Traders willing to pay a premium to have their brokerage account held with a Swiss bank choose Swissquote for its competitive, multi-asset offering. That said, Swissquote's UK-based offering provides better pricing despite offering a smaller range of markets.
Top Takeaways for 2021
Here are our top findings on Swissquote:
- Founded in 1996, Swissquote is publicly-traded (SIX: SQN) and regulated in four tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs. As a forex broker that also operates two banks, Swissquote takes our top award for Best Banking Services.
- The desktop version of Swissquote's Advanced Trader platform could use a design overhaul. Fortunately, Swissquote offers the MetaTrader platform suite.
- Swissquote's cryptocurrency trading and wallet service are available from its eTrading account, yet is segmented away from its forex and CFD trading offering. Also, Swissquote doesn't publish its average forex spreads, and its minimum spreads are otherwise expensive.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
Is Swissquote Safe?
Swissquote is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. Swissquote is a publicly traded company, operates a regulated bank, and is authorised by four tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and no tier-3 regulators (low trust). Swissquote is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Monetary Authority of Sinagpore (MAS), Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Swissquote was the first bank in the world to add the trading of underlying cryptocurrencies (non-CFDs). Seven new cryptocurrencies are available in 2020, including EOS, Stellar, Tezos, Ethereum Classic, Chainlink, Augur, and 0x.
eTrading vs eForex accounts: With the Swissquote eTrading account offering, clients can trade cryptocurrency alongside endless products across 60 global market exchanges; however, interestingly, eTrading accounts do not support forex and CFDs. To trade forex and CFDs, alongside forwards and options, traders must use the eForex account offering, which offers only 130 tradable symbols (narrow when compared to Saxo Bank or CMC Markets, which both offer over 10,000 CFD and forex symbols).
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Swissquote clients.
|Forex Pairs (Total)||78|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
Commissions and Fees
The commissions and spreads from Swissquote's UK entity, Swissquote Ltd, differ substantially from its Switzerland entity, Swissquote Bank Ltd. Between the two, UK-based accounts have lower costs and deposit requirements, despite providing a more narrow product offering. Trading costs are not Swissquote's best feature, compared to the best forex brokers in this category.
UK entity: There are three accounts at Swissquote's UK entity. If you are an active trader and deposit at least $10,000, the commission-based Elite account is the best option with lower spreads and a $5 charge per round-turn trade. There is also a Professional account which is nearly identical, except for the threshold for a margin call stop-out is lower. The Standard account would not be my choice, as spreads on the EUR/USD start at 1.3 pips, while the Prime account has a spread from 0.6 pips (although essential to note this is a minimum spread and not an average price).
Swiss entity: Aside from the eTrading account, which doesn't offer forex or CFDs, there are three primary account options available in Switzerland for Swissquote's forex clients. For a $1k deposit, the Standard account has spreads from 1.7 pips on the EUR/USD, while the Premium account drops slightly to 1.4 pips but requires a $10k deposit. Overall, the Prime account, which requires $50k, offers spreads from 1.1 pips, which is only slightly higher than the industry average. For active traders, custom pricing is available, but it is negotiated based on volume as Swissquote does not list any related volume tiers and pricing.
Cryptocurrency trading fees: Swissquote's eTrading account charges start at 1% of the cryptocurrency trade value and drop to 0.75% for trades above CHF 10K, and 0.5% for transactions worth more than CHF 50K. While there are no cryptocurrency custody fees, a USD 10 fee applies to deposits of less than USD 500, while larger amounts only pay a deposit fee for the same amount.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$1000.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||N/A|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||N/A|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms and Tools
Overall, Swissquote’s Advanced Trader platform suite, available for desktop and web, fails to impress and compete with industry leaders such as IG and CMC Markets. Thankfully, the full MetaTrader suite, for web and desktop, is available as an alternative.
MetaTrader: To enhance the default MetaTrader desktop platform experience, Swissquote provides traders access to what it calls the MetaTrader Master Edition suite of tools, developed by FX Blue LLP.
Advanced Trader web: The web-based version of Advanced Trader was recently upgraded to HTML5 and incorporates TradingView charts, which is a welcomed addition. That said, the platform has less trading tools than the desktop version.
Advanced Trader desktop: While not as bad as Advanced Trader Web, Advanced Trader desktop could also use a design overhaul to give it a more modern touch like, say, Saxo Bank’s SaxoTraderPRO platform. For example, resizing various window modules in the Advanced Trader platform was a tedious process as they don't auto-resize. Drawbacks aside, Advantage Trader does include robust charting, complex order types, and supports forex options trading on 45 pairs on a Request for Quote (RFQ) basis.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
While Swissquote provides a mostly industry standard offering (streaming news headlines, economic calendar, blog commentary), the broker goes above and beyond in quality, helping to differentiate itself from competitors.
Tailored products and content: Swissquote's quantitative research team helps structure some of its products, such as the exchange-traded certificate for crypto, with its latest one added in 2020. The group provides a Daily Market Brief, and Morning News series from its strategy desk, and a weekly Live Analysis report. Swissquote also publishes a bi-monthly magazine, which I found to be of high-quality with nearly 80 pages of technology-rich content spanning global markets.
Third-party tools: Swissquote provides traders access to Trading Central, which powers its Daily Technical Report with automated chart pattern analysis and analyst commentary. Likewise, AutoChartist, a similar service, is also available as a plugin for MetaTrader. Across all Swissquote platforms, headlines stream from Dow Jones Newswire.
Video format: It is worth noting that Swissquote has a Daily Market Analysis series on its YouTube channel, yet it had not been updated in two months around the time of our review. However, the firm's Swiss branch does upload daily videos under its recent Morning Bull (French) and Borsentalk (German) series, as well as NY to Zurich Daily (German). Unfortunately, none are available in English.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||No|
Besides over dozens of videos, including webinars on its YouTube channel covering forex education, Swissquote does not provide a rich selection of educational content. The best forex brokers for education offer a comprehensive selection of detailed content, including articles for different levels of experience, and cover a wider range of subjects.
That said, I was glad to see that at least 15 instructional videos are available in the Advanced Trader mobile app, alongside platform tutorials. Expanding the variety of educational content, including across written articles, would help lift Swissquote's ranking in this category.
|Has Education - Forex||Yes|
|Has Education - CFDs||No|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||No|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||Yes|
|Tutorials/Guide (PDF or Interactive)||Yes|
Swissquote offers traders its proprietary Advanced Trader app alongside MT4 and MT5 mobile. Overall, Swissquote's Advanced Trader mobile app is easy to use and cleanly designed. However, it lacks in charting features, leaving the MetaTrader suite as my recommended choice. Swissquote will need to improve its flagship app if it wants to compete with mobile leaders Saxo Bank, CMC Markets, and TD Ameritrade (US-residents only).
Research: In both MetaTrader and the Advanced Trader mobile app, research is limited to headlines streaming from the Dow Jones Newswire and an economic calendar. One friendly feature Advantage Trader has is there are nearly 25 educational videos integrated.
Charts: In MT4 and MT5 mobile, charts come with 30 indicators and nine timeframes to choose and support panning and zooming. In the Advanced Trader app, there are six chart types and 11 time-frames to choose from, but charts do not support landscape mode and lack indicators, and there is no ability to zoom into chart data (only scroll), which limits the usability of the charts.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
All in all, Swissquote is a trusted, global brand. Aside from being expensive, the Swiss-based forex and CFDs offering is a mixed bag due to its vast multi-asset offering not including forex or CFDs trading. In 2021, Swissquote finished Best in Class for Crypto Trading (2nd Place) and Trust Scrore (2nd Place) and won our award for #1 Banking Services.
At Swissquote, the best all-around forex trader experience, which includes lower pricing, is found through the firm's UK entity, using the MetaTrader platform.
Swissquote (SIX: SQN) was founded in 1996 and was publicly-listed in 2000 on the SIX Swiss stock exchange and has since grown to be an established banking group with nearly 400,000 client accounts totaling CHF 33.5 billion across its subsidiaries that are regulated in Europe and Asia.
With its headquarters in Switzerland, Swissquote Bank offers traders access to over two and a half million products, including shares, ETFs, funds, bonds, warrants, futures, forex, options, and other securities. In addition, Swissquote offers comprehensive wealth management and advisory services. Read more on Wikipedia about Swissquote.
2021 Review Methodology
For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three month time period. Each broker was graded on 108 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors 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.