Founded in Poland in 2002, X-Trade Brokers (XTB) has grown over the past 16 years to become a well-respected online broker. The broker maintains offices in over a dozen countries across Europe and licensed by several major regulators including the UK’s FCA, Poland’s KNF, Germany’s BaFIN. It was listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2016 after a successful initial public offering that valued the company at nearly $350 million.
XTB provides a multi-asset solution to forex and CFD traders globally, offering over 50 forex pairs, more than 20 indices, and 1,500-share CFDs, as well as more than 60 ETFs and 21 of the most popular commodity CFDs across its proprietary xStation suite of platforms, and MetaTrader4 platform by MetaQuotes Software Corporation.
XTB announced plans in 2017 to exit the Turkish market where it holds a license with the Turkey regulatory body the CMB, citing its plans to avert regulatory changes in Turkey and expects to wind-down that offering in mid-2018 as per regulatory filings. Also in 2017, XTB launched five marginable cryptocurrency CFD pairs, including BTC/USD, ETH/USD, XRP/USD, LTC/USD and DASH/USD.
Commissions & Fees
XTB offers three general account types, Basic, Standard and a commission-based Pro account. Each account comes with its own execution method and spread model, in terms of commissions and fees, and with overall spreads competitive for some of the major forex pairs such as the EUR/USD..
Besides the method of execution, which varies per account type, ranging from dealing-desk execution to agency execution, other account differences can be seen in the bid/ask spreads. The Basic account can see target spreads of 2 pips, while the Standard account spreads can drop to 0.35 pips, and the PRO spreads (not including the per trade commission) can reach as low as 0.28 pips, according to XTB data.
While we were not able to obtain average spreads from XTB as the firm publishes only the minimum and target spreads for each currency pair on its website, a representative confirmed that the target spreads, which are recorded between 8 am and 8 pm CET/CEST, are an approximate value based on historical spread quotations and should not be construed as a median or average spread.
With minimum deposits at XTB that start at 250 base currency (i.e., £250, €250, or $250) the Pro account is the most competitive option in terms of lower spreads. It has a commission of £2.5, €3.5, or $4 per side on standard lots (100k), depending on the currency of the denominated account. In addition, unless you are a resident of the UK or Ireland, the Pro account will be your only option for opening an account with XTB.
For active traders, XTB will rebate a portion of the spread back to you when you meet certain volume thresholds, starting from 100 lots or more on a monthly basis, helping XTB compete with brokers that have active trader offerings, such as FXCM and Forex.com, or liquidity rebates from CMC Markets.
Overall, we would like to see XTB publish what its average spreads are on a monthly basis to help make a more accurate comparison with other multi-asset brokers in this category who release such data, including publicly listed firms, as XTB's target spreads seem otherwise competitive.
For our 2018 Forex Review, 129 customer service phone tests were conducted over three months. The data collected is institutional grade. On average, three questions were asked for each test. To score each test, the tests were divided into three separate groups and scores were given for the time taken to connect with each support representative and the ability of each representative to professionally (and thoroughly) answer each question. A Net Promoter Score was also given for the overall experience.
- Average Connection Time: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 7.8 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 7.6 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.3 / 10
- Ranking: 5th (43 brokers)
XTB offers a diverse range of research across its platforms and websites. Beyond streaming headlines from top-tier news providers and an economic calendar, and in-house staff that publish technical and fundamental analysis, a premium service is offered under the TRADEBEAT brand that provides market sentiment, exclusive strategies, and trade recommendations for subscribers.
to last year, XTB has begun to integrate TRADEBEAT into its platform, which is a welcomed move as it was previously segmented away in a separate offering. Now traders can access TRADEBEAT headlines and premium educational content directly in the platform.
Helping to boost its ranking as a multi-asset broker in this category, XTB provides a stock screener that lets you filter basic fields to sort through nearly 2000 tradable single-stock CFDs, a useful research tool for scanning symbols to trade.
The integration of premium research content from TRADEBEAT into the platform helped elevate the broker’s already respected research position, bringing it closer to industry peers in the multi-asset category in terms of additional research reports and analyst buy/sell ratings.
Combined with other premium tools such as the heatmap and market sentiment, XTB’s research tools are diverse, useful, and comparable to research offerings from other multi-asset brokers, such as IG Markets, Saxo Bank and CMC Markets.
In addition, XTB has integrated educational tools into its platform and hosts webinars as well as live trading gatherings weekly at its UK office for live account holders. As of this review’s publishing in early April, XTB also has a new educational suite that is slowly being rolled out.
Platforms & Tools
XTB’s main platform offering, xStation5, is available for web, mobile, tablet, and even iOS and Android smartwatches.
In terms of innovation, the most significant new features added in xStation5, which are not available in xStation3, include the ability to set a stop-loss or take-profit (limit) as a percentage of your balance, and new heatmap and sentiment analysis tools. Furthermore, 2017 saw the the arrival of the education tab.
While the number of features has been kept to a minimum to avoid making the platform too complex, XTB has done well in balancing the platform with enough features while keeping the layout easy to use and uncluttered.
Looking at the web version, while xStation3 was flash-based, xStation5 is HTML 5 based. This is a huge difference that yields not only speed improvements but a very modern, clean design. Menus and fonts are crisp and charts look much clearer. For example, charts now include a countdown timer showing the remaining time left in each candlestick, and right-clicking within a chart reveals an extensive list of drop-down items for fast access to trading and analysis.
Customizations are widespread, including 25 drawing tools and 26 technical indicators.
The main charting tools are accessible from a side panel on the left of the chart window. Customizations are widespread, including 25 drawing tools and 26 technical indicators.
Usability across the platform is evident as panels can easily be resized, charts can be detached for focused analysis, the trade-ticket window is cleanly designed, and multiple layout templates are available.
Moving to the reporting tools, there is a statistics section in the platform that lets traders analyze their history on a trade-by-trade basis for closed positions, including calculating any max drawdown and average profit and loss over time, among other performance rankings.
It’s important to note that the Statistics tool can only be used to analyze closed trades. Thus, it is a historical trade analysis tool and not a real-time risk management tool.
One unique feature I found useful during my testing was xStation5’s connection gauge, which shows the strength of your connection as well as additional context such as any disconnects that have taken place since your current session began.
If xStation5 doesn’t satisfy your trading needs, XTB also offers the full MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform suite: desktop, web, and mobile. Since xStation5 does not support automated trading, MT4 must be used.
Overall, XTB’s xStation suite delivers a quality experience for traders that continues to improve year over year. A desktop version of xStation5 is also incoming, which we look forward to testing in our next annual review. All variables considered, XTB finished 25th out of 43 brokers for Platforms & Tools in our 2018 Review.
The xStation mobile app from XTB is easy to navigate from its upper left side menu bar, and ranks highly in terms of features, design, and ease of use compared to mobile apps from industry peers. That said, there is room for further innovation in what is already a good foundation for its mobile app.
The charting works well in both landscape and portrait mode, yet there are only 10 indicators and 10 drawing tools available. While this is comparable with industry standards, it was disappointing not to see more considering the desktop platform has 25 drawing tools and 26 indicators. Drawback aside, trendlines can be saved on the charts, which is a feature not many brokers offer in mobile.
While exploring the app there is a + sign in the upper right corner that lets you search for products to trade, while in other sections of the app a quick link allows you to create a new order from nearly any screen, both useful shortcuts. Once you reach the order ticket, the layout is clean and includes enhanced dialogue to make placing trades an effortless experience.
Trading aside, research capabilities in the xStation mobile app are formidable. Top movers, market sentiment analysis, and a news calendar with click-to-expand charts are all available.
Lastly, a nice feature within the mobile app is the ability to chat with a support representative, especially as nearly 50% of XTB’s clients use the mobile app, and not many brokers offer chat on their mobile app.
Two final features worth mentioning include screen locking and chat support. With screen locking, you can create a pin and set the app to lock open, preventing your phone from auto-sleeping while monitoring the markets. And with chat support, you can access a support representative right within the app, which is undoubtedly useful considering nearly 50% of XTB’s clients use the mobile app.
Overall, the XTB mobile app provides a quality experience that is slightly above the industry standard. One feature we’d love to see added in 2018 is syncing watch lists, so watch list changes on the web-platform sync with the mobile app, and vice-versa. XTB finished 18th out of 43 brokers for Mobile Trading.
XTB uses the balance level and type of product you trade to determine the applicable margin tier, similar to other brokers such as Saxo Bank that have tiered margin levels depending on either the size of the positions you open and/or the amount of money in your trading account.
As a multi-asset broker regulated in several major financial centers, XTB provides a well-rounded experience. No question customer service is the broker’s bright spot, finishing Best in Class overall.
Beyond quality service, however, nothing in XTB’s offering is award-winning on its own. That said, as a whole, the broker provides traders an offering that is above the industry standard and worth a consideration.
For our 2018 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 43 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 140 variables. Learn more.
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.View all XTB Fees & Features
Reviewed by 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. Over the past 18 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
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