As a trusted multi-asset broker, XTB offers traders outstanding customer service and an excellent trading experience overall thanks to the xStation 5 trading platform.
Top Takeaways for 2021
Here are our top findings on XTB:
- Founded in 2002, XTB is publicly-traded and regulated in one tier-1 jurisdiction, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs.
- XTB's xStation platform suite provides excellent usability alongside a robust selection of trading tools, research, and advanced features. XTB is also a viable option for cryptocurrency trading.
- XTB provides outstanding customer service and won our award for #1 Phone Support. In 2020, XTB finished 1st place (out of 22) in our national testing from locations across the United Kingdom.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
Is XTB Safe?
XTB is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 92 out of 99. XTB is a publicly traded company that is authorised by one tier-1 regulator (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust). XTB is authorised by the following tier-1 regulator: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
XTB provides traders access to CFDs on 3900 stocks and ETFs, 22 commodities, 42 indices, 25 cryptocurrencies, and 49 forex pairs. Furthermore, the broker also provides nearly 7800 cash equities (i.e., non-leveraged), including 150 ETFs, as part of its securities offering. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to XTB clients.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs and through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available from any broker's UK entity, nor to UK residents.
|Forex Pairs (Total)||49|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
Commissions and Fees
XTB offers two account types: Standard (spread-only) and Pro (commission-based). Bottom line, pricing at XTB is in line with the industry average.
Average Spreads: XTB lists target spreads on the EUR/USD for its various account types, 0.949 pips on the standard account, and 0.349 pips for the commission-based Pro account, as of August 2020. During the main session (00:00-08:00) averages spreads were slightly better at 0.859 (Standard) and 0.259 (Pro) during the same period. Using data from Q2 2020, XTB average spreads on the EUR/USD stood at 0.086, while the Pro account spread averaged nearly 0.03 (or 1.1 pip after including the commission-equivalent of $8 per round turn standard lot ($4 per side). One final point is that I found the MT4 account spreads to be slightly higher than when using XTB's flagship platform xStation 5.
Standard vs. Pro accounts: With minimum deposits at XTB that start at 250 base currency (i.e., £250, €250, or $250), the Pro account is similarly priced to the Standard account when trading higher volumes. Meanwhile, for smaller amounts, the Standard account appears cheaper. My choice for retail traders would be the standard account, which had an average spread of 0.86 pips during Q2 2020 for the EUR/USD pair.
Active trader discounts: For active traders (and those in the EU who meet the definition of elective professionals), XTB will rebate a portion of the spread (from 5% to 30%) back to you when you reach certain volume thresholds, starting from 20 lots per month to as much as 1000 lots for the full 30% discount. This active trader program is known as XTB's lower spread group and helps the company compete with similar offerings from FXCM, FOREX.com, and CMC Markets.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$0.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.86 (Q2 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.78 (as of Q3 19)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms and Tools
XTB offers two platforms: xStation 5 and MetaTrader 4 (MT4). The xStation 5 platform comes with a minimalist design, yet packs powerful tools and is rich with features. Hands down, xStation 5 steals the show and goes toe-to-toe with platform titans CMC Markets, IG, and FXCM.
xStation 5 trading tools: XTB's flagship platform offering, xStation 5, delivers an excellent experience for web, mobile, tablet, and even iOS and Android smartwatches. Trading tool highlights include heat mapping (view top movers by color), a versatile stock screener, and sentiment analysis, which shows the percentage of XTB clients that are long or short per instrument.
xStation 5 charting: Beyond its modern and responsive design, several unique features help xStation 5 stand out. For example, I loved the fact that charts include a countdown timer showing the remaining time left in each candlestick. As another example, economic news releases appear along the bottom axis within charts, providing traders insights during important economic events. In total, 29 drawing tools and 37 technical indicators are available.
xStation 5 innovation: One very innovative feature in xStation 5 is the new "investment basket" tool, which allows you to create a thematic basket of various symbols, and then place a single order to execute them all in one click. The custom baskets can contain both long and short positions, making it quite useful for trading more sophisticated strategies. As a result of the Investment basket, XTB won our award in 2021 for #1 New Tool.
MetaTrader: Since xStation 5 does not support automated trading, MT4 is the only alternative (MT5 is not offered). Automated trading aside, given that MT4 is slightly more costly, due to higher spreads, xStation 5 is the preferred choice at XTB.
|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)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
When it comes to research, XTB competes among the best in the industry thanks to high quality analysis from both its in-house staff and third-party providers.
Premium content: While Trading Central and Autochartist are not available, XTB makes up for it by offering exclusive strategies as part of its Premium Research service. Beyond streaming headlines from top-tier news providers, an economic calendar, market sentiment, and other platform tools for research, XTB provides written articles from its staff and video content on YouTube.
Research tools: Helping to lift its ranking as a multi-asset broker in this category, XTB provides a stock screener that lets you filter necessary fields to sort through over 1700 tradable single-stock CFDs and cash equities. This screener can be a useful research tool for scanning symbols to trade. Also, trading signals are included within the news panel with price analyses from Thomson Reuters, Barclays, Citi Group, and others.
Daily videos: I found that XTB lacks a variety of daily market updates when it comes to its English video content on YouTube. That said, its other supported languages, such as Polish, German and Italian, produce daily video updates more actively.
News filtering: In the news headlines section, identifying articles written by XTB's in-house staff versus third-parties is not seamless. In comparison, Saxo Bank separates these on its web platform. As a trader, I appreciate what XTB's staff says, so being able to filter or easily identify in-house content would be a welcomed enhancement.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
Overall, I was left impressed with XTB's education offering, thanks to its extensive written content and video materials. The only drawback is a lack of live webinars currently, although archived recordings are available.
Education overview: XTB provides a variety of materials on its website under the "Learn To Trade" section, which includes content that can be viewed by topic or by experience level, along with premium materials.
Written content: Besides the platform tutorials in its beginner course, there are at least ten lessons containing forex and CFD education, along with quizzes at the bottom of each category. Likewise, the intermediate course has multiple platform tutorials and nearly ten lessons. There are also dozens of articles covering broader subjects such as, "What are macroeconomic indicators."
Video content: XTB provides five videos under its Trading Academy playlist on YouTube, along with 17 videos in its Masterclass series, with one even spanning 11 hours in duration. Many of these videos are also integrated into the Premium section from within the xStation 5 web platform and mobile app.
|Has Education - Forex||Yes|
|Has Education - CFDs||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||Yes|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||No|
|Tutorials/Guide (PDF or Interactive)||No|
While MetaTrader 4 is available, XTB's proprietary xStation 5 mobile app is far superior. No question, XTB's mobile app keeps up with the best forex brokers.
xStation mobile features: the xStation app is cleanly designed with several features that match its web counterpart, such as streaming news, pre-defined watch lists, an economic calendar, top movers, and client sentiment data. Several integrated videos in the mobile app also provide webinar-style educational content, with multiple videos that are over one hour long.
xStation charting: While I was disappointed to find that the watch list does not sync with the web version of the platform and that there are nearly half as many indicators (13 total), xStation 5 charts are still a pleasure to use. For example, trend lines and drawings automatically save, and it was a smooth process to add or remove indicators while zooming in on various time frames.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
XTB is a trusted brand that provides a broad selection of tradable securities, outstanding customer service, competitive research, and a unique proprietary trading platform suite, xStation 5, with innovative features. Less pricing, which is just average, XTB left me thoroughly impressed and is worth a close consideration for trading forex and CFDs in 2021. XTB finished Best in Class in 2021for Beginners, Crypto Trading, and Ease of Use.
XTB was founded in Poland in 2002 and has since grown to become a well-known broker for trading forex and CFDs. With a market capitalization of $546M as of September 2020, XTB is publicly traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE: XTB.PL). XTB serves nearly 200,000 clients globally as of its 2020 H1 report for the first of the year. XTB maintains offices in over a dozen countries across Europe and is licensed by numerous regulators, including the UK's FCA, Poland's KNF, Germany's BaFIN, Spain's CNMV, France's AMF, Cyprus' CySEC, and Belize's FSC. XTB holds indemnity insurance of up to $1M per client claim, and up to $5M total through its Belize entity.
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.