Swissquote Group Holding has been in business since 1996 and as of 2018 has over 25 billion Swiss Francs in client assets under management. Swissquote Ltd is the London-based subsidiary of Swissquote Bank and is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Being UK based brings Swissquote's superior liquidity and execution on forex, commodities, indices and bonds to traders based in the European Union.
Three trading platforms available
Advanced desktop and mobile app are easy to set up
Daily reports available in multiple languages
Mobile charts have no technical indicators
Desktop watchlists have limited customization
Research limited to three products
Swissquote Ltd is regulated in the UK by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and does not seem to have any outstanding complaints. Traders can also take comfort from the fact that the broker participates in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which means clients may be entitled to pay out if Swissquote is insolvent, up to a limit of £50,000.
Swissquote works to ensure client data is protected and has an encrypted site but does not seem to offer any two-factor authentication at the current time.
Swissquote’s pricing structure is easily found on products available to trade and the spreads charged. The broker also provides examples of how trading costs work, as well as an explanation of the costs of keeping a trade open overnight. The one disadvantage, however, is the complexity of the costs in general. A trader would likely need to learn from experience to be able to fully understand all the trading and operational costs involved in running a position.
Swissquote offers three different ways to access its trading platform in a desktop environment. The one beginning traders are likely to use most is called Advanced Trader, which is easy to download and install from the website. The other desktop software options are MetaTrader 4 and 5 (MT4 and MT5). This software is designed for more advanced traders and has more technically advanced features such as trading strategies, back-testing and many technical indicators.
One advantage to Advanced Trader is its simplicity of design. The platform has a standard view with some of the most popular products located in the upper left of the screen. Different colors allow the trader to easily distinguish between prices for buying and selling. A watchlist is available on the right-hand side, but its customization is limited to a pre-set configuration of cross-currency pairs. Finally, clients can keep track of their running orders in the window at the bottom that gives details about profit and loss.
Advanced Trader also allows traders to set conditional orders, such as limit orders, and manage risks with stop-loss orders. It is also possible to open a 30-day demo account with a balance of USD $100,000 to get a feel for how the trading environment looks, feels and operates using real time market data and prices.
Swissquote has few special features provided by other brokers such as automated trading or social trading. One feature they do offer, however, is AutoChartist, which is an early algorithmic identification of chart patterns using Fibonacci Patterns and Horizontal Levels. The feature also allows for advanced risk management by instantly calculating a client’s real capital exposure and sets risk-adjusted position sizes. The feature also allows some limited back testing to see how ideas would have performed using real market data.
Swissquote gives traders the ability to place stop-loss orders. Unlike other brokers, however, these do not seem to be guaranteed. A guaranteed stop-loss usually requires a small fee, but the client is guaranteed to get the price indicated. A non-guaranteed stop loss order means that the broker will make a best effort to get as close to the indicated price as possible in the market, but if there are gaps or slippage, the client bears this cost.
In June, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced its decision to implement a range of measures intended to harmonize EU-wide regulation. One of the main features of the new regulation is negative balance protection that limits client losses. Negative balance protection means that a retail client can never lose more than the total sum invested for trading Contract for Differences (CFDs). There can be no residual loss or obligation to provide additional funds beyond those in the retail client’s trading account. Since this is a policy implemented by the regulator, however, there is no specific advantage to Swissquote clients compared to using other brokers. They are all subject to the same rule.
Swissquote customer support appears to be slightly above average compared to other brokers. Online chat is available for both existing and prospective clients, but customer support is limited to business hours on weekdays. The trading desk is open 24 hours a day from Sunday 23:00 to Friday 23:00 CET. Live phone support is also available with the numbers of the trading desk and support both published on the website. Swissquote also uses social media for client communication and has both Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Swissquote has a competitive investment offering relative to other operators in the market. They offer 78 forex currency pairs; 19 commodity CFD pairs; 22 CFD stock indices; and 3 CFD Bonds. Commodity CFD pairs include popular items like oil and gold. Forex spreads for major currency pairs is also competitive at 5-15 pips. Unlike other brokers, Swissquote also allows trading in Emerging Currency Pairs, also known as Exotic Currency Pairs that include currencies from emerging markets. While Swissquote still offers competitive conditions on those, the spreads tend to be wider than on Major Currency Pairs, due to lower liquidity. Swissquote says they are still efficient instruments to capitalize on a variety of economic and geopolitical events.
Swissquote Ltd does not yet offer cryptocurrency trading or single-share CFD trading from its London based entity. Clients with an account at the Switzerland based Swissquote Bank can trade these items, but there are different stipulations and requirements to open such an account.
Research Tools and Insights
Swissquote’s research and tool offering is about average compared to other providers. Analyst reports are available through a free email subscription. They offer both fundamental and technical analysis. There are also several webinars and videos explaining everything from the basics of trading to more advanced risk management techniques. Real-time news is available through both the desktop software and mobile device, as is a basic macroeconomic data calendar.
Education products are also in line with industry standards. There are ebooks and videos explaining various aspects of trading and how to get started. There are also more specific webinars about the trading products offered. Swissquote does not offer a glossary with the meaning of various financial terms.
Swissquote offers mobile trading through both an iOS and Android app that are easy to download. The app security settings are average and require only a user name and password to access the account. One can use Touch ID or Face ID to improve security and speed up login.
Swissquote offers streaming quotes on all the investment products available to trade. Adding or removing pairs to a mobile watchlist is easy. Simply tap on the + sign in the upper left part of the screen.
Swissquote also offers mobile news from Dow Jones newswire. Finding news is easy as it is clearly labeled at the bottom of the main screen on the right. Here traders can access real-time information that may be relevant to their trading.
Swissquote allows traders to leave conditional orders, such as limit and stop orders, that will only be executed when specific market conditions are met. Order types available on the mobile app include: market best, stop, spot, limit, trailing stop, OCO, if done and if done/OCO.
Swissquote does not seem to have a separate mobile website, nor are there mobile price alerts. Charts on a mobile device are also quite basic. While it is possible to vary between a line and a candle chart, there do not seem to be any indicators or studies available for mobile charting. This is one disadvantage to other providers who do offer such features in their mobile trading environment.
Commissions & Fees
Swissquote has a relatively competitive fee structure. For example, the broker offers three tiers of minimum spreads, depending on your account size. A standard account size is anything up to USD $25,000 with USD $1,000 minimum initial deposit required. Premium accounts range from USD $25,000 to USD $100,000, and Prime accounts are over USD $100,000. The spread difference between Prime and Standard accounts can be as much as 0.6. Margin requirements and min and max transaction sizes are unaffected by the size of a client’s initial deposit.
Swissquote has some other advantages, such as no fee for dormant accounts, and no termination or withdrawal fees.
What You Need to Know
Swissquote is a platform geared toward the more experienced CFD and forex trader. Though they have a mandatory account minimum, their fee structure and pricing is quite competitive. While Swissquote may be great for the person looking to actively trade currencies and commodities, it may not be best suited for those looking to invest for the long-term.
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