By Steven Hatzakis
February 18th, 2019
Last Updated: April 16th, 2019
The ForexBrokers.com Annual Review (3 years running) is among the most cited in the industry. Our Head of Research, Steven Hatzakis, is frequently referenced as a leading analyst covering forex brokers and cryptocurrency. Learn more.
Founded in 1996, Swissquote (SWX:SQN) became publicly listed in 2000 on the SIX Swiss stock exchange and has since grown to be an established brokerage with over 300,000 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, options, and other securities, including forex, across Advanced Trader, MetaTrader4, and MetaTrader5 platforms. The broker’s services also go beyond trading, offering wealth management and advisory services as well.
Please note, this review focuses solely on Swissquote’s forex and CFDs offering.
While Swissquote is a trusted, global brand, it’s forex and CFDs offering specifically is a mixed bag. The best all-around trader experience comes through the firm’s UK entity which is centered around MetaTrader.
- Regulated in major jurisdictions and publicly traded.
- Reliable customer service.
- Higher spreads with Swiss entity compared to its UK offering.
- Forex and CFDs trading is segmented away from the broker’s exchange-traded offering.
- Web platform is unsupported by most browsers due to an outdated flash-based design.
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|Publicly-Traded Company (Listed)||Yes|
|Regulated in Major Hub||Yes|
|Regulated in Emerging Hub||Yes|
|Authorised in the European Union||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
The commissions and spreads from Swissquote’s UK entity, Swissquote Ltd, differ significantly from its Switzerland entity, Swissquote Bank Ltd. Between the two, UK based accounts provide a better deal.
- At Swissquote’s UK entity, active traders who surpass 1,000 lots (10 million units) in volume pay a round-turn commission of 0.65 pips in addition to raw spreads from 0.0-0.3 pips on the EUR/USD, bringing the all-in cost to 0.95 pips or lower. This pricing is comparable to other multi-asset brokers that have active trading offerings.
- A commission-free offering is provided in the UK, while multi-pip spreads in non-commission accounts are offered in Switzerland. Overall, Swissquote’s UK entity has more competitive pricing, however, it provides a limited offering of investments.
- Unless you’re an active trader, even if you have more than $25k on deposit, forex spreads in the premium account are still high at Swissquote’s Swiss entity, compared to firms such as IG, CMC Markets and Saxo Bank. In addition, spreads are even higher for mini and standard account holders making Swissquote Bank a more expensive choice for beginners or those on a tighter trading budget.
- It’s worth noting that Swissquote’s UK entity executes trades on an agency basis, whereas the Swiss entity uses dealing-desk execution when it comes to its forex/CFD offering. This is comparable to Saxo Bank’s structure between the UK entity, where its Danish bank entity acts as a liquidity provider (LP). Similarly, Swissquote’s Swiss entity acts as a liquidity provider (LP) for Swissquote’s UK entity.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||€500.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||N/A|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||N/A|
|Active Trader or Premium/VIP||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
Despite touting its own proprietary platform suite, the Swissquote trading experience fails to impress and compete with industry leaders. Thankfully, the full MetaTrader suite is also offered.
- Swissquote offers its own proprietary platform suite, Advanced Trader (desktop and web versions), as well as the full MetaTrader platform suite (MT4 desktop, MT4 web, MT5).
- Looking at the desktop version of Advanced Trader, charts are cleanly designed and come with 49 indicators (17 overlays and 32 studies) alongside 18 drawing tools.
- Advanced Trader is available only at the firm’s Swiss entity, Swissquote Bank. Meanwhile, using MetaTrader requires trading through the firm’s UK entity.
- The web-based version of Advanced Trader is built in flash, making it unsupported in most major browsers and in desperate need of an upgrade to HTML 5.
- Traders looking for algorithmic trading cannot use Advanced Trader and instead must rely on MetaTrader through Swissquote’s UK entity.
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|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|
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
- Average Connection Time: <2 minutes
- Average Net Promoter Score: 7.1 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 4.7 / 10
- Overall Score: 6.7 / 10
- Ranking: 7th (23 brokers)
- View Infographic
While Swissquote provides a mostly industry standard offering, the broker goes above and beyond in quality, helping to differentiate itself from competitors.
- What helps separate Swissquote in this category is its focus on quality and depth. For example, Swissquote’s own quantitative research team helps structure some of its products, such as the exchange-traded certificate for crypto, and provides analysis and market commentary.
- Swissquote offers streaming news headlines on its trading platforms, along with an economic calendar forecast and blog commentary from in-house analysts, in what can be described as a standard industry offering.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||No|
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.
- If there is one positive aspect of Swissquote’s mobile experience, it’s that the app is user-friendly and cleanly designed. Performing basic tasks such as placing a trade or viewing positions is a breeze.
- For traders who prefer not to use Swissquote’s mobile app, MetaTrader is available.
- While reviewing the Advanced Trader app for Android on my Samsung Galaxy S8+ Edge, I found the app very light with just eight fields in the settings, and research was limited to headlines streaming from the Dow Jones Newswire.
- Shifting to the charting module in the app, while there are six chart types, the charts do not auto rotate when the phone is set to 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.
|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|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Swissquote clients.
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||78|
|CFDs - Total Offered||57|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||No|
Swissquote became the first bank in the world to add the trading of underlying cryptocurrencies (non-CFDs), including bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. In 2018, Swissquote followed with two crypto exchange-traded certificates SWX:SQCRTQ and SWX:BLOCHU. In 2019, Swissquote placed 2nd for crypto trading, thanks to its support of the underlying asset and its historical, trusted brand.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Swissquote is a trusted global brand that offers an extensive selection of products and services. However, when taking a zoomed in look at just the broker’s forex and CFDs offering, the company’s strong reputation does not entirely match up.
Swissquote’s Advanced Trader suite is just “ok,” and pricing varies dramatically depending on where your account is based. That said, the full MetaTrader suite is offered as an alternative, research is competitive, and customer service is reliable.
All in all, 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 bank is worth a consideration. Otherwise, the broker’s UK-based offering provides a better deal.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
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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.