Swissquote Review 2018

By John Jagerson  | January 4, 2018

Swissquote is a Forex dealer with deep roots in European banking.

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Overall Rating

3.8/
5.0
Products & Fees
3.1
Trust
2.8
Special Features
4.0
Desktop Experience
4.5
Mobile Experience
3.8
Customer Support
3.1
Research & Insights
5.0
Education
4.0

Swissquote Fast Facts

Owned by the publicly traded, Swissquote Group, Swissquote Ltd provides Forex, index, commodities, and bond CFDs to traders in the European Union. The trading platforms and markets provided by Swissquote are not unique in the market. Offering both MetaTrader 4, and MetaTrader 5 is good but seems like merely "table stakes" in the market, without many other unique advantages. However, access to the popular Autochartist technical screener is included for live accounts which, along with a professionally prepared daily technical report, adds some additional value to Swissquote's offerings. The company is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

pros

  • Trading Markets
    Swissquote offers more than 130 Forex pairs and bonds, index, and commodity CFDs.
  • MetaTrader 4 and 5
    Investors can use the MT4 and 5 platform with Expert Advisors, backtesting, and trade analysis.
  • Low Costs
    The markets Swissquote offers are available at below average spread costs.

cons

  • Little Research and Few Tools
    The trading platforms, research, and tools are good, but not many choices are offered.
  • No Cryptocurrencies or Shares Trading
    Despite plenty of Forex and CFD markets, there is no single shares or cryptocurrency offerings.
  • Customer Service Hours
    Unlike some brokers, phone customer service does not cover all market hours.
70+
Currency Pairs
12
Precious Metal Pairs
21
Stock Indices
7
Commodity CFDs

Products & Fees

3.1

Swissquote has below-average spreads for the largest Forex pairs, indexes, and commodity CFDs. There are no single stock CFDs offered and cryptocurrencies were also not available. The broker charges above average fees for transfers and withdrawals. An account that is kept dormant for a year will also be charged a fee. For traders meeting a minimum volume requirement trading costs may be lowered.

  • EUR/USD
    1.0 pips
  • GBP/USD
    2.1 pips
  • USD/JPY
    0.9 pips
  • S&P 500 CFD
    $0.50
  • Japan 225
    $25.00
  • Oil CFD
    $0.05
  • US 10Y T-Note
    $0.08
  • Gold
    $0.40

Trust

2.8

Swissquote's trust scores suffered in our ratings because of the lack of account protection above and beyond what's required by UK regulators. Also, there is no guaranteed stop loss or negative balance protection. However, paying a fee to use a custodial bank account is available which makes it possible for investors to have a little more control over their deposit security.

GBP 50,000
Default Insurance (Swissquote)
(If Swissquote defaults, up to GBP 50,000 under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)).
GBP 85,000
Default Insurance (Failed Bank)
If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, up to GBP 85,000 may be compensated)

What you need to know

Account funds are held by Swissquotes in the UK which is subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The amount of protection for each account in the event of default is limited.

Special Features

4.0
Special Features

Although Swissquote checked most of the important boxes in the Special Features category, it did so mostly because traders can use MetaTrader 4 and 5. This should be a good thing for investors familiar with the MetaTrader platform. The functionality of MT4 and 5 is a little dated and the charts aren't great, but the ability to autotrade, backtest, install Expert Advisors (EA) will be attractive for many traders. The AutoChartist technical screening tool is also a plus for traders looking to streamline their analysis.

AutoChartist
Scan for multiple technical patterns automatically
Daily Expert Reports
Technical analysis of the major markets
(Released daily)
Expert Advisors
MT4 and MT5 traders can install autotrading and backtesting EA's
Mobile Trading
MT4, MT5, and custom application are all available as mobile apps

What you need to know

There weren't a lot of bells and whistles included with Swissquote Ltd's offering. However, it is also important to acknowledge that the most important features most investors will be looking for are included in Swissquote's available trading platforms. We were also impressed with the quality of the technical reports which may seem like a small thing but is an important supplement to the computer screening functionality from AutoChartist.

Desktop Experience

4.5
Desktop Platform Experience

Clients can use the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform for trading as well as Swissquote's desktop, mobile, or web apps called "Advanced Trader". MT4 and MT5 include advanced charting, studies, watchlists and trade automation through "expert advisor" plugins that many traders appreciate. Because the MT4 and MT5 platforms are so well-known in the industry, traders moving to Swissquote from other brokers will already be familiar with each platform's functionality. The look and feel of these applications are a little dated and some functions can be clunky.

Pros

One of the most popular aspects of the MT4 and MT5 platforms is the ability to add auto-trading and custom indicators through plugins called "expert advisors" or EAs. The process of adding an EA and making sure it is working correctly won't be easy for a novice, but some sample EAs are included for testing. Besides, EAs MT4 and MT5 allows investors to trade from the charts and save layouts and chart profiles. The AutoChartist technical screener can also work as a plugin within the MT4 platform.

Cons

MT4 and MT5 have been around for a while and they look dated. Audible alerts can be annoying and are difficult to customize. Some common functions like scrolling or zooming on a chart are very clunky and will be frustrating for traders familiar with MultiCharts or other modern charting applications. Creating or modifying EAs is also difficult and the programming language is unique and challenging for traders to learn.

Mobile Experience

3.8
Mobile Platform Experience

The MT4 and MT5 mobile trading platforms cram an impressive amount of functionality into a small screen. We found the mobile applications to offer similar functionality to the desktop application. Traders can access trading instruments, complex order types, watchlists, and account analytics all from their mobile device. The mobile platform also includes charts with price overlays, indicators, and flexible display styles. Other features include news feeds and educational articles. The MT4 and MT5 mobile experiences were nearly identical and it shouldn't be difficult to become familiar with the simplified layout.

Pros

The mobile app had familiar menus that were easy to navigate. Demo traders should also have no problem immediately logging in and giving the app a try. The order entry form was a little crowded and small on a phone screens, but not impractical if a trader needs to be able to modify, enter, or exit orders while away from the desktop.

Cons

While the MT4 and MT5 mobile platform was easy to use and familiar, there wasn't any added value from the dealer. For example, we would have liked to see some of Swissquote's custom technical analysis reports available within the application. Also of concern: there weren't more options for security like fingerprint access or remote logout.

Customer Support

3.1

The customer support reps we encountered on the phone and chat seemed knowledgeable and polite. Our calls were answered quickly, and our questions were all answered correctly. Live support is only available from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm UK time Monday - Friday. There wasn't an available FAQ for simple questions either, which means traders may spend too much time hunting for answers during off hours.

What you need to know

Despite limited customer service hours we found Swissquote's representatives to be courteous and knowledgeable. The support website lacks a good knowledge base and the searchable archive was difficult to navigate. There is good basic education available for CFD and Forex trading as well as the trading platforms, however, finding immediate answers during off hours will be a challenge. This experience is likely to be inadequate for inexperienced investors.

Research & Insights

5.0

Swissquote offers economic analysis, real-time news feeds, calendars, and advanced data analytics through their trading platforms. The research and tools are good, but there weren't many "extras" that we might have expected to see. For technical traders, the AutoChartist screener and Swissquote's own technical research reports are high quality and helpful.

Advanced Charting
Charts include advanced studies, display types, and customizable timeframes.
Technical Pattern Screener
Autochartist can identify and analyze emerging technical or candlestick patterns.
Real-time News
News feeds in both the desktop and mobile applications
Economic Analysis
Announcement reporting, analysis, available through trading applications.
Professional Technical Analysis Reports
Daily and weekly technical research by professional analysts
Technical signals screener
Search for technical signals through Trading Central.

Pros

Swissquote's analytics, research, and tools weren't very unique, but they were high quality. Traders already familiar with the news feeds, economic calendars, and analytical tools in the MetaTrader platforms will know what to expect. The pattern matching screener and technical research reports were very good. In our experience, older traders will be pleased to know that the research reports can be downloaded and printed in an attractive format for later reading.

Cons

The research tools are fine, but there isn't anything we would characterize as a "game changer" in the offerings. This isn't necessarily a drawback for traders who don't require advanced research tools that aren't already included in Swissquote's trading platforms and AutoChartist. But some traders may be disappointed not to have access to extras like client sentiment indicators or volatility screeners.

Education

4.0

Swissquote has education on Forex, CFDs, trading platforms, and technical and fundamental analysis. The education section on the site is well organized and easy to access. While the education was good, most of it was very basic. Introductory-level education is great for new traders getting started in the market but experienced users won't find much they don't already know. Webinars are advertised on Swissquote's site but there were no events scheduled and none available in an archive.

Get Started
Forex and CFD Trading Education
(Education targeted at new Forex and CFD traders)
Analyze the Markets; Find Opportunities
Platform and Tools Education
(Focused help for navigating the trading platforms and analytical tools)
Think like a Professional
Technical Analysis and Strategy Education
(Provides background level education on technical and fundamental analysis concepts)

What you need to know

The videos and articles included in the education section stick to basic concepts or practical application on the trading platforms. Although there isn't much in-depth education, the concepts covered were thorough enough to help a new investor get started in the markets and understand the trading platforms offered by Swissquote.

Bottom Line

We like the fact that Swissquote is associated with Swissquote Bank and its roots in the Swiss Banking industry. The company is regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, and seems to have a good service track record. The product offering is average but adequate for investors looking to get started trading Forex and common CFD products. Technical analysis research tools and the MetaTrader platforms were in line with industry standards, but there weren't a lot of extras. Customer service was good, but only available during select hours, which may be a bigger consideration for new traders. While Swissquote is likely a decent broker for new investors getting started, we don't see much to recommend them to traders already happy with their existing broker.

John Jagerson
Reviewed by John Jagerson

John Jagerson has worked in the capital markets and private equity for most of his career, including investing, writing and money management. He currently manages a registered CTA and contributes to Learning Markets, the companion site to the book "Profiting With Forex" by John Jagerson and S. Wade Hansen.

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