The FX Landscape has changed dramatically this year, mostly due to the implementation of MiFID 2 regulations, and rulings by ESMA, in Europe alongside additional government scrutiny of the Chinese FX Market and the exposure of failed profit-sharing models. As a result, we are seeing quite a few licensed FX Brokers for sale, as well as acquisitions within the industry. Therefore, I want to provide you with a comprehensive comparison of regulatory jurisdictions in order to bring you up to speed with the latest trends.
As with most businesses, the operation of a Retail FX Brokerage involves a lot of moving parts that must be synced together to create an efficient and viable business. These would include Legal (KYC, trading agreements, dispute management, regulatory reporting), Trading Platform Administration and Management, Liquidity and Risk Management Provisions, IB management, Client Support, and, of course, Sales and Marketing.
Yesterday, I got an email from one of my old contacts thanking me for persuading him not to go into the retail FX brokerage business last year. The email was sent from the corporate domain of his new business venture, one that is apparently doing well with only a 30% involvement with the FX industry.
There are several ways that an STP brokerage can make a profit. The broker may either charge their clients a commission ($X per $million), apply a markup to the price feed, or perhaps a combination of both.
In MT4, the commission charged to the client is typically set in deposit currency per lot ( In this article, we will be using US Dollars as deposit currency for an easy and clear explanation).
An STP brokerage can also choose to charge their clients a markup, which will be added into spread that their retail clients see. Markup is normally defined as points added per lot. Markup is usually invisible to your clients and tends to be more flexible as you have the ability to adjust the markup according to market conditions.
It’s no secret that we live in a technological world; a world where mobile has long become the prevalent vehicle for communication and business for all of us. Mobile now dominates the world’s search queries and mobile trading is reported to be responsible for around 30% of all trading at FX brokerages, with even higher percentages in Asia. As the world is adjusts to this new reality, the release of mobile apps, for its products, is now a must for FX brokerages and platform providers alike.
When someone starts thinking about opening a Forex brokerage their mind immediately fills with question after question. Which regulatory jurisdiction should I choose? How much capital do I need? What kind of license do I need? How do I get pricing? Where do I base the operation? The “office” / location question is usually the last that comes to mind but the choices made here can determine whether a business succeeds or fails. The following 5 points are therefore worth considering before making any decisions on your brokerage startup:
The world of online Retail FX has become increasingly competitive and congested but, regardless, the industry remains extremely attractive to investors, insiders and entrepreneurs alike. One key factor adding to the attraction is the ease by which a person can actually start their own brokerage. In past years, starting a brokerage normally required expert technology and market knowledge combined with a significant amount of free capital but today, advances in technology and an increase in the options available for regulatory licenses have greatly reduced the cost and the “time-to-market”.
Over the past few years the opportunities and successes in the foreign exchange market have attracted a significant number of investors and traders. The growth in the number of Forex brokers during this time is attributable to the fact that they have realized the tremendous revenue opportunity that is there for them when they own a brokerage rather than simply introducing clients. The increased number of start-up Forex brokers over the last decade is evidence that more and more FX entrepreneurs are finding it more profitable to run their own businesses rather than continuing to funnel business to larger brokers via traditional IB arrangements.