Z.com Trade Review
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The Z.com Trade brand is part of GMO Financial Holdings, publicly listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (JASDAQ: 7177). In the United Kingdom, Z.com 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 Z.com Trade’s UK-regulated offering.
Z.com 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.
- Z.com Trade’s parent company, GMO Financial Holdings, is regulated in the UK, Hong Kong, and Japan and is publicly traded in Japan.
- Z.com 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 Z.com Trade Safe?
Z.com Trade is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 95 out of 99. Z.com 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). Z.com 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.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
Z.com’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 Z.com 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 Z.com 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.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$50|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.100|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.900|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
In the UK, Z.com Trade is primarily a MetaTrader 4 (MT4) broker offering the standard, out-of-the-box MT4 platform experience.
- Unfortunately, Z.com Trade does not offer MT4 web, leaving just the desktop and mobile version available.
- The greatest range of trading platforms offered by Z.com Trade-related brands comes from its Click Securities offering in Japan. Unfortunately, these are not available in Europe.
- Best Forex Trading Platforms 2019
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|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)||(Default MT4)|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||(Default MT4)|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||(Default MT4)|
|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: <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
Unfortunately, forex and CFDs traders based in Europe have little market research available to them through Z.com Trade’s UK-regulated offering.
- Z.com 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 Z.com Trade (UK), GMO-Click (Japan), and GMO-Z.com 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.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||No|
Like its primary trading experience, Z.com Trade offers the plain vanilla MT4 mobile experience.
- MT4 is a reliable mobile app experience.
- Z.com’s best mobile experience is unfortunately only available in Japan.
Mobile Apps Comparison
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|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|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Z.com Trade clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||55|
|CFDs - Total Offered||22|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Z.com 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.
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.