Interactive Brokers has added new products to its popular IBKR Mobile application. Account holders can now examine key performance metrics of an options or complex options strategy through Performance Profile. In addition, a new Order Reset function lets traders set templates for frequently used order values to speed up the order entry process. The broker is holding this information in the cloud, making it accessible through both desktop and mobile interfaces.
The company has also released new Traders' Academy courses on IBKR Mobile, Portfolio Analyst, Advanced Trading Tools and US Trader Tax "101." According to Interactive, these courses "use a syllabus to define instructional goals. Learning objectives are clearly stated and content is delivered across multiple lessons. Quizzes and tests are used to benchmark student progress against learning objectives."
Saxo Bank CEO Posts Op-Ed on ESMA Rules
Saxo Bank CEO Andrew Edwards has published an op-ed for U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, discussing the impact of rules recently implemented by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) that sharply curtail leverage on currency pairs and CFDs. He admitted that the rule changes were timely because some firms were offering leverage much higher than the risk tolerance or skill level of their retail clients. He added that some brokers will be hurt more than others, depending on business models, while keeping new entrants out of the market.
Edwards also predicted that the rules will compress margins and marketing budgets, causing some firms to fall into an "unrecoverable decline," adding that "firms that rely on leverage, incentives and mis-selling will close down reluctantly, be forced to close down or potentially try to find a buyer." Finally, the CEO warned that "for the benefit of its long-term survival, the industry should welcome the move away from competition on leverage."
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Robinhood Adds Candlestick Charts To Mobile App
A developer's blog revealed that Robinhood is rolling out candlestick charts to stock, options and cryptocurrency pages on its mobile app. The commission-free broker is also adding mobile versions of popular web browser features, including Analyst Ratings, People Also Bought social trading data and an About function, which helps clients access quick stock facts. Finally, the company is addressing upgrade requests by bringing options features from the mobile app into the web interface.
IG Group Revenues Take Hit in Wake of ESMA Rules
London's IG Group reported a 5% decline in year-over-year revenues for the quarter ending on Aug. 31, booking $169.4 million. U.K. and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) results contracted between 8% and 12%, while client totals for the two zones dropped significantly, even though ESMA rules just went into effect on Aug. 1. Not surprisingly, the company noted that August trading volumes fell sharply as well.
The results, which triggered a steep decline in the broker's publicly traded stock, is sending shockwaves throughout the industry. European brokers affected by the new rules include IronFX, GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc.'s (GCAP) City Index, LCG Group, Dukascopy and CMC Markets. Many of these firms have reported efforts to expand into more profitable venues and to transfer more retail clients to professional status, making them exempt from the regulation's leverage restriction.
XTB Fined for 'Asymmetric Slippage'
The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) has fined XTB $2.7 million for "irregularities in the execution of client orders," following up on allegations filed in November 2017. The complaint alleges that the broker failed to act on price improvement between order receipt and execution, pocketing the difference instead of passing the savings to clients. KNF insists that this practice violated best execution rules implemented in May 2016. The broker strongly objected to the fine and said that it would appeal because any violations took place before the new guidelines were issued.