2019 Best Online Brokers Awards
XTB won an award in the following category:
XTB provides access to a variety of markets such as forex, shares, indices, metals, commodities and even cryptocurrencies. The company is regulated in the UK and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). XTB traces its history back to Poland and is publicly listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and registered with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. Spreads, trading costs, and account fees were about average for the industry overall; however, forex spreads were consistently better than average. A custom trading platform, xStation 5, and MetaTrader 4 were available for the desktop along with mobile applications.
XTB offers access to more than 3000 trading markets
Traders can explore the available markets through searching tools
XTB is registered with the FCA in the UK
Guaranteed stop losses are only available on the "basic" account type
XTB has a required initial investment of $250
Commissions and Fees
XTB has low fees and costs overall. However, with a "pro" account, costs for some forex pairs and indexes were even further below average. Traders should evaluate XTB's actual costs based on the instruments or markets that they focus on.
We based our ratings on the least expensive blended commission + spread available to some accounts. Investors can use guaranteed stops in the "basic" account level, which could increase trading costs but may be valuable for investors looking for that kind of protection. Most account fees were typical for the industry with a minimum required deposit of 250 GBP, USD, or EUR.
XTB is regulated by multiple different organizations and agencies. Their regulators include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) and the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC). XTB offers negative balance protection, guaranteed stop-loss, industry average security, and account insurance.
Some brokerages have websites that are not very forthcoming about their commissions and fees. Some of these sites feel as if they are trying to avoid giving away their pricing scheme until the visitor has created an account. XTB abstains from this secretive practice by placing their pricing in a prominent location on their site and having an in-depth pricing chart for all of the assets they provide.
XTB's custom trading application, xStation 5, had a fairly standard interface with menus, watchlists, charts, and notifications in a typical layout. The platform launched quickly and in our experience seemed to have fast execution. Screening tools, heatmaps, and sentiment indicators were easy to find and provided helpful information. The standard MT4 platform was also available for traders already familiar with the application and its features.
XTBs xStation 5 platform had great functionality for its users. Entering trades, building watchlists and modifying charts all seemed simple and intuitive. That being said, there were downsides. The ability to create custom indicators was not an option. Of course, XTB does offer MetaTrader4 which does have this feature built in.
The mobile version of xStation 5 includes most of the functionality available in the desktop application, except the ability to set price alerts, which seemed like a strange oversight. Traders can access XTB's trading instruments, complex order types, account details, and charting from the Android or iPhone apps. The news feed is also streamable through the mobile app. Some security features, like a pin to prevent the app from showing on watches or widgets, were customizable on the mobile app.
The app's functionality was the perfect amount to compliment the desktop version. The recently added feature of biometric security functions, like a fingerprint unlock feature, made it a good mobile experience.
The "Special Features" category is our way of looking for unique features that may not be available or expected with each broker. Our score for XTB's Special Features is low for a few reasons. They don't offer social (or "copy") trading, money manager accounts or a free VPS service. However, there were a few unique offerings that may be worth a second look by some investors. These include trading from the Apple watch, a trader sentiment tool, and a stock screener. Overall, XTB had no truly unique features to their platform.
XTB's customer support is available whenever the markets are open via phone, chat, and email. During our tests, we found that support was very responsive on the phone. Our chat experience was more erratic. It wasn't uncommon, for example, for our chat requests to be redirected to an email form instead, but in the end, we were given support and it proved its functionality. Phone and chat support could be launched from the trading platform. FAQs and educational resources could also be launched from within the trading application.
XTB has a large number of investment products available to trade or invest in. With 48 currency pairs, over 20 indexes over the world, major commodities and more than 1,500 global stock CFDs, they seem to have it all. They also provide access to ETF CFDs and even cryptocurrency, but, where they do fall short is their lack of spread betting.
Research Tools and Insights
We found the most interesting analytical tools to be the screeners, heatmaps, and sentiment indicators. These tools were available through XTB's website and within the trading application. The news feed and analyst blog were acceptable and included some actionable technical and fundamental analysis throughout the day. The calendar was very good, easy to use and integrated into the trading platform. Most of their features were found within their proprietary trading platform xStation 5, while some other features, like backtesting, could be accessed in MetaTrader4.
XTB's education was easy to find and navigate. We felt they hit all the major topics we were looking for. Outside experts were also used for a few advanced topics and strategy updates, or "freemium" supplemental education. Most of the content was well organized in a familiar lesson structure with videos and quizzes. XTB's academy courses covered material for people in all different stages of trading knowledge. Their basic, intermediate, expert and premium courses created an obvious path to learn.
What You Need to Know
The trading markets available through XTB were comprehensive and costs were lower than average overall. Depending on the markets you wish to concentrate on, FxPro may be cheaper than average or more expensive. We generally consider registration with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority a plus for traders who need additional transparency and minimal account protection, which was available at XTB. Standard trading functionality, "expert advisors," back testing, and autotrading are available through MT4, but we found XTB's custom platform, xStation 5, to be more limited. Despite its limitations, the custom application was very fast and easy to use which should be a benefit for new traders. Customer service was above average and very quick to respond on the phone but more erratic via chat.
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