It seems as though the Retail FX industry is going through some very good times – but maybe too good to handle. As retail clients worldwide continue to flock to online brokers, some brokers have seen the capacity of their IT and customer support systems stretched to the brink and beyond. The better-than-ever trading environment has led to outages and decisions to stop offering some products to retail clients.
What products did IG Group remove from its trading roster?
How long did a full-system outage last at eToro on Tuesday-Wednsday of this past week? And what changes did eToro make immediately after it (finally) got its trading systems back up?
We have exclusive coverage and analysis of it all!
Some of the top FX industry news stories to appear this past week on FNG included:
Exclusive: eToro after system reboot ups min first deposit to $1K, min copy value $500. FNG Exclusive… FNG has learned that Retail FX and CFDs broker eToro has issued a statement to clients after successfully getting its systems back up today, indicating that it will be increasing the minimum first time deposit for new clients to $1,000, and also upping the minimum copy value to $500. The statement, signed by eToro Chief Solutions Officer Tuval Chomut, first apologizes for the “severe service disruption” the company experienced starting mid afternoon GMT time Tuesday, extending into most of Wednesday morning. eToro said that the reason for the service disruption was a technical issue that affected its Microsoft database, forcing the company to move the platform into maintenance mode.
IG to withdraw 900 small-cap shares for spread betting and CFD accounts. Electronic trading major IG has finally provided some information regarding the stocks it has set to closings only on leverage. The company notes that it constantly reviews the products it offers in line with client demand. IG has reviewed associated returns across our 12,000 leveraged share markets and decided to withdraw around 900 small-cap shares for spread betting and CFD accounts. These markets will continue to be available for share dealing. The list of affected shares that will be withdrawn from spread betting and CFD accounts are listed in this file. IG is increasing margins so that all positions on these shares will have a margin requirement of 100% at 3pm on Friday 26 February. Clients are advised to close positions by Monday 29 March 2021, from which point IG will start to close any remaining open positions.
IG set to remove cryptocurrencies from offering to UK retail clients. Online trading major IG Group is planning further changes to its cryptocurrency offering to UK clients. According to a post by one of the administrators of the IG Community forum, the company will soon stop offering cryptocurrencies to UK retail clients. Shortly before that, IG will be raising margins for cryptocurrency trades. The margin changes are effective Monday, February 22, 2021. Let’s recall that, as of 6 January 2021, new FCA rules mean that traders are no longer able to trade cryptocurrencies using derivatives like spread bets and CFDs if an IG client is classified as a retail trader. Now, the broker has taken further steps regarding restricting the crypto offering.
Exclusive: GMG Markets hires CFH / CMC alum Sadek Baksh as CEO. FNG Exclusive… FNG has learned that FCA regulated Retail FX broker Global Markets Group Limited, which operates under the moniker GMG Markets at website gmgmarkets.co.uk, has hired Sadek Baksh as the company’s new Managing Director. Sadek Baksh, who goes by the Twitter handle @HotTrader, was a Sales Manager at CMC Markets from 2007-2011, leaving to become VP Institutional eFX at CapMar Financial. He was then Vice President of Institutional eFX at CFH Clearing from 2015-2017, leaving soon after the company’s acquisition by Playtech. GMG Markets was acquired in 2017 by Chinese entrepreneur Shi Lu, but has been mostly inactive since then. GMG is regulated in the UK by the FCA as a full-scope investment firm.
Saxo Bank revenues dip 13% in 2H-2020, profits off 58%. Copenhagen based Retail FX and CFDs broker Saxo Bank released its full year 2020 results today, indicating that the company – like many other firms in its niche – had a much better year than in 2019, as COVID-driven market volatility brought increased trading activity to retail brokers. However Saxo Bank saw slowing trading volumes through the second half of the year, which not surprisingly led to a 13% decline in Revenues and a 58% fall in profits, as compared to 1H-2020. Overall, 2020 was as noted a better year for Saxo Bank than 2019. 2020 saw the group welcome a record high number of 238,000 new active clients, and a continued inflow of client assets. Total client assets ended at DKK 478 billion (USD $78 billion) in 2020, and today exceeds DKK 500 billion.
Among the top FX industry executive moves reported at FNG this week were:
❑ Exclusive: Currenex hires Jefferies eFX SVP Michael Porzio.
❑ Liquidnet appoints John Emmert as Head of Trading Desk for the Americas.
❑ big xyt hires Broadridge/NYSE vet Philip Barnes to head APAC bus dev.
❑ AEGIS Hedging names Lacey Falls its CFO.
❑ OFX appoints Catherine Kovacs as Non-Exec Director.
❑ Number of women on FTSE boards increases by 50% in five years.