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Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis | September 4th, 2019

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.

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The Trade brand is part of GMO Financial Holdings, publicly listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (JASDAQ: 7177). In the United Kingdom, Trade is a MetaTrader-only broker offering 55 currency pairs and 22 CFDs from its FCA-regulated entity, which offers matched-principal execution as an agency broker (no dealing desk).

GMO Financial Holdings holds regulatory licenses in Japan, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. The firm posted average monthly FX volume in 2018 of $595.5 billion, making it the largest retail forex operation in the world, according to Finance Magnates. In Japan, GMO Click’s flagship platform is available alongside a large array of other platforms for forex, CFD, and cryptocurrency traders.

This review focuses on Trade’s UK-regulated offering.

Review Summary

Rank: 23rd (of 28) Trade’s parent company GMO Financial Holdings is well-respected and trusted around the globe. That said, the group’s UK-regulated forex and CFDs offering is unimpressive and doesn’t come close to matching its Japanese headquartered operation.


  • Trade’s parent company, GMO Financial Holdings, is regulated in the UK, Hong Kong, and Japan and is publicly traded in Japan.


  • Trade’s only offers MT4 desktop and mobile in the UK. Instead, the broker’s core offering is focused almost entirely in Japan.
  • Customer service is unreliable and poor quality.

Is Trade Safe?

help 95
Trust Score Trade is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 95 out of 99. Trade is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is by three tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). Trade is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.

Regulations Comparison Trade
Year Founded1991
Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes
Bank No
Tier-1 Licenses3
Tier-2 Licenses1
Tier-3 Licenses0
Trust Score95

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 14th (of 28)’s ECN accounts in the UK, which have the same deposit requirement as the Classic Account, are the clear winner for EU traders as the all-in cost is lower even after the $8 round-turn commission.


  • With Trade’s UK entity, there are three account types to choose from, ranging from the Classic Account, in which spreads on the EUR/USD for off-exchange forex are fixed at 1.5 pips, to two commission-based accounts, including the ECN and ECN Plus accounts, where spreads are variable and average 0.2 pips on the EUR/USD.
  • The firm’s fixed spread offering is not as competitive, with less pairs available, a smaller maximum trade size threshold, and market execution. This compares with the market execution and wider range of markets available on the other two commission-based account types.
  • For traders who can deposit the equivalent of $10,000 or who trade $100M per month, the commission rate drops to $2.5 per standard lot in the ECN Plus Account.


  • Trading costs, in terms of commissions and fees, vary depending on the brand with which traders open their account and the instrument being traded.
  • The firm’s Japan-based entity offers, by far, the most competitive pricing and range of products. For example, the FXNeo account in Japan features a 0.5 pip fixed spread on the EUR/USD.
  • GMO acts as the sole Liquidity Provider (LP) to its other entities around the globe (such as the UK) so there is a mark-up added to rates, which is why spreads are wider.
  • In the UK, GMO Trade has integrated additional LPs based in London, and provides agency execution, although it does retain the ability to act as a market maker on a contingency basis as per its client agreement.


Further Reading

Fees Comparison Trade
Minimum Initial Deposit$50
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.100
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.900
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 26th (of 28)

In the UK, Trade is primarily a MetaTrader 4 (MT4) broker offering the standard, out-of-the-box MT4 platform experience.


  • None.


  • Unfortunately, Trade does not offer MT4 web, leaving just the desktop and mobile version available.
  • The greatest range of trading platforms offered by Trade-related brands comes from its Click Securities offering in Japan. Unfortunately, these are not available in Europe.


Further Reading

Tools Comparison Trade
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)(Default MT4)
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)(Default MT4)
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields(Default MT4)
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Customer Service

Rank: 19th (of 28)

To score Customer Service, 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: <3 minutes
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 4.4 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 3.1 / 10
  • Overall Score: 4.3 / 10
  • Ranking: 19th (23 brokers)
  • View Infographic


Rank: 24th (of 28)

Unfortunately, forex and CFDs traders based in Europe have little market research available to them through Trade’s UK-regulated offering.


  • Trade’s UK provides traders trading signals, an economic calendar, news headlines, and other content powered by Claws & Horns. Traders can also chat directly with an analyst.


  • Across Trade (UK), GMO-Click (Japan), and Forex (HK), the scope and depth of research offerings vary considerably.
  • While its other entities are behind on research, the firm’s Japan entity, GMO-Click, shines the most in the research category, bringing a wide range of tools to traders.


Further Reading

Research Comparison Trade
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
Weekly Webinars Yes
AutoChartist No
Trading Central (Recognia) No
Delkos Research No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs No
Economic Calendar Yes

Mobile Trading

Rank: 27th (of 28)

Like its primary trading experience, Trade offers the plain vanilla MT4 mobile experience.


  • MT4 is a reliable mobile app experience.


  •’s best mobile experience is unfortunately only available in Japan.


Further Reading

Mobile Apps Comparison Trade
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes
Watch List No
Watch List Syncing No
Charting - Indicators / Studies(default MT4)
Charting - Draw Trend Lines No
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable No
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave No
Forex Calendar No

Offering of Investments

Rank: 19th (of 28)

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Trade clients.

Offering Comparison Trade
Forex: Spot Trading Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)55
CFDs - Total Offered22
Cryptocurrency traded as actual Yes
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Final Thoughts

Rank: 23rd (of 28) Trade’s parent company, GMO Click Securities, has the largest retail forex trading volumes globally. It’s a trusted brand; however, the best of what is has to offer is not in the EU, but in Japan, leaving European forex and CFDs traders with little to no benefits beyond a standard MT4 experience.

2019 Review Methodology

For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 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.

Steven Hatzakis

About the author: Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for 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.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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