Saxo Bank Review
For traders that can afford the USD 10,000 minimum deposit (GBP 500 for the UK), Saxo Bank offers competitive pricing, excellent trading platforms, brilliant research, reliable customer service, and over 40,000 instruments to trade.
Top Takeaways for 2021
Here are our top findings on Saxo Bank:
- Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank operates multiple regulated banks and is licensed in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs.
- Saxo Bank is an exclusive broker, requiring a USD 10,000 minimum deposit (GBP 500 for the UK, SGD 3,000 for Singapore, and USD 3,000 for Australia) to open an entry-level "Classic" account. Saxo Bank's Platinum and VIP accounts require USD 200,000 and 1,000,000, respectively. If the minimum deposit is too high, consider IG or CMC Markets.
- Minimum deposit aside, the entire Saxo Trader client experience is absolutely brilliant. Alongside access to trading 40,000 instruments, Saxo Bank offers reliable customer service and excellent pricing across the board. Better still, Saxo Bank's flagship platform, SaxoTraderGo, is terrific, including everything traders require to navigate the market.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
Is Saxo Bank Safe?
Saxo Bank is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. Saxo Bank is not publicly traded, does operate a bank, and is authorised by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). Saxo Bank is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||No|
Offering of Investments
Saxo Bank is a multi-asset broker that offers investors and traders a vast selection of more than 40,000 tradeable symbols. In addition to electronically-tradeable markets spanning nearly every asset, Saxo Bank offers spot FX, FX options, non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), Contracts for Difference (CFDs), stocks, stock options, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs), futures, and 33,000 bonds (available only via phone).
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's UK entity, nor to UK residents. Saxo Bank and its related subsidiaries do not currently market any cryptocurrency products to residents of Singapore.
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Saxo Bank clients.
Saxo Markets offering of investments:
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||9000|
|Forex Pairs (Total)||170|
|US Stock Trading (Non CFD)||Yes|
|Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
Commissions and Fees
Overall, Saxo Bank provides traders excellent all-around pricing. For active traders and those with large account balance traders, Saxo Bank offers the lowest pricing in the industry.
Pricing summary: In August 2020, the average EUR/USD spreads were 0.8, 0.7, and 0.6 pips, for the Classic, Platinum, and VIP accounts, respectively. Bottom line, I found that the Classic account to be in-line with the industry average, while the Platinum and VIP accounts rank among the best forex brokers.
Classic account minimums: The entry-level Classic account requires a USD 10,000 minimum deposit in most cases, with the exception being if you reside in the UK (GBP 500), Singapore (SGD 3,000), or Australia (AUD 3,000).
Platinum account minimums: The minimum for the Platinum account is USD 200k, or AUD 300k, depending on where you are residing. You can also be upgraded to this account from the Classic account by earning volume-related loyalty points through Saxo Bank’s Loyalty Program. For example, trading over $40M worth of forex would earn you 120,000 points, which are enough to upgrade from Classic to Platinum for 12 months.
VIP account minimums: In 2021, Saxo Bank won our award for Best VIP Client Experience. Saxo Bank’s VIP account, which offers the most savings on pricing, is reserved for elite investors who deposit at least USD 1,000,000, or who qualify under Saxo Bank Loyalty Program by earning enough reward points such as by trading at least $167M in forex volume to have their account tier upgraded to VIP for one year. This account also provides exclusive access to events and connections to Saxo Bank analysts.
Commission-free: Saxo Bank is commission-free, which means it makes money off the spread. The only exception is traders who trade less than 50,000 units (half of one standard lot) per month. In that case, these customers are charged a ticket-fee of $3 per side.
Best execution: Saxo Bank is committed to the FX Global Code, an evolving interbank standard around enhanced disclosures and execution best-practices. The mission of the FX Global Code is to promote integrity and transparency across the global foreign exchange market.
Saxo Markets pricing summary:
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.8 (August 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.6 (August 2020)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
|Execution: Agency Broker||Yes|
|Execution: Market Maker||Yes|
Platforms and Tools
No question, Saxo Bank's proprietary trading platforms SaxoTraderGO (web) and SaxoTraderPRO (desktop) are terrific, thanks to their streamlined designs and robust trading tools. Saxo Bank sets a high benchmark that is not easily beat.
SaxoTraderGO (web): Saxo Bank’s responsive web-based platform, SaxoTraderGO, is designed for ease of use, yet also delivers advanced trading capabilities. The watch list, screener, and alerts work together in unison.
Charts come with 58 indicators and nearly 20 drawing tools. There are nine chart types to choose from, and charts sync with the mobile version. Like the platform itself, charts are also versatile. Swapping between instruments is a breeze, and I really like the product overview section, which shows related news and trade signals from Autochartist.
SaxoTraderPRO desktop: Saxo Bank’s flagship desktop platform is SaxoTraderPRO, which resembles SaxoTraderGO in terms of look and feel. Functionality is similar; however, the PRO platform offers a larger selection of professional trading features. For example, PRO supports up to six monitors, streaming Level 2 order books, streaming time and sales, and algorithmic orders. Note, additional data subscriptions are required to use tools like the streaming Level 2 order book, which is a standard industry practice.
Charting on SaxoTraderPRO is equally powerful as the web-version. Subtle touches are seamlessly incorporated, such as the included count-down timers showing the remaining time in each candle.
The only minor drawback I found when comparing PRO versus GO is that many of the research features loaded by default in GO must be added manually by using the “add module” tab.
Usability: Saxo Bank provides a universal platform experience and is again my favorite for the Ease of Use category. The user experience across platforms and devices is consistent, and customized charts and watch lists automatically save and sync with the mobile app.
All in all, great attention to detail can be seen throughout. For example, in SaxoTraderGO, the trade ticket comes with advanced options such as the ability to switch between forex CFDs, futures, forwards, or forex options. Also, the Quick Trade option allows you to set price tolerance for slippage when you need immediate fills.
Innovative tools: For risk-management purposes, there is an Account Value Shield feature that lets you specify the maximum risk across your account balance, which, if triggered, will attempt to close all open positions (except for bonds and mutual funds). There are also at least thirteen advanced algorithmic order types available for various supported markets.
MetaTrader: For traders who insist on using MetaTrader instead of SaxoTraderGo (I certainly do not recommend it), the option is available, but it isn’t cheap. To use MetaTrader with Saxo Bank, a $20,000 minimum deposit is required, which also includes a $2,000 per month minimum spend requirement. MetaTrader aside, there are also other third-party specialty platforms supported through Saxo Bank’s API. Needless to say, stick with GO and PRO.
Saxo Markets trading platform:
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||58|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||19|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||58|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
Saxo Bank combines high-quality in-house research with top-tier third-party providers to offer an outstanding research experience. Overall, Saxo Bank remains my number one choice for forex research in 2021.
Research overview: Saxo Bank offers a rich, diverse research offering across its websites and platforms. The research consists of various types of content formats (video, articles, podcasts) from in-house analysts who publish daily updates through Saxo Bank’s Market Analysis section. There are news headlines streaming from Dow Jones, NewsEdge, and RanSquawk.
Usability: Saxo Bank does a great job of centralizing its research within the SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO platforms. Third-party trading signals and analysis is provided via Autochartist, which is nicely integrated into the software. To find flaws, I had to get picky; for example, there is an integrated economic calendar, yet it is not interactive. That said, I found it easy to find relevant content as articles are conveniently categorized by asset class or geopolitical themes. And when viewing the EUR/USD pair, for example, you see related news and trading ideas.
Video content: Video research is seamlessly integrated into the Saxo Bank’s website and platforms, such as Saxo Bank’s Fintech Unfiltered series, which I found to be of high quality. Saxo Bank also includes playlists on YouTube, although it’s worth mentioning that many of Saxo Bank’s videos are unlisted on purpose and thus not easy to identify. Saxo Bank’s focus is on its websites and trading platforms instead of YouTube, which I certainly appreciate, as I think it provides a much cleaner customer experience (bouncing between a trading platform and YouTube is anything but efficient).
Reports: Saxo Bank’s research team delivers quarterly outlooks and yearly forecast reports in pdf format, which includes accompanying videos. These reports are excellent for traders and investors seeking to take a theme-based position based on quality research. Being proprietary, the reports are also engaging. For example, I personally enjoy reading the annual “Outrageous Predictions” forecast each year.
Saxo Markets research:
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
Saxo Bank provides a diverse selection of quality educational materials in both written and video formats. Overall, the scope of educational resources available at Saxo Bank is above the industry average and comparable to category leaders.
Written materials: Under its Insights section, Saxo Bank provides market analysis articles powered by the firm’s in-house Saxo Strategy (Saxo Strats) team. You can filter articles by analysts, as well as by asset class, with multiple updates per day, alongside client sentiment data and market movers. The Insights section also contains 20 beginner videos ranging in length from 5 to 20 minutes.
Video content: Aside from 41 platform video tutorials available in Saxo Bank’s flagship platform suite, I counted at least eleven for risk-management, eight for fundamental analysis, and six for fundamental analysis. Some videos are produced by in-house staff, while CME Group powers the rest of the courses. There is a lot to like with video; that said, bringing all educational video content into one central spot and organizing it by experience level or category like IG would be a welcomed enhancement.
Saxo Markets education:
|Has Education - Forex or CFDs||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||Yes|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||Yes|
|Tutorials/Guide (PDF or Interactive)||Yes|
Saxo Bank does a great job unifying the excellent SaxoTraderGO web-based platform experience across devices. Overall, Saxo Bank’s SaxoTraderGO mobile app is a favorite of mine and ranks among the best forex brokers for mobile, such as IG, CMC Markets, and TD Ameritrade (US citizens only).
Trading tools: Nearly all features found in the web version of the platform are available in the SaxoTraderGO mobile app, including the trade ticket window, watchlist and screener features, and all research tabs. Even the economic calendar, market news, and pattern recognition analysis from Autochartist, along with educational videos, are all accessible via mobile just as they are on the web version.
Charting: The charting capabilities are rich with nearly 20 drawing tools and 58 indicators, matching the experience of the web-based version of the platform. In addition to syncing watch lists, mobile charts in SaxoTraderGO mobile also sync with the browser-based version of the platform. For example, if you draw trend-lines and add indicators in the web-version, they appear in the mobile app (and vice-versa).
Saxo Markets mobile trading:
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||58|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
Saxo Bank is a highly-trusted, global brand that understands traders. Not only is the client experience seamless, but it is also rich with advanced tools and quality market research throughout. Saxo Bank also does an excellent job of unifying its desktop, web, and mobile platforms. Saxo Bank was Best in Class across 9 categories in 2021, including first place for Platform & Tools, Offering of Investments, and Research.
Overall, if you can afford the minimum deposit, Saxo Bank provides a complete package worth being a customer for. If the deposit requirement is a deal-breaker, I recommend checking out IG or CMC Markets.
About Saxo Bank
Established in 1992, Saxo Bank is one of the leading retail forex and multi-asset brokerages, servicing over 620,000 clients from its regulated entities across 15 international jurisdictions, including the UK, Denmark, and Singapore. Saxo Bank employs over 2000 staff and is majority-owned by China-based Geely Holding Group. Catering to both retail and institutional clients, Saxo Bank has processed over 34 million transactions and holds over $62 billion in client assets as of its first half (H1) report for 2020, following its acquisition of BinckBank. Read more on Wikipedia.
2021 Review Methodology
For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.
Each broker was graded on 108 different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm. This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure (read about Trust Score here).
As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy.
Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, 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 related instrument. 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.
About the author: Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.