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Swissquote Review 2020
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Recommended for affluent investors who value safety and are OK with higher fees
Swissquote is a Swiss investment bank established in 1996. It has two main trading arms: a Swiss unit for trading stocks, funds, options and futures and a company in the UK for CFDs and forex.
Formally, Swissquote Bank Ltd is based in Switzerland and is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the country’s financial regulator.
The other entity, Swissquote Ltd, is UK-based and offers CFDs and forex. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial authority.
Swissquote is considered safe because Swissquote Bank Ltd has a banking license, it is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, discloses detailed financials regularly and it has a long track record.
For clarity, in this review we focus on the Swiss entity, but also discuss services of the UK arm, especially in the case of CFD and forex trading. To make it clear which company we are talking about, we will refer to the Swiss entity as «Swissquote (CH)» and to the UK-based entity as «Swissquote Forex (UK)«.
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Swissquote pros and cons
Swissquote offers access to many markets, including many international ones. There is also no inactivity fee. As a listed Swiss broker with a banking background, Swissquote scores high on safety.
Swissquote has high fees. Its selection of multiple trading platforms is a bit overwhelming, and some of its research tools are not free.
|• Access to many markets and products||• High trading fees|
|• No inactivity fee||• Confusing trading platform selection|
|• Rock-solid background||• Some research tools are not free|
|️ Country of regulation||Switzerland, UK, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore|
|Trading fees class||High|
|Inactivity fee charged||No|
|Withdrawal fee amount||$10|
|Time to open an account||1 day|
|Deposit with credit card||Available|
|Depositing with electronic wallet||Not available|
|Number of base currencies supported||15|
|Demo account provided||Yes|
|️ Products offered||Stock, ETF, Forex, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures, CFD, Crypto, Themes trading|
Author of this review
Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology
Swissquote doesn’t charge an inactivity fee and you can trade an impressive selection of funds for favorable fees. On the other hand, trading fees are generally high, including for stocks and ETFs, and there is a fee for withdrawing your money.
|• Low forex fees||• High trading fees|
|• Low fund fees||• High stock and ETF fees|
|• No inactivity fee||• High bond fees|
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|US stock||High||Flat commission depending on the trade value: ranges between $15 and $190|
|EURUSD||Low||The fees are built into spread, 1.3 pips is the average spread cost.|
|Mutual fund||Low||$9 per trade|
|Inactivity fee||Low||No inactivity fee charged|
We ranked Swissquote’s fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.
To get things rolling, let’s go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.
- Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
- Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.
In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of Swissquote for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investments the most important fees are commissions.
We also compared Swissquote’s fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Saxo Bank and Degiro. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Swissquote alternatives.
To have a clear overview of Swissquote, let’s start with the trading fees.
Swissquote trading fees
Swissquote’s trading fees are high. We recommend Swissquote if you want high-quality service and are willing to pay a higher price for it. If you prefer lower costs, there are discount brokers out there that are likely better options for you.
Swissquote’s fee calculation is transparent. As a default, the pricing structure is volume-based, which means the higher the volume, the less fees you pay. You can, however, change the pricing structure to a fixed-rate plan, where you can pre-purchase a set amount of trades for a flat price. In this review, we calculated using the volume-based fee structure.
Stock fees and ETF fees
Swissquote has high stock and ETF commissions. Prices are far higher than the average fees of some competitor brokers in the same league and significantly higher than discount brokers’ commissions.
The stock trading fee calculation is volume-based and transparent. Let’s have a quick overview of trading fee terms for the available stock exchanges:
|Transaction value ($)||Trading fee on Swiss stock/ETF||Trading fee on US stock/ETF||Trading fee on UK, German, Scandinavian, and Canadian stock/ETF|
|0 – 500||9||15||25|
|500 – 2,000||20||25||25|
|2,000 – 10,000||30||30||30|
|10,000 – 15,000||55||55||55|
|15,000 – 25,000||80||80||80|
|25,000 – 50,000||135||135||135|
|more than 50,000||190||190||190|
|Market||Commission (% of trade value)||Minimum traded amount|
|Asia and Pacific|
|Sri Lanka||1.00||CHF 400|
|United Arab Emirates||0.75||CHF 150|
If you prefer stock trading on margin or short sale, you should check Swissquote’s financing rates.
Financing rates or margin rate is charged when you trade on margin or short a stock. This basically means that you borrow money or stocks from your broker to trade, for which you have to pay interest. This is the financing rate and it can be a significant proportion of your trading costs.
Swissquote financing rates are average but higher than at the competitors in our comparison. The financing rates vary based on the base currency of your margin account.
|USD margin rate||4.7%||–||3.1%|
|GBP margin rate||4.0%||–||1.9%|
|EUR margin rate||3.0%||–||0.8%|
These margin rates apply for futures and options as well.
Swissquote’s forex fees are low.
To have a clear picture of forex fees, we calculated a forex benchmark fee for major currency pairs. This catch-all benchmark includes commissions, spreads and financing costs for all brokers.
|EURUSD benchmark fee||$15.8||$15.5||–|
|GBPUSD benchmark fee||$12.5||$12.8||–|
|AUDUSD benchmark fee||$14.4||$13.7||–|
|EURCHF benchmark fee||$4.3||$4.6||–|
|EURGBP benchmark fee||$10.6||$10.2||–|
Both Swissquote Forex (UK) and Swissquote (CH) have spread on trading.
Swissquote’s fund fees are low. Mutual fund fees differ depending on the mutual fund providers.
We calculated the fees for the most popular mutual fund providers, such as BlackRock and Fidelity.
Swissquote charges $9 per trade for ‘Premium’ funds, i.e. funds issued by prominent fund providers like BlackRock.
For other mutual funds, fees vary. For example, you can trade some Swiss funds for free.
Swissquote has generally high bond fees.
|US Treasury bond||$75.0||$88.0||–|
|EU government bond||$55.0||$88.0||$10.5|
Swissquote charges a minimum fee as well as a percentage fee, which is quite high.
|Trading fee||Minimum trading fee|
|All major OTC bond markets||0.3%|
|US stock index options||$19.9||$40.0||$5.0|
|German stock index options||$11.0||$44.0||$9.9|
Swissquote options fees are volume-based, i.e. based on the number of contracts.
|Trading fee per contract||Minimum|
|CME E-mini NASDAQ and S&P500||$1.99||$5|
Swissquote’s futures fees are high.
|US stock index futures||$19.9||$40.0||$5.0|
|German stock index futures||$11.0||$44.0||$8.3|
The fee formula for index futures is the same as for index options, e.g. €1 per contract with a €5 minimum commission.
Swissquote has low CFD trading fees.
To have a clear understanding of CFD fees, we calculated a CFD benchmark fee for the selected products. This catch-all benchmark includes commissions, spreads and financing costs for all brokers.
|S&P 500 index CFD fee||$1.2||$2.2||–|
|Europe 50 index CFD fee||$1.7||$2.1||–|
CFD trading fees are built into spreads. We calculated with 20:1 leverage for stock index CFDs and 5:1 leverage for single stock CFDs.
You can find the full fee table for CFDs on the Swissquote website.
Swissquote provides CFDs on five cryptocurrencies. There is a bid-ask spread, plus a commission:
- 1% for trade volume up to CHF 10,000
- 0.75% for trade volume between CHF 10,000 and 50,000
- 0.5% above CHF 50,000
Swissquote provides a robo-advisory service. Fees vary depending on the amount of money you invest.
This fee is high – just to give a benchmark, ETFMatic, a European robo-advisor, charges around 0.6% annually.
|Money invested, in CHF||Total annual fee of the portfolio|
|10,000 – 200,000||1.25%|
|200,001 – 350,000||1.10%|
Swissquote has average non-trading fees.
There is no inactivity fee and account fee. Depositing money is also free via bank transfer, but credit/debit card transfers are charged with a 2.2-2.5% fee. Swissquote (CH) charges a withdrawal fee, whereas Swissquote Forex (UK) does not.
There is also a high custody fee, which is charged after the securities you hold. The fee is 0.025% quarterly, with a CHF 15 minimum and CHF 50 maximum.
Swissquote offers a fully digital account opening, although we encountered some technical difficulties during the identification process. There is no minimum deposit for trading accounts, but a high minimum for forex and robo-advisory accounts.
|• Fully digital||• Technical difficulties|
|• No minimum deposit for trading account||• Forex and robo-advisor accounts have high minimum|
Can you open an account?
Swissquote is a global stockbroker. Swissquote Forex (UK) serves residents from around 150 countries, while Swissquote (CH) serves some 120 countries. This includes all European and most major non-European countries, e.g. Australia, Hong Kong, etc.
You can’t open an account at Swissquote Forex (UK) if you are from the US or Japan, and there are some smaller countries where the services of Swissquote (CH) are not available.
What is the minimum deposit at Swissquote?
There is no minimum deposit for trading accounts at Swissquote (CH). Forex accounts require between $1,000 and $50,000 minimum depending on the forex account you choose, while robo-advisory accounts require a minimum of CHF 10,000.
At Swissquote Forex (UK), there are different account types with different minimum deposit requirements:
- Premium account – €1,000 minimum
- Prime account – €5,000 minimum
- Elite account – €10,000 minimum
Swissquote (CH) offers three account types that differ in the required minimum deposit, the products you can trade with and the available trading platforms:
|Minimum deposit||Tradable products||Available trading platforms|
|Trading account||No minimum||Equities, ETFs, Funds, Bonds, Futures, Options, Forex and CFDs||eTrading|
|Forex account*||$1,000-50,000||Forex and CFDs||Advanced Trader, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5|
|Robo-advisory account||CHF 10,000||Robo-advisor invests in funds||Robo-advisor’s platform|
*Within the forex account, you can choose from four different accounts, which differ in pricing and minimum deposit.
- Standard – $1,000 minimum deposit, spreads from 1.7 pip, but no commission
- Premium – $10,000 minimum deposit, spreads from 1.4 pip, but no commission
- Prime – $50,000 minimum deposit, spreads from 1.1 pip, but no commission
- Professional – custom spreads, for applying you have to talk with Swissquote
It’s also interesting, that leverage can be 1:100 for certain products, which is higher than the ESMA-regulated leverage levels.
At the London-based Swissquote Ltd you can open three account types, which differ in their pricing structure, minimum deposit, and maximum leverage:
|Minimum deposit||Spreads||Commission||Maximum leverage|
|Premium account||€1,000||From 1.3 pips||No commission||as per ESMA-regulation|
|Prime account||€5,000||From 0.6 pips||No commission||as per ESMA-regulation|
|Elite account||€10,000||From 0.0 pips||€2.5 per lot per trade||as per ESMA-regulation|
|Professional*||€10,000||From 0.0 pips||€2.5 per lot per trade||1:400|
*For qualifying to the professional account, you have to satisfy these three criteria:
- Trade with derivatives, like CFD or forex, in significant size, and on average 10 times per quarter in the last four quarters
- Have a portfolio of at least €500,000.
- You had to work in the financial sector for at least one year.
How to open your account
Video identification is available both for the Swiss and UK entities, but we encountered some technical difficulties in both cases and the waiting times (more than 5 minutes) for the operators were inconvenient.
Deposit and withdrawal
Depositing at Swissquote is quick with credit/debit card and can be done in several base currencies. On the negative side, you can only withdraw money via bank transfer.
|• Quick deposit and withdrawal – within 3 days||• Credit/Debit card withdrawal not available|
|• Several account base currencies for forex account|
Account base currencies
There are three available account base currencies for the stock, ETF, mutual fund, bond, options, and futures trading are CHF, EUR, and USD.
If you open a forex and CFD account, you can choose from 15 base currencies: GBP, EUR, CHF, AUD, JPY, PLN, CZK, HUF, USD, CAD, TRY, SEK, NOK, SGD, XGD . This selection is between Degiro and Saxo.
|Number of base currencies||15||19||9|
Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don’t have to pay a conversion fee.
A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.
Deposit fees and options
Swissquote (CH) charges no deposit fees for bank transfers. For credit and debit card transfers deposit fees are somewhere between 2.2% and 2.5%, depending on your residency.
Swissquote Forex (UK) does not charge a fee for depositing funds.
A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is nearly instant. It took 1 hour for us when we tested it.
You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.
Swissquote withdrawal fees and options
Swissquote withdrawal fees depend on where you trade, which country you transfer to and the currency of the transaction. Withdrawals at Swissquote Forex (UK) are free of charge, while Swissquote (CH) charges €2 for euro withdrawals and $10 for US dollar withdrawals.
|Currency||Withdrawal within Switzerland, Liechtenstein or the SEPA* countries||Withdrawal outside Switzerland, Liechtenstein or the SEPA* countries|
|For the full list, visit Swissquote’s website|
*SEPA or Single Euro Payment Area countries include all EU and EFTA countries.
Both the UK and the Swiss entity’s clients can only use bank transfers for withdrawal.
How long does it take to withdraw money from Swissquote? Swissquote says that it will send your withdrawal on the same day. We tested it and it took 1 day. You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.
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Web trading platform
The Swissquote (CH) eTrading platform has a lot of functions, so many that sometimes it can get complicated. Customizability is good and a there is a clear overview of trading fees, but you may run into some bugs.
|• Clear fee report||• Account login and search function bugs|
|• Good customizability (for charts, workspace)||• Easy to get lost among functions|
|• Available in several languages|
|Web||4.2 / 5 stars||Yes|
|Mobile||4.7 / 5 stars||Yes|
Swissquote provides several trading platforms, and it can be difficult to decide which one to choose.
If you are trading stocks, the eTrading platform is the one for you.
If you are trading with forex you can choose MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 or Swissquote’s own platform, Advanced Trader.
|Trading platform||Tradable products||Swissquote entity|
|eTrading||Equities, ETFs, Funds, Bonds, Futures, Options||Switzerland|
|Forex and CFDs||Switzerland, UK|
In this review, we concentrate on Swissquote’s eTrading platform.
Swissquote’s trading platform is available in English, German, French and Italian. However, you may easily encounter instances when one subsection of a page suddenly changes to German, or that your news flow contains a mix of English, German, French and sometimes Italian news.
Look and feel
Swissquote’s eTrading web platform design is average and functional. It feels clean but a bit outdated; functions are clear, while navigating among sections could be a bit better.
In some cases the platform is too Swiss-focused. For example, the Swiss stock market is at the top of the menu, above US and Europe. It can also be difficult to find how to go back to the previous menu. In many cases, you log out from the platform when you navigate between sections and need to log in again. This was quite annoying.
The platform can be customized to your preferences.
Login and security
The default at Swissquote is a simple login, but you can set a more secure authentication with a physical code card or through mobile authentication. Read more about Swissquote’s 2-step identification here.
The search function is good. Depending on the asset categories, you can set plenty of advanced filter parameters, such as rating, sector, risk, analyst recommendation, market cap, etc.
On the other hand, the search results are not always satisfactory. Swiss assets are always overrepresented in the results and many times not the most important assets are at the top of the list. We also encountered timeouts several times while waiting for search results.
The order panel is simple, with only four order types:
The order term can only be set by date. In case of some exchanges (e.g. SIX, the Swiss exchange) you get some additional order types and terms.
To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.
Alerts and notifications
You can set up price alerts and make a watchlist. With news alerts you can have a custom alert box filled with news of your choice. You get notifications when your trades are executed. In addition to the alert section in the trading platform, you can opt in for email notifications as well.
Portfolio and fee reports
It is simple to check your portfolio. Trading fees are easy to see on the order panel before submission, but it is relatively hard to get a clear report on all the fees you paid. For example, you need to wait 30 minutes to have your asset statement compiled.
Mobile trading platform
Swissquote’s eTrading has a user-friendly and well-designed mobile trading platform. The search function is simple, although sometimes the results are weighted a bit strangely, like on the web platform.
|• User-friendly||• No advanced search filters|
|• Good search function|
|• Price alerts|
Swissquote provides mobile trading platforms for all of its web trading platforms:
- MetaTrader 4
- MetaTrader 5
- Advanced Trader
These are all available both for iOS and Android. In this review, we tested eTrading on iOS.
The platform is available in English, French, German and Italian, but the app language depends on your phone’s language setting.
Look and feel
The Swissquote mobile trading platform looks modern and easy to use, but sometimes you have to go deep to find all the functionalities. We liked that if you rotate your phone horizontally, you can see a more detailed view of some lists and charts.
Login and security
Swissquote provides only a one-step login, but if you turn on Level 3 security, it prompts you to submit a separate secure PIN.
After logging in, you can set biometric authentication, which is a convenient feature.
The search function is quite simple and lacks the advanced filters available on the web platform. You can only set asset type classes. The results are sometimes overweighted toward Swiss assets, similarly to the eTrading web platform.
You can use the following order types:
The only order time limit you can use is Good ’til Date (GTD).
In case of some exchanges (e.g. SIX) you get some additional order types and terms.
Alerts and notifications
You can set price, news and order confirmation alerts and notifications on the mobile platform.
Desktop trading platform
There is no dedicated desktop trading platform for trading stocks, ETFs, bonds or mutual funds. Forex accounts have three trading platforms: Advanced Trader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
Markets and products
At Swissquote (CH) you have access to many markets and trade with a lot of different product types. At Swissquote Forex (UK) you can trade only forex and some CFDs.
Swissquote (CH) offers a lot of different products, with almost everything available, from stocks to options. Swissquote also has a wide selection of available markets and an exceptionally broad range of mutual funds. The selection of bonds, options and futures is OK.
Stocks and ETFs
Swissquote offers access to 60 stock exchanges worldwide. This is a really wide selection of markets, better than Saxo’s or Degiro’s although not as high as Interactive Broker’s 78 . Swissquote also offers US penny stocks.
You can trade with a decent number of ETFs, though not as many as its main competitors offer.
|Stock markets (#)||60||36||30|
Swissquote Forex (UK) provides 78 currency pairs. This is a high number, although not as high as at Saxo Bank.
|Currency pairs (#)||78||182||–|
There is a very wide range of funds availabe at Swissquote, with around 13,000 mutual funds from some 340 fund service providers.
|Fund providers (#)||340||17||68|
Swissquote’s selection of bonds is great too. It is wider than Saxo’s or Degiro’s, but smaller than Interactive Broker’s.
The number of available options markets is OK, but less than what is offered by Saxo or Degiro.
|Options markets (#)||6||23||13|
Swissquote provides access to a few futures markets.
|Futures markets (#)||6||23||15|
Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Swissquote offers CFDs through its UK entity. Besides forex, you can trade CFDs on stock indices, commodities and bonds. Individual stock and ETF CFDs are not available.
|Stock index CFDs (#)||26||29||–|
|Stock CFDs (#)||–||8,800||900|
|ETF CFDs (#)||–||675||–|
|Commodity CFDs (#)||17||19||–|
|Bond CFDs (#)||3||5||–|
Swissquote offers 5 cryptos as CFDs. These are not leveraged CFDs though, you can only trade them without leverage.
In addition to cryptos as CFDs, you can theoretically buy Bitcoin and Ether ETNs on the Swedish Nasdaq. However, we could not find the products’ ISIN number on Swissquote’s platform, even though «Scandinavian markets» are available.
Swissquote has an excellent special product, called themes trading. These trading ideas are based on a common theme, which can be quite interesting. A few examples:
- African Consumer
- China’s Dragons
- BioTech Revolution
- Robotics & AI
The underlying portfolio and the past performance of these products are well documented. We really liked this themes trading service.
Swissquote provides a robo-advisory service. It’s suitable for you if you don’t want to manage your investments on your own or simply need to gain some confidence in investing.
However, the minimum investment amount starts from CHF 10,000 and fees range between 0.95% and 1.25%. This fee is quite high in comparison with other robo-advisors.
Swissquote offers a good interactive chart and lots of news from various sources in different languages, although the mix of languages can be confusing. Some research services are only for a fee, which is a huge drawback as the free ones are mostly basic.
|• Good interactive chart||• Limited fundamental data|
|• Trading ideas||• News flow in 3 languages at the same time|
|• Quality news flow||• Recommendations are not structured|
Swissquote’s free research services are OK, but not the best in class. It also provides some more advanced subscription-based research, but the fees are not competitive. In this review, as with other brokers, we concentrate only on the free services.
Swissquote research is available in English, German and French. Some reports are also available in Italian, Spanish, Czech, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.
There are some reports and news commentaries. These are ad-hoc and you cannot search for a specific asset or market. The recommendations may include a target price and can be based on either fundamental or technical analysis. There are also rankings for stocks, which are a synthesis of analyst recommendations.
You can access a limited amount of fundamental data for free. You can see historical earnings per share (EPS) and company calendars.
Swissquote provides trading ideas based on a common theme. This is called Themes Trading and you can either cherry-pick assets from the thematic portfolios or trade them as a structured product.
Swissquote has a good charting tool. It’s easy to use, complex, but not overcomplicated. You have 18 technical indicators, which is not a lot compared to other brokers. You can save the chart on the charting tool, which is a handy feature.
It’s worth signing up for Swissquote’s newsletters, as their quality is good, content is useful, and you can choose the topics that interest you.
The news flow is in a mix of languages both on the website and in eTrader. It’s confusing to see German, English, French and Italian news at the same time if you don’t speak all of these languages (thumbs up if you do!). You can set a filter, but it will not be saved, so you need to do it every time. There is no economic calendar, at least we didn’t find one.
Other research tools you will enjoy
There is ‘Pulse’, which is a Facebook wall-like tool for traders. The discussion was mostly in French when we checked.
For professional traders, Swissquote provides an API, called FIX API. This API allows you to be directly connected with Swissquote’s liquidity providers, which can make your trades cheaper and faster.
Swissquote has phone, email and live chat support. When tested, the live chat operator could not answer more complex pricing-related questions.
|• Phone support||• No 24/7 support|
|• Live chat||• Live chat answers are not always satisfactory|
|• Fast response time|
You can contact Swissquote customer service via:
Response times were short on the phone (1-2 minutes) and by email (1 day), and average on live chat. The relevancy of the answers was good most of the time, but on live chat it we did not always get satisfactory information.
Customer service is available in multiple languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. Most likely some other major languages are available as well, but not minor ones like Hungarian. It can get a bit confusing whether you are speaking with the Swiss or the UK office, and they cannot provide information on the other entity.
It would be great to have 24/7 availability. They are available from 11 pm Sunday to 11 pm Friday.
Swissquote provides easy-to understand and professional educational videos, ebooks, webinars and tutorials.
|• Demo account||None|
|• Trading platform tutorial|
|• Educational videos|
There are a lot of good-quality educational tools available, such as:
- Tutorial videos for the platforms
- Forex learning center with educational videos, ebooks
- Webinars and seminars
Swissquote is considered safe on multiple levels: it’s regulated by top-tier authorities, listed on the Swiss exchange, discloses its financial statements and has a banking license.
|• Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority||None|
|• Banking background|
|• Listed on stock exchange|
Is Swissquote regulated?
Yes, Swissquote is a Switzerland -based broker established in 1996, serving clients from all over the globe and it’s regulated by top-tier financial authorities.
The main entities (CH, UK) are regulated by:
- Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Other Swissquote entities are regulated by:
- Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
- Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)
- Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Is Swissquote safe?
To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:
- how you are protected if something goes wrong
- what the background of the broker is
How you are protected
Since Swissquote operates multiple legal entities, investor protection depends on which one you are a client of.
- Swissquote Bank Ltd is based in Switzerland and regulated by FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator. If you are a client here, you get CHF 100,000 investor protection per account.
- Swissquote Ltd is based in the UK and regulated by the FCA, the UK’s financial authority. Clients are covered by £85,000 in investor protection per account.
Swissquote also has other subsidiaries for residents in the Middle East and Asia.
|Country of client||Protection amount||Regulator||Legal entity|
|120 countries||CHF 100,000||Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)||Swissquote Bank Ltd|
|150 countries||£85,000||Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)||Swissquote Ltd|
|For residents in the Middle East||CHF 100,000*||Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)||Swissquote MEA Ltd|
|China and the region||No protection||Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)||Swissquote Asia Ltd|
|Singapore||No protection||Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)||Swissquote Pte Ltd|
*Middle-Eastern residents’ assets are held in Switzerland. This means that clients at Swissquote MEA Ltd are under FINMA’s protection as well.
Also, in 2020, Swissquote acquired Internaxx. It has no significant impact on the service Internaxx provides, e.g. clients opening an account at Internaxx will use Internaxx’s platforms and fees. However, it has a significant impact on the safety and background of Internaxx as Swissquote has strong financials, listed on a stock exchange, and has banking background, which means additional safety for Internaxx as well.
Swissquote provides negative balance protection for forex spot and CFD trading, but only for retail clients from the European Union. Professional and non-EU clients are not covered with any negative balance protection.
Swissquote (CH) was established in 1996, while Swissquote (UK), the forex division was established in 2008. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises. In Swissquote’s case this means 23 years, which indicates a solid performance.
Swissquote has a banking license, and as such, it is subject to tougher regulations than brokers.
Swissquote is listed on the stock exchange, which is a big plus for safety as Swissquote releases financial statements regularly and transparently.
Having a banking license, being listed on a stock exchange, providing financial statements, and being regulated by top-tier authorities are all great signs for Swissquote’s safety.
For traders who require a multi-asset solution and are willing to pay a premium to have their brokerage account held with a Swiss bank, Swissquote is worth a consideration. Otherwise, Swissquote’s UK-based offering provides a better all-round deal.
Top Takeaways for 2020
After spending five months testing 30 of the best forex brokers for our 4th Annual Review, here are our top findings on Swissquote:
- Founded in 1996, Swissquote is publicly-traded (SIX: SQN) and regulated in four tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading. As a forex broker that also operates two banks, Swissquote takes our top award for best banking services.
- While Swissquote’s Advanced Trader platform suite is user-friendly, its underlying platform technology needs an upgrade from flash to HTML5. Fortunately, Swissquote offers the full MetaTrader platform suite, which also comes with better pricing.
- Swissquote offers full support for the underlying trading of crypto-assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, making it one of our top picks for cryptocurrency trading.
- Exclusive market analysis, Trading signals, Fast Execution Try a demo now
|Offering of Investments||4.5 Stars|
|Commissions & Fees||3.5 Stars|
|Platform & Tools||4 Stars|
|Mobile Trading||4 Stars|
|Customer Service||4 Stars|
Is Swissquote Safe?
Swissquote is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. Swissquote is a publicly traded company, operates a regulated bank, and is authorised by four tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and no tier-3 regulators (low trust). Swissquote is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Monetary Authority of Sinagpore (MAS), Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Swissquote was the first bank in the world to add the trading of underlying cryptocurrencies (non-CFDs), including bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. Swissquote clients can trade ten cryptocurrency pairs from within the Trading account, and with support for withdrawing to external crypto wallets.
It is worth noting that crypto is segmented away in the Trading account offering, along with a vast selection of tradeable markets, yet doesn’t support forex trading. In comparison, the Forex account offering provides a limited range of just 130 tradeable symbols, but supports forex trading. Combining these offerings into one account would be a nice boost for Swissquote’s customer experience.
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Swissquote clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||78|
|CFDs – Total Offered||52|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||No|
Commissions & Fees
The commissions and spreads from Swissquote’s UK entity, Swissquote Ltd, differ slightly from its Switzerland entity, Swissquote Bank Ltd. Between the two, UK based accounts provide a better deal with the trade-off being a smaller product offering.
UK entity: At Swissquote’s UK entity, if you are an active trader and deposit at least $10,000, the Elite account is available. It comes with a commission of 5 EUR (2.5 per side) per Round-Turn (RT) trade, in addition to low prevailing spreads. This pricing is comparable to other multi-asset brokers that have active trading offerings.
Account comparison: A Standard, Premium, and Prime (Elite in the UK) account are offered at both Swissquote’s UK and Swiss entity. However, the spreads and required minimum deposits are lower in the UK for the same account compared to the Swiss entity, except for the standard account (Premium in the UK), which is accessible with a $1,000 deposit. The most competitive commission-free account for retail traders at Swissquote appears to be the firm’s UK Premium account, which requires a $5k deposit with spreads as low as 0.6 pips.
Execution method: It’s worth noting that Swissquote’s UK entity executes trades on an agency basis (matched-principal). In contrast, the Swiss entity uses a hybrid of both dealing-desk and agency execution when it comes to its forex/CFD offering. No matter how you slice the data, regardless if you are a high deposit active trader or casual mini account trader, Swissquote’s Swiss entity is more expensive. That said, the one drawback to the UK account offering is a more limited offering of tradeable instruments.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$1000.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD – Standard||N/A|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD – Active||N/A|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
Despite touting its proprietary platform suite, Advanced Trader (desktop and web versions), the Swissquote trading experience fails to impress and compete with industry leaders such as IG and CMC Markets. Thankfully, the full MetaTrader suite (MT4 desktop, MT4 web, and MT5) is available as an alternative.
Advanced Trader web: The web-based version of Advanced Trader requires flash, making it unsupported in most major browsers and is in desperate need of an upgrade to HTML 5. During our tests, even after enabling flash, certain features such as charts would not load, even after price data was updating.
Advanced Trader desktop: Looking at the desktop version of Advanced Trader, charts are cleanly designed and come with 49 indicators (17 overlays and 32 studies) alongside 16 drawing tools and integrated chart patterns. While the platform is Java-based, I found certain platform features were not very responsive and didn’t load quickly. Resizing various modules was not as smooth as I would have liked, leaving room for improvement in the user experience in the Advanced Trader platform.
While Swissquote provides a mostly industry standard offering (streaming news headlines, economic calendar, blog commentary), the broker goes above and beyond in quality, helping to differentiate itself from competitors.
Tailored products and content: Swissquote’s quantitative research team helps structure some of its products, such as the exchange-traded certificate for crypto. The group provides analysis and market commentary and publishes a bi-monthly magazine which I found to be of high-quality.
Third-party tools: Swissquote provides traders access to Trading Central, and AutoChartist, which are both popular providers of automated chart pattern analysis and trading signals.
Swissquote’s Advanced Trader mobile app is easy to use and cleanly designed. However it lacks in features and overall just meets the industry standard. For traders who prefer not to use Swissquote’s mobile app, MetaTrader is available.
Research: In the Advanced Trader mobile app, research is limited to headlines streaming from the Dow Jones Newswire.
Charts: Shifting to the charting module in the Advanced Trader app, while there are six chart types and various time frames to choose, the charts do not auto-rotate when the phone is in landscape mode, which is disappointing. Also, there are no indicators or drawing tools, and no ability to zoom into chart data (only scroll), which limits the usability of the charts.
Educational content: I was glad to see that instructional videos are available in the Advanced Trader app. Adding market analysis videos would be even better as research is otherwise light in the app as noted above.
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2020 Review, 330 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
- Average Connection Time: th (22 brokers)
All in all, while Swissquote is a trusted, global brand, its Swiss-based forex and CFDs offering is a mixed bag. The best all-around forex trader experience comes through the firm’s UK entity, using the MetaTrader platform.
Founded in 1996, Swissquote (SIX: SQN) became publicly-listed in 2000 on the SIX Swiss stock exchange and has since grown to be an established banking group with nearly 340,000 client accounts across its subsidiaries that are regulated in Europe and Asia.
With its headquarters in Switzerland, Swissquote Bank offers traders access to over two and a half million products, including shares, ETFs, funds, bonds, warrants, futures, forex, options, and other securities. In addition, Swissquote offers comprehensive wealth management and advisory services. Read more on Wikipedia about Swissquote.
Swissquote Trading Features
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||Yes|
|Charting – Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting – Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting – Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists – Total Fields||7|
|Order Type – Trailing Stop||Yes|
Swissquote Research Features
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Sentiment – Currency Pairs||No|
Swissquote Mobile App Features
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading – Forex||Yes|
|Trading – CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts – Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting – Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting – Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting – Trend Lines Moveable||No|
|Charting – Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting – Drawings Autosave||No|
2020 Review Methodology
For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers over a five month time period. Each broker was graded on 105 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
«There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses.» Learn more.
Swissquote Ltd is the London-based subsidiary of Swissquote Bank
Investopedia is committed to rigorous editorial standards to provide our readers with the best advice and recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we reviewed. Learn more about our methodology and review process.
- Account Minimum: $1,000
- Fees: Minimum spreads of 1.7 pips for EUR/USD
- Best for: Competitive fees plus customer support
Swissquote Group Holding has been in business since 1996 and as of 2020 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.
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