RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
PlusMarkets is an EU broker run by a company that might be considered a newbie compared to other entities operating on the markets for decades. Probably it makes them a bit costly to trade with, which might be a problem for many traders eventually. Find out what you need to know about this broker in the full PlusMarkets review.
PlusMarkets REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
PlusMarkets is a UR TRADE FIX Ltd trading name, a Cyprus Investment Firm that’s duly authorised and regulated by the local financial regulator CySEC. Our research in the register confirmed it’s a legit broker that can guarantee the clients’ safety. Your funds are safe if you deposit with PlusMarkets because it’s a licensed and regulated broker, compliant with the rules imposed and part of the Investment Compensation Fund in Cyprus.
The CySEC(EU) and the FCA(UK) regulated brokers are the FX retail industry leaders due to the security they can provide for the traders. In Europe, the Forex brokers have to comply with many strict rules and regulations, such as minimum capital requirements of 730 000 EUR, personnel qualification standards, segregation of the clients’ accounts and daily trading reports, to name a few. But most importantly, there are money protection schemes in operation securing the clients’ money. Under CySEC(Cyprus) supervision, you can claim up to 20 000 EUR in compensation, while in the UK you are guaranteed of even up to 85 000 GBP. Each EU member state is compelled to operate similar insurance funds, which are seen as the last resort for the traders, in case a Forex broker fails to meet its financial obligations.
PlusMarkets TRADING SOFTWARE
PlusMarkets offers MetaTrader4 accounts to its clients; MetaTrader5 is not available for trading. MT is the most popular retail trading platform, so it’s no wonder that PlusMarkets relies on it. The seasoned traders prefer Metatrader for its stability and ease of use. It also comes with sophisticated trading tools and features such as Expert Advisors, Algo trading, Complex Indicators and Strategy testers, as an example. Metatrader also created a marketplace where you can find more than 10 000 trading apps, and the number is continuously increasing.
PlusMarkets also developed its own web-based platform, which is undoubtedly out of Metatrader’s league but some traders might find it useful, as well. In fact, we weren’t granted access to our MT4 account since we haven’t provided an Identity Proof, and that might be a problem for PlusMarkets. The potential clients aren’t even able to trade demo on MT4, which can drive out many of them.
The EUR/USD spread is 0.2 to 0.6 pips. The Buy/Sell difference certainly makes PlusMarkets a competitive broker, but there are some issues with the fees they collect, which we will discuss in the following section. So we do not recommend PlusMarkets, no matter the favourable spreads they provide.
As a CySEC regulated entity, PlusMarkets offers a maximum leverage level of 1:30 for retailers- regular customers. The leverage is a financial tool making retail trading possible, but it comes at a cost because the risks increase proportionally. That’s why EU, UK and Australia (from 2021) intervened on the markets imposing a leverage cap of 1:30 as a customer protection measure. Canada and the US agreed on 1:50, so we do not recommend brokers offering higher ratios because most of these are low or non-regulated and might as well be a scam. The Swiss brokers are an exception as they are not leverage restricted, but Switzerland protects its customers differently- a license there cost 20 mln Swiss Franks (around 22.6 mln US dollars).
PlusMarkets DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The minimum initial deposit is $200, which is twice higher than the industry standard- $100 on average. It certainly makes PlusMarkets a bit costlier to trade with, but it’s annoying that they make financial advice to the traders- to deposit not less than $1000. A regulated broker certainly shouldn’t do that, so we give PlusMarkets a slap for it!
The only funding method possible is Debit/Credit cards, but we observed another annoying fact undermining the PlusMarkets credibility. You can deposit without an Identity Proof! While we cannot access their MT4 demo accounts unless we submit documents, they allow us to deposit after a quick questionnaire. It’s certainly a reason to avoid PlusMarkets! Yet, the traders will be able to chargeback within 540 days, so it’s a plus that there aren’t various finding methods- Wires and Bitcoin payments are final and non-refundable.
There is no minimum withdrawal requirement, but the fees PlusMarkets impose match the offshore brokers’ standards, not the regulated ones. Bank card withdrawals will be charged with 1% or at least $15. Wire withdrawals will be charged with $30 at least. There are also a conversion fee and a fixed Rollover Swap fee that some traders might find unacceptable. The swaps are usually determined by the Interest rate differences in the pairs traded, so it turns out that carry trades are impossible, making us avoid PlusMarkets straightforward!
We also consider unfair and burdensome the inactivity fees to apply. An account becomes dormant after 90 days of inactivity and will be charged with $15 per month. Other regulated brokers let 6 months or a year pass before making an account dormant and impose a fee of 5 to 10 dollars per month at most.
There are no bonuses or trading incentives offered, and that’s because the EU scraped these marketing tools from the market. Overall, PlusMarkets is a regulated broker, but costly to trade with. So the traders had better take more time for research and find more competitive brokers- there are loads of them on the market.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
A group of scammers usually operates many scam brokers, scam websites and call centres. Sometimes they simply rely on the quantity, by creating as many brokers and websites as possible. Then they would be waiting for traders and investors with little or no experience to bite. Nowadays, it’s cheap to create a fraudulent website, and it looks like a profitable strategy, as they carry on doing it.
The scam brokers legal documents are filled to the brim with unfair clauses and requirements that practically eat up the traders’ balance- unbearable fees, unjust trading volume requirements, monthly administrative fees and so on, the list is endless. The scammers delay the withdrawal requests as much as possible so that the account gets hit by the costs. Eventually, the balance in the account would shrink so much that the scammers do not have to send any money back to the traders and it’s perfectly fine according to the Terms and Conditions that apply. The regulated brokers do not introduce unfair requirements because they’ll get hit by the authorities once they do it. That’s what regulation means!
Anonymous offshore companies are standing behind many fraudulent brokers. Jurisdictions such as the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica or St. Vincent, and the Grenadines are notoriously famous for not regulating their financial sectors adequately. The three mentioned do not even issue Forex broker licenses. It’s easy for scammers to quickly incorporate companies there and unlawfully sell Forex products and services on regulated markets such as the Europen, American or Australian ones. Lack of regulation equals lack of customer protection and safety, so even if the broker is not ill-intentioned, the traders remain vulnerable. That’s why you should always avoid offshore brokers, no matter the promises they make.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
Unfortunately, no one is immune to scam. What you need to do first, in case you got scammed, is to protect yourself from further risks. Contact your bank and explain to them your situation, they will give you necessary instructions to follow and will help you, if possible, recover your money.
Report what happened to you, file a complaint, contact the financial regulator, contact other government institutions related to trading and investing, call the police if you feel necessary. Seek help actively!
It’s crucial not to rush blindly trying to recover your funds because many scam recovery agencies and individuals are stalking, aiming to double scam the victims. They ask for an advanced payment, but do nothing to help you recover your losses and simply pocket the money you’ve sent!
Share online your experience; it’s important to protect others, as well. Be responsible!