For traders who require a multi-asset solution and are willing to pay a premium to have their brokerage account held with a Swiss bank, Swissquote is worth a consideration. Otherwise, Swissquote’s UK-based offering provides a better all-round deal.
Top Takeaways for 2020
After spending five months testing 30 of the best forex brokers for our 4th Annual Review, 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 forex and CFDs trading. As a forex broker that also operates two banks, Swissquote takes our top award for best banking services.
- While Swissquote's Advanced Trader platform suite is user-friendly, its underlying platform technology needs an upgrade from flash to HTML5. Fortunately, Swissquote offers the full MetaTrader platform suite, which also comes with better pricing.
- Swissquote offers full support for the underlying trading of crypto-assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, making it one of our top picks for cryptocurrency trading.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & 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), including bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. Swissquote clients can trade ten cryptocurrency pairs from within the Trading account, and with support for withdrawing to external crypto wallets.
It is worth noting that crypto is segmented away in the Trading account offering, along with a vast selection of tradeable markets, yet doesn't support forex trading. In comparison, the Forex account offering provides a limited range of just 130 tradeable symbols, but supports forex trading. Combining these offerings into one account would be a nice boost for Swissquote's customer experience.
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Swissquote clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||78|
|CFDs - Total Offered||52|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||No|
Commissions & Fees
The commissions and spreads from Swissquote’s UK entity, Swissquote Ltd, differ slightly from its Switzerland entity, Swissquote Bank Ltd. Between the two, UK based accounts provide a better deal with the trade-off being a smaller product offering.
UK entity: At Swissquote’s UK entity, if you are an active trader and deposit at least $10,000, the Elite account is available. It comes with a commission of 5 EUR (2.5 per side) per Round-Turn (RT) trade, in addition to low prevailing spreads. This pricing is comparable to other multi-asset brokers that have active trading offerings.
Account comparison: A Standard, Premium, and Prime (Elite in the UK) account are offered at both Swissquote's UK and Swiss entity. However, the spreads and required minimum deposits are lower in the UK for the same account compared to the Swiss entity, except for the standard account (Premium in the UK), which is accessible with a $1,000 deposit. The most competitive commission-free account for retail traders at Swissquote appears to be the firm's UK Premium account, which requires a $5k deposit with spreads as low as 0.6 pips.
Execution method: It’s worth noting that Swissquote’s UK entity executes trades on an agency basis (matched-principal). In contrast, the Swiss entity uses a hybrid of both dealing-desk and agency execution when it comes to its forex/CFD offering. No matter how you slice the data, regardless if you are a high deposit active trader or casual mini account trader, Swissquote’s Swiss entity is more expensive. That said, the one drawback to the UK account offering is a more limited offering of tradeable instruments.
|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 & Tools
Despite touting its proprietary platform suite, Advanced Trader (desktop and web versions), the Swissquote trading experience fails to impress and compete with industry leaders such as IG and CMC Markets. Thankfully, the full MetaTrader suite (MT4 desktop, MT4 web, and MT5) is available as an alternative.
Advanced Trader web: The web-based version of Advanced Trader requires flash, making it unsupported in most major browsers and is in desperate need of an upgrade to HTML 5. During our tests, even after enabling flash, certain features such as charts would not load, even after price data was updating.
Advanced Trader desktop: Looking at the desktop version of Advanced Trader, charts are cleanly designed and come with 49 indicators (17 overlays and 32 studies) alongside 16 drawing tools and integrated chart patterns. While the platform is Java-based, I found certain platform features were not very responsive and didn't load quickly. Resizing various modules was not as smooth as I would have liked, leaving room for improvement in the user experience in the Advanced Trader platform.
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. The group provides analysis and market commentary and publishes a bi-monthly magazine which I found to be of high-quality.
Third-party tools: Swissquote provides traders access to Trading Central, and AutoChartist, which are both popular providers of automated chart pattern analysis and trading signals.
Swissquote’s Advanced Trader mobile app is easy to use and cleanly designed. However it lacks in features and overall just meets the industry standard. For traders who prefer not to use Swissquote’s mobile app, MetaTrader is available.
Research: In the Advanced Trader mobile app, research is limited to headlines streaming from the Dow Jones Newswire.
Charts: Shifting to the charting module in the Advanced Trader app, while there are six chart types and various time frames to choose, the charts do not auto-rotate when the phone is in landscape mode, which is disappointing. Also, there are no indicators or drawing tools, and no ability to zoom into chart data (only scroll), which limits the usability of the charts.
Educational content: I was glad to see that instructional videos are available in the Advanced Trader app. Adding market analysis videos would be even better as research is otherwise light in the app as noted above.
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2020 Review, 330 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
- Average Connection Time: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 7.3 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 7.2 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.67 / 10
- Ranking: 13 th (22 brokers)
All in all, while Swissquote is a trusted, global brand, its Swiss-based forex and CFDs offering is a mixed bag. The best all-around forex trader experience comes through the firm’s UK entity, using the MetaTrader platform.
Founded in 1996, Swissquote (SIX: SQN) became publicly-listed in 2000 on the SIX Swiss stock exchange and has since grown to be an established banking group with nearly 340,000 client accounts 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.
Swissquote Trading Features
|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|
Swissquote Research Features
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||No|
Swissquote Mobile App Features
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
2020 Review Methodology
For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers over a five month time period. Each broker was graded on 105 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.