Beware! FXGiants is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
FXGiants is a somewhat controversial offshore broker. On the one hand it is indirectly linked to a big brand name in the industry, but on the other it has attracted negative attention from some regulators.
Offshore basing allows FXGiants to offer very high leverage, but this is at the expense of the guarantees and protections that clients of regulated brokers receive. We recommend you treat this broker with caution.
FXGIANTS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
FXGiants is a trade name of Notesco Limited, a company that is stated to be registered in Bermuda. This company operates other offshore brokers that we have reviewed, FXFellow and Fxcess, as well as the offshore division of Cypriot broker IronFX.
Many legitimate brokers are setting up offshore companies through which they can offer more attractive terms to experienced traders, as well as compete more successfully in emerging markets in Asia and Africa where the same restrictions do not apply as in Europe, North America or Australia.
In these cases, the established brand should serve as a guarantee that the offshore company offers the same high quality and good business practices. However, the many websites operated by Notesco Limited do not have this advantage because they are not directly linked to the Cypriot company.
We should also note we were unable to locate Notesco Limited among the brokers licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. Bermuda doesn’t have any significant regulations on brokers, but companies would still have to be registered with the financial authority. It is unclear exactly what the legal status of Notesco Limited is in Bermuda.
The FXGiants website explicitly warns that it is “not directed at EU residents and falls outside the European and MiFIID II regulatory framework”. The Italian financial regulator CONSOB, however, did not consider this sufficient and recently blacklisted FXGiants:
While FXGiants is not a blatant scam scheme like many of the websites we describe, it is advisable to approach a duly regulated broker – especially if you are just starting to trade in the financial markets. Depending on where you live, you may want to approach a broker licensed and supervised by a reputable institution such as Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) or Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC).
Clients of these brokers receive protections such as negative balance protection and segregation of the client’s funds from the broker’s funds. In the EU and the UK, brokers must also participate in guarantee schemes that cover a certain amount of the trader’s investment if the broker becomes insolvent. These guarantees amount to up to 20 000 EUR in the EU and 85 000 GBP in the UK. However, the likelihood of such a bankruptcy is low because regulators also have significant net capital requirements that companies must maintain – EUR 730 000 in UK and Cyprus, AUD 1000 000 in Australia and at least 20 million USD in the United States.
FXGIANTS TRADING SOFTWARE
FXGiants offers the industry’s most widely used trading platform, MetaTrader 4 (MT4). The software is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux operating systems as well for Android and iOS mobile devices. Here is how the desktop platform looks like:
While MT4 lacks some of the more advanced features of the newer MT5, it remains the preferred platform of a large portion of brokers worldwide. These platforms have established themselves as industry standard because they offer a wide range of features, including a variety of options for customization, multiple account usage, designing and implementing custom scripts for automated trading and backtesting trade strategies.
FXGIANTS TRADING CONDITIONS
FXGiants offers trading in over 70 currency pairs and over 200 instruments in total, including commodities, indices and shares. The accounts offered by FXGiants are divided into two categories – Live and SPT/ECN.
According to the description of the three types of Live Accounts, they offer, respectively, a variable spread from 1 pip with no commission, a fixed spread of 1.2 pips with no commission, and a fixed zero spread with a commission of 9 USD per lot per side:
For the purpose of this review, we registered a floating spread account. However, on the MT4 platform we saw spread levels significantly higher than advertised on the website – 2.1 pips. With such a spread, the clincher would have to pay the broker over 20 USD per lot traded. In comparison, a client using a fixed zero spread will have to pay the broker a commission of 18 USD per lot traded, and an account with a fixed spread of 1.2 pips – 12 USD. This makes the latter option the most profitable.
SPT/ECN accounts are also divided into three types – with variable spread from 1.7 pips with no commission, with variable spread from 0.0 pips with a commission of 3.75 USD per lot per side, and with variable spread from 0.2 pips with no commission. Theoretically, the third account should be the most profitable, but as we have seen, FXGiants’s floating spreads can differ significantly from advertised levels. Overall, FXGiants’s terms do not appear to be particularly competitive, even relative to most regulated brokers.
The key metric by which offshore brokers differ from regulated brokers is the leverage that retail traders can use. High leverage creates the opportunity for more significant profit, but correspondingly increases the risk of sudden and excessive losses. All leading regulators therefore restrict leverage for retail traders. The regulators in the EU and UK limit leverage to 1:30 for trading in major currency pairs and even lower levels for more volatile assets. The same rules currently apply to Australia. In the US, the maximum limit is slightly higher at 1:50.
For Live accounts, the FXGiants offers very high leverage of up to 1:1000, and up to 1:200 for SPT/ECN accounts. FXGiants claims to offer negative balance protection, which to a degree mitigates the risk associated with high leverage.
No minimum deposit is mentioned on the website. The deposit menu accepts a minimum amount of 10 currency units or 0.001 BTC, which at the time of writing this review equates to just under 50 BTC. You should know that there are many regulated brokers that also offer very low minimum deposits for beginner traders.
FXGiants also offers various deposit bonuses – a practice not allowed at regulated brokers. These FXGiants promotions also include the ability to trade only with the bonus provided without depositing any money. The trading bonus could be used solely for trading and cannot be withdrawn. If the client requests a withdrawal, the trading bonus will be removed.
FXGIANTS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
Information on available payment methods is somewhat contradictory. The website lists Visa and MasterCard credit cards, wire transfer, Bitcoin and the e-wallet UnionPay for Chinese Yuan transfers. However, after logging into the customer portal, UnionPay is not available, but instead there are two other e-wallets on the deposit menu that are not mentioned on the website – Skrill and Neteller.
According to the Terms and Conditions, deposits can be withdrawn using the same method as the original payment, but withdrawals of any profits can only be made by bank wire transfer.
No deposit and withdrawal fees are mentioned. If the account has been inactive for 12 months, a 50 USD fee is charged. There is another administrative fee of 60 USD “In the instance where a chargeback is placed either intentionally or unintentionally for any deposit made in a Client’s Account”.
Like all offshore brokers, FXGiants offers clients to replace the guarantees of regulated trading with the ability to trade with high leverage. But the not-so-favorable trading conditions and controversy surrounding FXGiants make it difficult for this broker to be recommended.