RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
In this review, we will discuss the TradeATF brand, which is run by a licensed entity that’s been spotted acting questionably for the last few years and up to date. It’s a broker offering the standard Forex and CFDs instruments, providing leverage up to 1:400 and tight spreads. However, their regulatory status is a bit concerning and makes it impossible for us to recommend. It’s also a costly broker, find out why in the full TradeATF review.
TradeATF REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
First of all, we have to make a distinction between two of the websites these people stand behind. Tradeatf.com is a domain belonging to the brand owned by Hoch Capital Ltd. It’s a Cyprus firm that was licensed to operate on the European FX market. However, they had some problems with the local regulator CySEC and the Italian CONSOB. The Italians even disallowed Hoch Capital to provide products and services on their territory back in 2019. As of the middle of 2020, the company’s CySEC license is suspended. In fact, the website is still running, but it’s impossible to register.
On the other hand, there is global.tradeatf.com– a website owned and operated by BAYLINE TRADING LIMITED, a Belize company holding an ISFC license to act as a Forex broker. Both websites are almost identical in appearance, sharing the same logo, so we are talking about the same brand. We can’t recommend this broker due to the regulatory problems they had with the Europeans, notwithstanding the IFSC authorisation. Your funds might be at risk if you deposit with TradeATF because it’s a controversial broker, which has already proven to be unreliable.
Also, BAYLINE TRADING LIMITED operates another broker, we’ve already reviewed- InvestLite. Have a look at it, there are way too many similarities, which make both of them too expensive to trade with.
You’d better consider the European brokers and the British brokers we recommend. Those are strictly regulated by the European financial authorities, meaning they operate in a safe environment. The clients are covered by the deposit insurance funds laid down as a last resort for traders in case of insolvency or fraud. The Cyprus brokers’ clients can claim up to 20 000 EUR, while the British protections are up to 85 000 GBP. Also, there are many customer protection regulations such as capital adequacy of 730 000 EUR and clients’ accounts segregation, to name the comprehensive ones.
The Belize license is also respected, but the country lags in customer protection. The minimum capital requirement in Belize is $500 000, but that’s the only regulation worth mentioning. However, the license obtained make TradeATF much safer than the rest of the offshore brokers, but still not recommended. We’ll end the regulatory analysis by pointing out that customers from particular countries are not accepted.
TradeATF TRADING SOFTWARE
TradeATF offers MetaTrader4, Webtrader and Mobile trading app. We downloaded MT4, but it was impossible to create an account through the platform. At the same time, we weren’t allow to register because we reside in a country they restrict, so it was impossible to access their trading software. Which is actually fair, and that’s precisely what they have to do.
Do not miss to see the MetaTrader4 brokers and MetaTrader5 brokers we recommend. MT is the platform traders worldwide prefer because of its reliability. It comes with sophisticated trading tools such as Expert Advisors and Algo trading, to name the two most outstanding features MetaTrader provides. They also developed a marketplace with more than 10 000 trading apps available at the time of writing.
TradeATF claims to offer spreads starting from 0.1 pips, which is the Best Buy/Sell difference for traders by the way. The spread forms part of the trading costs, so lower rates make trading conditions more favourable. The industry standard is 1 pip and below. The FX market is bustling with legit companies offering favourable rates, so follow the links provided throughout the review to find the best broker for you.
The leverage offered is up to 1:400, a level too risky for traders, which might cause significant losses very quickly indeed. However, unlike some other jurisdictions, there are no leverage restrictions in Belize, so it’s okay considering the license they have. Due to the risks involved, the European, British and Australian brokers (from the spring of 2021) are restricted to 1:30, while the Canadian brokers and the US brokers can’t offer higher than 1:50. The Swiss brokers are free to provide any ratio they want, but the capital adequacy requirement of 20 million francs makes it impossible for scammers to operate with Swiss license.
We can’t recommend TradeATF also due to the unhealthy leverage they offer.
TradeATF DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
There are no deposit limits, so traders can fund their account with as much as they want. It’s in line with the industry standards- $100 on average. The funding methods available are Credit/Debit cards, Wire Transfers, Skrill and Neteller. We advise traders to deposit via Credit/Debit cards only because by far it’s the safest funding method. It allows to chargeback within 540 days from the transfer date, if unfortunately, things go wrong.
Still, if you have a preferred funding method see our lists with Skrill brokers, Neteller brokers, FasaPay brokers, Sofort brokers and Bitcoin brokers. Just bear in mind that Bitcoin transfers are final and non-refundable.
The minimum withdrawal amount is $100, which we consider an unfair requirement. Most of the legit brokers impose no or tiny withdrawal requirements, so make up your mind. The withdrawals are free of charge, but the request processing time might take up to 7 days, which is a lifetime compared to the legit brokers’ industry standards- 48 hours on average.
The dormant account policy is the aspect which makes us strongly not recommend TradeATF. After only 60 days of inactivity, an account becomes dormant and will be subject to a monthly deduction starting from 80 EUR. It’s around 10 times worse than the industry standards- 5 to 10 dollars per month at most. But it’s only the beginning because the fee increases gradually reaching up to 500 EUR, which is insane. Have a look at the picture at the end of the section for more information.
Generally, TradeATF offers bonuses, but the additional provisions introduced makes it almost impossible to withdraw. To redeem the bonus “requires that a customer wager a total account volume which will be up to twenty thousand (20,000) times the leveraged value of the qualifying deposit”. It’s quite an obscure definition though, but traders should keep in mind that it makes the bonus a misleading tool. Many traders consider the trading incentives free money, but these are not. The bonus is a leverage tool further increasing the risks. Beware!
Overall, TradeATF is a legit broker, but a controversial one. It had problems with some of the European regulators for breaching the financial rules in the EU, which is an argument enough to stay safe and find a better company.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
New types of investment scams come about literally every day. However, most of the new schemes represent a modification of common fraud. These are not typical for the local markets, but very similar from country to country.
Scammers usually find their victims through ads in social media or other websites, which is the latest trend. Classical tactics, such as cold calling, became less widespread as the Internet is prevalent nowadays. The offers look legit and present exciting opportunities to invest money on the Forex market. Traders are reassured that the people behind the broker have an excellent track record, promising high returns or seamless trading. They claim that there are no problems when trading with them, concealing that the FX market is utterly risky.
What usually happens is that scammers just pocket traders and investors money letting them believe they trade in a real environment. Sooner or later clients would ask for a withdrawal, but scammers would delay or straightforward refuse to send any money back. Whenever traders persist, the guys standing behind the fraudulent broker would usually cut the communication or send a tiny amount of money. It’s also a common manoeuvre for scammers to ask for more money to sort the withdrawals out. Either way, traders are likely to lose some or all of the capital invested. At some point, when the fraud becomes evident, the scammers would simply rebrand and start afresh, creating a new scheme under a different name.
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!