Forex traders seeking a highly regulated broker that offers both MT4 and its own proprietary platform can choose ADS Securities for a multi-asset product offering, while beginners with lower balances will find fees are high and customer service is limited to local office hours.

By Steven Hatzakis / April 4th, 2017 / Updated: February 28th, 2018

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Trust Score
  • Customer support limited to local office hours
  • Higher spreads on non-commission accounts
  • Strict client segmentation by region
  • Smaller range of tradeable products for a multi-asset broker

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Founded in 2011 in Abu Dhabi with $400 million in initial capital, ADS Securities has since developed into a global brand, with regulated entities in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company offers self-directed traders a multi-asset solution through its ADS Prime account offerings, as well as wealth management solutions for investors.

In 2013, ADS Securities launched its institutional suite of OREX platforms, which just further expanded into retail in February 2017 with the launch of OREX web and mobile for retail traders, in addition to offering the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform with enhanced add-ons under ADS MT4 Plus.

ADS Securities caters to retail traders through its ADS Prime brand in the UK for EU Citizens, and ADS Prime in the UAE for clients in the Gulf and other countries, whereas clients in Asia can choose the firm’s Hong Kong entity, with support in Singapore giving the firm good regional coverage across EURASIA.

Commissions & Fees

For most average traders and beginners, the two basic accounts offered by ADS Securities include the “Prime Limited Risk” and “Standard” account which both have high spreads and are not as competitive as the firm’s other commission-based and VIP-style accounts offered.

In terms of competitive pricing, ADS Securities offers a Prime Gold Account to clients with more than $100,000 in account value or who trade more than $200 million in trading volume per month. On this account you get pricing discounts in the form of a $10 rebate per 1 million units traded round-turn, among other benefits such as a daily analysis report and even an airport lounge pass, as part of its active trader account offering.

The account options at the firm’s Abu Dhabi-based entity are similar to the UK, except instead of the Prime Gold account, there is a Prime Elite account offering that is more exclusive and requires a $200,000 deposit, comparable to Saxo Bank’s VIP account offering. Also similar to the UK, its other two basic account types have target spreads of 1.6 -2.4 pips on the EUR/USD, making it an expensive option.

Overall, without ADS Securities publishing what its average forex spreads are, it’s not possible to make a level comparison with firms that do publish their figures. This is something the broker could benefit from, as its commissions and fees appear competitive in the ECN Prime account.

View All FeesADS SecuritiesSwissquoteFxProAdmiral MarketsSaxo Bank
All-in Cost EUR/USD - ActiveN/AN/A1.2001.2000.600
All-in Cost GBP/USD - ActiveN/AN/A1.6001.5000.900
Average Spread EUR/USD - StandardN/AN/A1.2001.2001.000
Average Spread GBP/USD - StandardN/AN/A1.8001.7001.300
Commissions & Fees 3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4.5 Stars
Overall 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Customer Service

Starting with live chat and phone support, customer service is provided only during local office hours, (between 7 am and 8 pm GMT for the UK entity), even though ADS Securities gives access to its trading desk in Abu Dhabi via a 24-hour phone support line during the forex trading week. This means that customer service will be limited to local office hours, as support will be available to you from the entity where your account is held.

In addition to speaking with the trading desk in the UAE office, during our phone calls with the firm’s staff in the Hong Kong, Singapore, and UK offices, ADS Securities’ customer service was satisfactory, despite their limited operating hours.

Each client is assigned a dedicated account manager, which is a positive feature. When speaking on live chat, staff will transfer your dedicated rep – if available – to your live chat window. On several occasions during our tests, I was able to continue chatting with my dedicated rep, in addition to direct correspondents via email and by phone.

Overall, the lack of 24-hour support decreased ADS Securities ranking. Drawback aside, the broker provides well-rounded customer service. Adding 24-hour live chat and providing more attentive support to help maintain the appeal of its premium offering - not just for elite traders, but also for those with smaller deposits who cannot access the Elite accounts - would be a welcomed enhancement.


ADS Securities has a good variety of research content across its website and trading platform, ranging from sentiment widgets to earnings calendars, in addition to industry-standard news from top-tier providers such as the Dow Jones. The firm also streams content from third-party aggregators, and creates its own in-house daily video market updates covering technical and fundamental analysis made available within the platform, giving you a rich experience with internal and external research content.

ADS Securities also offers a social copy-trading platform, charging a 20% incentive fee – comparable to a hedge fund fee structure, available on its Prime Classic account. It also provides traders with additional research-type tools when it comes to finding trading opportunities.

Research tools include technical analysis screeners from Autochartist, which help traders find and analyze trading ideas using automated technical analysis. The firm also provides a daily forex sentiment report and widget, which help provide further depth to the research offering.  

Overall, there are plenty of premium research resources and content on the firm’s site and platforms, and, coupled with the MT4 add-ons, these help boost ADS Securities’ ranking in the research category.

ADS Securities Sentiment Widget web

Overall, there are plenty of premium research resources and content on the firm’s site and platforms, and, coupled with the MT4 add-ons, these help boost ADS Securities’ ranking in the research category.

Platforms & Tools

ADS Securities’ multi-asset offering includes spot forex trading on 57 pairs and a total of 810 CFDs available on its OREX web platform, compared to its MT4 platform offering, which has a smaller range of CFDs. 

The web version of OREX was just launched around the time of our review out of ADS Securities Hong Kong office, and we had a chance to test version 1 1.0.0, which had a smooth layout and was built on HTML 5, resembling a modern trading platform. The charting was very light with not more than a simple trend line that could be drawn, so charting was not the platform’s best feature.

ADS Securities OREX web

Overall, the platform was cleanly laid out, with key areas well organized and easy to access. There is a sidebar on the right that contains research-related economic news and content, including technical analysis videos and an economic calendar. With a strong foundation in place, I look forward to seeing this new platform evolve in the future.

While the firm also offers OREX Optim, a desktop version of the platform, it relies on Silverlight, which is an outdated plugin. Therefore, I do not recommend the desktop version, leaving the HTML 5 web version of the platform the clear winner at ADS Securities.

Apart from OREX, ADS Securities is predominantly a MetaTrader broker when it comes to its retail offering, and the firm provides several add-ons to help enhance the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform beyond its default settings.

Apart from OREX, ADS Securities is predominantly a MetaTrader broker when it comes to its retail offering, and the firm provides several add-ons to help enhance the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform beyond its default settings.

ADS Prime UK MT4 desktop

The extras offered for MT4 at ADS Securities are comparable to what Admiral Markets and Pepperstone give in terms of the add-on from third-party developer FX Blue LLP, which comes with a good range of premium trading tools such as extra custom indicators and widgets to help complement the default version of MT4.

In addition, ADS Securities offers its Algo Builder tool, a desktop software program developed by Molanis, which lets traders build automated trading strategies for MT4 with a drag-and-drop method, instead of using MQL4 code, comparable to FxPro’s web algo building tool.

ADS Securities UK Algo Builder Molanis

During our testing, this tool took time to set up, as a license must be obtained and manually installed. For intermediate users with technical acumen, the tool can be a useful feature for those who want to create an Expert Advisor (EA) to automate their trading strategy without writing MQL4 code.

Overall, ADS Securities goes beyond the normal MetaTrader broker to customize its offering by providing the above-mentioned add-ons as well as Autochartist and VPS hosting. Furthermore, the platform installation files are wrapped in different emulators for compatibility on Mac and Linux operating systems.

Mobile Trading

Besides the native MT4 mobile app, ADS Securities offers its proprietary OREX platform for mobile Android and iOS devices. We tested the app on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone and it operated seamlessly in terms of the layout, navigation, and design. Areas such as research were rich with content and included daily video updates, along with an economic news and earnings calendar – all matching the web version.

The watchlist was also well designed, making it easy to add symbols and create an order with a few taps. Otherwise, beyond research and a robust watchlist, the rest of the app was fairly light in areas such as the settings category.

ADS Securities OREX mobile app watchlist

Charting is also light in the mobile app as there was no ability to add indicators or any drawing tools beyond a simple trend line, nearly identical to the web version. Yet, it seems that this is an area the firm is developing as charts did go full screen when held horizontally with the trend line tool appearing.

ADS Securities OREX mobile app chart

The OREX mobile app generally has a good foundation and is unified with its web platform counterpart. Nevertheless, the mobile app needs improvement to bring it up to par with competitors. In fact, around the time of our review, the app was taken offline for new demo registrations, as the company continues to invest in enhancing its new platform offering.  This is a step towards ensuring that OREX can compete against other multi-asset brokers with proprietary mobile trading platforms.

Other Notes

ADS Securities offers spread-betting, which is treated differently to CFDs for tax purposes and is available to and accessible by UK residents across 250 symbols.

Final Thoughts

With the OREX platform suite serving as a good foundation for the company’s retail trading platform, ADS Securities goes beyond the typical MetaTrader brokerage by offering extra add-ons for MT4, and provides forex traders nearly 60 currency pairs and over 800 CFDs.

For a full-service broker, customer support is limited to beginners and those with smaller balances, which is why I don’t recommend ADS Securities’ customer support for newcomers.

ADS Securities can be a great choice for active forex traders and those with large balances, such as professional day traders and high net worth clients due to the VIP-style account offerings and related perks. Just keep in mind that the choice of where you can open an account may be limited by your location.


For our 2017 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 20 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 255 variables. Learn more.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or currency pair. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more.

View all ADS Securities Fees & Features
Steven Hatzakis

Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Over the past 18 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

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Trading CFDs and FX involves a high degree of risk. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 4/05/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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