Japan wages up and implicity real yields lower.

JPY dynamics are diametrical to last year . Last year, the JGB’s “exhausted”yield curve left the BoJ without a tool to push real yields low enough to adequately address the weakened nominal GDP outlook. JPY remained artificially high at a time when the US opted for sharply lower real yields. USDJPY had to decline, triggering JPY bullish secondround effects via JPY-based financial institutions increasing their FX hedge ratios and Japan’s retail sector cutting its carry trade exposures. Now the opposite seems to be happening. The managed JGB curve suggests rising inflation expectations are driving Japan’s real yield lower. The Fed reluctantly hiking rates may keep risk appetite supported but increase USD hedging costs.Financial institutions reducinghedge ratios and Japan’s household sector piling back into the carry trade could provide secondround JPY weakening effects

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Mexico raises interest rates, cites Trump as risk

The head of Mexico’s central bank says U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump represents a “hurricane” sized threat to Mexico.

Banco de Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens told the Radio Formula network Friday that a Trump presidency “would be a hurricane and a particularly intense one if he fulfills what he has been saying in his campaign.”

Trump has proposed building a wall along the border and re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s central bank raised its prime lending rate by half a percent to 4.75 percent Thursday, citing “nervousness surrounding the possible consequences of the U.S. elections, whose implications for Mexico could be particularly significant.”

Mexico’s peso had lost about 6 percent in value against the dollar since mid-August. It recovered slightly after the rate hike

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Africa’s first Fairtrade certified gold co-operative offers hope to gold miners living in poverty

Syanyonja Artisan Miners’ Alliance (SAMA) has become the first artisanal small scale mining co-operative in Africa to become Fairtrade certified, bringing much needed hope to impoverished communities who risk their lives to mine the rich gold seam that runs around Lake Victoria.

SAMA is one of nine previously informal groups from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania which has benefitted from a pilot project launched by Fairtrade in 2013. This innovative program aims to extend the benefits of Fairtrade gold to artisanal miners across East Africa.

In that short time, SAMA has undergone training in business and entrepreneurship, as well as safe use of mercury, internal control systems, labour rights and better working conditions, health and safety and more. Previously, daily contact with toxic chemicals used to process gold meant members risked disease, premature births and even death.  Fairtrade gold was first launched in 2011, and SAMA now joins Fairtrade certified gold mines MACDESA, AURELSA and SOTRAMI in Peru.

The co-operative produces just 5 kg gold per year, but nevertheless has the potential to significantly benefit many people in the local community through better conditions through certification. It is expected that Fairtrade and organizations like Cred Jewellery will support the miners, ensuring their gold can be refined and made available to jewellers in the UK and other markets.

Gonzaga Mungai, Gold Manager at Fairtrade Africa said: “This is a truly momentous and historical achievement and the realisation of a dream that is many years in the making. Gold production is an important source of income for people in rural economies. Congratulations to SAMA, it sets a precedent which shows that if groups like this can achieve certification, then it can work for others right across the African continent.”

The Fairtrade Gold Standard encourages better practice and changes to come in line with international regulation around the production and trade of so-called ‘conflict minerals’. Under the Standard, miners are required to:

  • Uphold a human rights policy preventing war crimes, bribery, money laundering and child labour
  • Clearly represent where the minerals were mined
  • Minimise the risks of conflict minerals through robust risk assessments and collaboration across supply chains
  • Report to buyers and trading partners regarding the risks of conflict minerals

Now in its second phase, the programme will focus on supporting other mining groups in the region to access affordable loans and explore a phased approach to accessing the Fairtrade market, allowing more mining co-operatives across Africa to participate in the programme.

Gonzaga added: “Sourcing African metals from smallscale miners in the Great Lakes Region is the responsible thing to do. For a long time companies have avoided buying gold from this region, with devastating consequences for impoverished communities who were already struggling. It has driven trade deeper underground, as unscrupulous buyers pay lower prices and launder illegal gold into legitimate supply chains. That’s why we have chosen to work with these groups to help them earn more from their gold within a robust compliance system that offers social, environmental, and economic protections.”

The Fairtrade gold programme offers a small but scalable solution to sustainable sourcing of gold from the region in line with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act in the US, OECD Due Diligence Guidance and recent EU Supply-Chain Due Diligence proposals which could come into effect in 2016. This means that up to 880,000 EU firms that use tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold in manufacturing consumer products could be obliged to provide information on steps they have taken to identify and address risks in their supply chains for so-called ‘conflict minerals’.

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