BROKER REVIEW

Saxo Bank Review 2018

4.5 1 March, 2018
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Saxo Bank logo

Saxo Bank is a Danish investment bank providing online trading and investments. It is a leading European retail brokerage innovator. Saxo is privately owned, established in 1992, and headquartered in Copenhagen. It is regulated worldwide by more than 10 financial regulators, including top-tier regulators.

As a plus

Saxo has a great research service, its proprietary research team constantly feeds trade ideas. It also provides a great, and well-designed trading platform to execute these ideas. Saxo's product portfolio is wide, can serve even heavy traders. The customer service is great, available in multiple local languages.

On the flip side

Saxo requires a minimum $2,000 USD funding requirement, that can be a burden for some customers. Its high minimum trading fees could weigh into the returns of smaller trades and its financing cost is one of the highest in the market. In most cases, Saxo does not provide negative balance protection, meaning your balance can go negative if Saxo cannot close your losing position.

Recommended for investors aiming for a great research and trading platform with a broad access to the international markets.

In our Saxo Bank review, we tested the Classic investment account.

Saxo Bank review
Investor protection and regulation

Saxo Bank is regulated by more than 10 financial regulators from all over the world. It is also a fully licensed Danish bank. On the flip side Saxo is not listed on any stock exchanges and in general it dosen't provide negative balance protection.

Account protection amount

If a broker defaults, investors are protected up to the investor protection amounts. In case of Saxo, this changes country by country, depending on where you are from. Most European countries are protected up to €100,000 for cash and €20,000 for securities.

Country of clients  Protection Amount Regulator Legal Entity
European countries except..

€100,000 for cash,

€20,000 for securities

Danish FSA Various legal entities
UK £50,000  Financial Conduct Authority

Saxo Capital Markets UK

France €100,000 Bank of France

Saxo Banque (FR) SAS

Switzerland

CHF 100,000

Swiss Federal Banking Commission Saxo Bank (SW) AG
Singapore No protection

Monetary Authority of Singapore. Co.

Saxo Capital Markets Pte Ltd
United Arab Emirates No protection Central Bank of the UAE Saxo Bank Abu Dhabi A/S
Japan No protection Japanese Financial Services Agency Saxo Bank FX K.K.

South Africa

No protection

Financial Services Board.

Saxo Capital Markets South Africa (PTY) Ltd

Hong Kong

HKD 150,000 for exchange-traded products in HK Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong Saxo Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd.

Australia

No protection Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Saxo Capital Markets (AU) Pty. Ltd

Turkey

Not transparent Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMBT) Saxo Capital Markets Menkul De─čerler A.S.

Saxo Bank is a private company, thus it is not listed on any stock exchanges. 

Negative balance protection

In general, Saxo Bank doesn't provide negative balance protection. The company launched a new account in the UK called Saxo Essential that has negative balance protection. The new account provides access only to four asset types (stocks, forex, bonds, index CFDs).

Swiss National Bank crisis and Saxo

Brokerchooser regularly receives questions how Saxo Bank treated the black swan event of the Swiss National Bank in January 2015. To cut a long story short, on 15th January, Saxo changed the price of some executed and confirmed CHF trades a few hours after the original confirmation. This meant some Saxo clients suffered big losses because their positions were not closed at the stop-loss level.

This event was obviously a vis major, where the market was completely illiquid and frozen. In this case, it is quite hard to get to clear conclusion on Saxo’s right or wrongdoing and it’s the best to rely on authority and court decisions. Both the Danish and British authorities investigated the case, each coming to different conclusions. Some clients also sued the brokerage company. Without going into too much detail the Danish authority and courts have ruled in favor of Saxo Bank in multiple cases, while the UK Financial Ombudsman has ruled against it.

Saxo Bank review
Account opening

Account opening is available for almost all residents and is fully digital. However, a $2,000 minimum funding is required.

Who can open an account with Saxo Bank?

Almost any private client can open an account with Saxo Bank, although there a few exceptions. You can’t open an account if you are resident in the following countries: US, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria or North Korean. Some Canadian residents (Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador) are also prohibited from opening accounts due to local regulations.

Saxo-Bank-review-account-opening

Minimum funding requirements

The standard minimum funding is $2,000, but there are a few exceptions. For Middle-Eastern and South African residents, the minimum is $10,000, and $250.000 for Turkish residents.

How to open an account?

The account opening process is fast and seamless and your account will be functioning within three to four days. The account opening process is all online and identification is digital.

Saxo-Bank-review-account-opening-registration-form

The account opening process has three straightforward steps:

  1. Online application
  2. Approval process
  3. Funding

The online application takes 10-15 minutes and you’ll need:

  • proof of identity: a copy of a national identity card, passport or drivers license
  • proof of residence: a government-issued ID card or insurance card, or a recent utility bill or bank statement

Saxo Bank usually reviews and approves your application within two days. After approval, you should fund your account and start trading. The funding can take from 1 to 5 business days depending on the funding method.

Account types

Saxo Bank offers four types of accounts:

  • Classic – minimum USD 2,000 funding
  • Premium – minimum USD 100,000 funding
  • Platinum – minimum USD 500,000 funding
  • VIP – minimum USD 1,000,000 funding

With a Premium account you can access free extended news and research, additionally to the Classic account.

On top of the premium services Platinum and VIP clients also enjoy:

  • volume driven individual pricing
  • tighter spreads for FX options
  • privileges in customer service
  • IP address linked, more secure login to the trading platform

You can also open a joint account and even test your investment strategy with a demo account. To open an account, you need to be at least 18 years old, thus you cannot open an account for your children under 18.

Account currency

With Saxo, you can open an account in several currencies, although in some cases direct funding is not possible*. More subaccounts in different currencies are available for a Premium, Platinum or VIP accounts.

Available currencies:

Saxo-Bank-review-account-opening-available-currencies

Saxo Bank review
Funding and withdrawal

Saxo has an easy interface and multiple option to fund and withdraw money 

Funding options

1. Bank transfer: it usually takes 1-5 business days. Most European clients need to transfer to Saxo's Danish account, thus an international bank transfer is needed.

2. Credit or debit card: money is credited to your account immediately, so it’s faster than the bank transfer. The card transaction is subject to a 0.5-2.5% charge by the card operator (Visa or Mastercard).

Be aware that before the first funding Saxo Bank has to approve your card and some countries are excluded. You can see the supported card types, countries, currencies and conversion rules on Saxo Bank’s website. Furthermore please note that no more than 3 cards can be used.

Saxo-Bank-review-account-opening-funding

3. Stock transfer: you can also transfer stock portfolio to Saxo. It can take some time to process as the request needs to be processed by you current portfolio holder. Please note, Saxo only accepts online transfers for stocks and fixed income instruments.

Saxo Bank only accepts funds originating from a bank account or an account held at a licensed financial institution and it also needs to be from your name.

When you fund your account in a currency other than your Saxo Bank account’s currency a conversion will be applied, that is the currency spot rate plus/minus 0.5%.

Withdrawal options

You can withdraw money both to your bank or to another broker account. The accounts need to be in your name, so no withdrawal is possible to third party accounts. Withdrawal to your card is not possible.

Withdrawal is free of charge at Saxo.

Saxo Bank review
Product portfolio

Saxo Bank will give you wide access to international markets in almost all asset classes. 

Asset classes available for trading:

  • Equities
  • ETFs
  • Forex
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures
  • CFDs and Certificates
  • Cryptos
  • Saxo Select

The only missing asset class is the mutual fund.

Equities and ETFs

There’s a wide range of equity markets available including Japanese and Hong Kong stocks. You can trade equities and ETFs in 30 markets including minor markets too. This is mid-range to competitors like Interactive Brokers with 74 stock markets and Internaxx with 18 stock markets.

Find below largest markets, for a full list, visit Saxo Bank website.

Europe / Middle East / Africa North America

Asia / Pacific

Deutsche Börse (XETRA)

NASDAQ

Australian Securities Exchange

London Stock Exchange (IOB)

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE & ARCA)

Hong Kong Exchanges

NYSE Euronext Paris

NYSE MKT (AMEX)

Singapore Exchange

Milan Stock Exchange

OTC Bulletin Board/Pink Sheets

Tokyo Stock Exchange

 

Toronto Stock Exchange

 

Forex

In forex trading, you can reach all the 100+ major and minor currency pairs. 100+ currency pairs are quite good, compared to Interactive Brokers’ 105 currency pairs. Saxo was one of the global broker institutions signed up the Fx Global Code of Conduct showing their commitment to customer protection and transparency.

Bonds

Saxo provides direct access to over 5,000 bonds, including more than 3,400 developed-market and over 1,600 emerging-market bonds. You can reach the government bonds of more than 40 countries (including minor ones) compared to only 8 at Interactive Brokers. On the flip side, corporate bonds are available only for 7 countries which is a limited coverage compared to Interactive Broker's 38 accessible local markets.

Options

If you are interested in option trading Saxo can offer you all important product type options:

  • Equity options
  • Stock indexes options
  • Forex options
  • Commodity options

Saxo has a relatively narrow proposition regarding available option markets as you can trade only 6 markets compared to Interactive broker's 45 available markets. Please find below the main option markets:

Main option markets
NYMEX
CME
CBOT
EUREX
COMEX

For the full list of equity, index, forex, and commodity options check Saxo Bank's website.

Futures

You can trade with futures of the following underlying: commodities, stocks, indexes, bonds and currencies. You can reach 22 global markets which is mid-range compared to Interactive Broker’s 36 markets available for futures. The main offered futures markets are CBOE, EUREX, Euronext, CME, CBOT, NYMEX, ICE. For the full list, visit Saxo Bank website.

CFDs

Saxo Bank has a well-developed CFD spectrum with stock, index-tracking, commodity, forex and bond CFDs. You can choose from 29 stock indexes and 8840 single shares. This is a really deep product portfolio compared to Interactive Broker’s 13 stock indexes and 5866 single shares. You can trade in some cases up to 40:1 leverage.

Europe / Middle East / Africa

North America

Asia / Pacific

Deutsche Börse (XETRA)

NASDAQ & NSC

Australian Securities Exchange

London Stock Exchange (IOB)

New York Stock Exchange

Hong Kong Exchanges

London Stock Exchange

OTC Bulletin Board/Pink Sheets

Singapore Exchange

Milan Stock Exchange

Toronto Stock Exchange

Tokyo Stock Exchange

NYSE Euronext Paris

   

SIX Swiss Exchange

   

For the full list of CFDs visit Saxo's site.

Cryptos

You can invest into Bitcoins through ETN instruments traded on the Swedish stock exchange. If you want to know more about crypto investing,  we recommend our how to invest in Bitcoin, Bitcoin ETNs, CFDs and futures guide.

SaxoSelect

SaxoSelect is kind of a mix of mutual funds and robo-advisory. It is great, if you don’t want to manage your investments on your own.

According to your risk appetite, you can choose among balanced portfolios, equity portfolios and trading strategies.

The minimum investment usually starts from $20,000 though. The annual management fee ranges between 0.5% and 1% plus a 10-20% performance fee.

Saxo-Bank-review-web-trading-platform-saxo-select

Be aware that the displayed returns are gross for most of the strategies, meaning costs are not excluded from the quoted returns. A more transparent approach would be to provide the net return figures as well.

Saxo Bank review
Fee structure

Saxo Bank has an okayish fee structure. Its trading fees are mid-range, a bit more competitive than its peers. Most of its non-trading fees are favorable, except the financing rate.

Trading fees

Saxo Bank's trading fees float in between fee champions, like Interactive Brokers and DEGIRO, and the big incumbent players like BNP Paribas and Comdirect. However, its minimum trading fees are quite high. For example for US stock trading is the highest amongst its peers:

  • Saxo bank $15
  • Strateo $10
  • Interactive Brokers $1
  • DEGIRO no minimum fee

Equity, Forex, and CFD trading fees are average, while bond, option, and futures fees are quite high, especially if you trade with lower volumes.

Saxo's trading-related costs for typical trades shows Saxo Bank is mid-range among its peers. 

Cost of a typical trade, USD Saxo Bank DEGIRO Strateo Interactive Brokers
Forex (EURUSD) 3.2 Not provided 12.6 2.3
US equity 15.0 0.7 15.0 1.0
US CFD 20.0 0.7 20.0 1.0

Cost of the Forex (EURUSD) trade means a $20,000 trade, including commission and spread costs. The volume of a typical trade for US equities and CFDs is $2,000, calculating the commission only. Saxo usually provides two pricing plans, the standard and the active. Brokerchooser applies the standard or the highest available pricing. For active trader pricing visit Saxo Bank website.

Equity, ETF and CFD fees

Equities and ETFs Standard trading fee
USA & Canada  
NASDAQ, NYSE, ARCA, AMEX 0.02 USD/share (min 15 USD)
OTC Bulletin Board/Pink Sheets 0.15%, (min 25 USD)
Toronto Stock Exchange 0.03 CAD/share (min 25 CAD)
TSX Venture Exchange 0.02 CAD/share (min 25 CAD)
Europe / Middle East / Africa  
Athens Exchange 0.35% (min 12 EUR)
Deutsche Börse (XETRA), BME Spanish Exchanges, Irish Stock Exchange,Milan Stock Exchange, NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, NYSE Euronext Amsterdam (AEX), NYSE Euronext Brussels, NYSE Euronext Lisbon, NYSE Euronext Paris, Vienna Stock Exchange 0.10% (min 12 EUR)
London Stock Exchange (IOB) 0.10% (min 20 USD)
London Stock Exchange 0.10% (min 8 GBP)
NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen 0.10% (min 29 DKK)
NASDAQ OMX Stockholm 0.10% (min 65 SEK)
Oslo Stock Exchange 0.10% (min 65 NOK)
Prague Stock Exchange 0.28% (min 500 CZK)
SIX Swiss Exchange 0.10% (min 18 CHF)
Warsaw Stock Exchange 0.30% (min 75 PLN)
Johannesburg Stock Exchange 0.25% (min 100 ZAR)
Asia / Pacific  
Australian Securities Exchange 0.10% (min 15 AUD)
Hong Kong Exchanges 0.15% (min 150 HKD)
Singapore Exchange 0.15% (min 25 SGD)
Tokyo Stock Exchange 0.15% (min 1,500 JPY)

CFDs are derivatives on underlying products. For some stocks and ETFs, there are also CFDs available. The fees CFDs on of single stock and ETF can be the same, higher or even lower compared to equity pricing.

Single stock and ETF CFDs Standard trading fee
USA & Canada  
NASDAQ, NYSE, ARCA, AMEX 0.02 USD/share (min 20 USD)
Toronto Stock Exchange 0.03 CAD/share (min 25 CAD)
Europe / Middle East / Africa  
Athens Exchange 0.3% (min 12 EUR)
Deutsche Börse (XETRA), BME Spanish Exchanges, Irish Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext Brussels, NYSE Euronext Lisbon, NYSE Euronext Paris, Vienna Stock Exchange 0.10% (min 12 EUR)
London Stock Exchange (IOB) 0.10% (min 20 USD)
London Stock Exchange 0.10% (min 8 GBP)
Milan Stock Exchange 0.19% (min 15 EUR)
NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen 0.10% (min 65 DKK)
NASDAQ OMX Stockholm 0.10% (min 65 SEK)
NASDAQ OMX Helsinki 0.10% (min 10 EUR)
NYSE Euronext Amsterdam (AEX) 0.09% (min 5 EUR)
Oslo Stock Exchange 0.10% (min 65 NOK)
Prague Stock Exchange 0.25% (min 500 CZK)
SIX Swiss Exchange 0.10% (min 18 CHF)
Warsaw Stock Exchange 0.25% (min 65 PLN)
Budapest Stock Exchange 0.50% (min 6,000 HUF)
Johannesburg Stock Exchange 0.25% (min 100 ZAR)
Asia / Pacific  
Australian Securities Exchange 0.10% (min 8 AUD)
Hong Kong Exchanges 0.25% (min 90 HKD)
Singapore Exchange 0.20% (min 17 SGD)
Tokyo Stock Exchange 0.15% (min 1,000 JPY)

Trading fees of index-tracking, commodity, forex and bond CFDs are built in the spread of these products.

Forex fees

Saxo offers a volume based pricing plan for forex trading. The more you trade the less commission you pay. The standard commission is 0.005%. This applies for the first $50 million USD trading of the month. The commission decreases according to the following table.

Saxo-Bank-review-forex-fees

Since the forex trading fee is commission based, Saxo's spreads are competitive. 

Typical spread Saxo Bank Strateo Interactive Brokers
EURUSD 0.2 3 0.3
NZDUSD 0.9 4 0.5

Bond fees

Saxo's bond trading fees are one of the highest in the market. You will have to pay a 0.2% volume based commission and the minimum fee is also very high, €80.

Option fees

Option fees are also high compared to other brokers.

Equity option fees depend on the monthly traded volume and the currency of the underlying product:

Equity option, trading fee/contract 0-1000 contracts/month 1001-5000 contracts/month
EUR 3 2
GBP 2.5 1.5
USD 3 2
CHF 4 3
HKD 30 20

 The same volume-based pricing applies for equity index and commodity options as well. The fees of the main currencies:

Index and commodity option, trading fee/contract 1-250 contracts/month 251-1000 contracts/month 1001-5000 contracts/month
EUR 6 3 1.5
GBP 5 2.5 1.25
USD 6 3 1.5
CHF 8 4 2
JPY 1.000 800 750
HKD 45 30 20

Forex option trading is charged based on the traded volume. Below a specific trading volume (typically €100,000) you pay a fixed $10 commission. Above this threshold the trade is commission free, Saxo's fees are included only into the spread.

Futures fees

Trading future at Saxo is also pricey. The trading fees are the same as for the equity and commodity options.

Cryptos

At Saxo Bank you can trade cryptos through exchange-traded products, like ETFs and ETNs. At the time of the review, only one Bitcoin ETN is available on the Stockholm stock exchange. The trading cost here is 0.1%, but minimum SEK 65. If you want to understand what is a crypto ETN check out our crypto blogpost.

SaxoSelect fees

Pricing varies from strategy to strategy, but:

  • there is always an annual service fee (0.5-1%)
  • there is a performance fee for some of the strategies (10-20%)
  • there is a trading fee for some of the strategies
  • there is a financing fee for CFD portfolios (annual reference rate + 2%).

This pricing structure is competitive compared to average mutual fund pricing.

Non-trading fees

Saxo Bank has quite attractive non-trading fees. There is no account or withdrawal fee and Saxo only applies an inactivity fee if you don’t make any trades for six months. The financing rate is very high in the current low-interest rate environment, being 8% + the relevant benchmark rate. 

Annual financing rate Saxo Bank DEGIRO Strateo Interactive Brokers
USD 9.5% 2.4% 2.5% 2.66%
EUR 8.0% 1.3% 3.5% 1.5%

All other non-trading fees are quite attractice.

Non-trading fees
Account fee Free
Inactivity fee $100/6 months after 6 no-trade months
Financing rate Min 8%
Currency conversion rate Mid FX spot rate +/-0.5%, for forex option +/-0.1%
Deposit fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
Custody fee for accounts with stocks,x ETFs, ETCs and bonds Annual 0.12%, min. €5/month

For further comparison of Saxo Bank's trading fees with other broker's fees in our comparison table.

Saxo Bank review
Web trading platform

Saxo Bank's trading platform, the SaxoTraderGO is a great platform. It is easy to navigate and provides all features.

When loading the platform Saxo Bank provides a one-step login only, although with a Platinum/VIP account, you can have a more secure, IP address linked login. We think Saxo should offer the safer login to every customers.

Saxo-Bank-review-web-trading-platform

The web platform is very sophisticated, but thanks to the easy to follow menu structure you can find everything very fast.

On the front page you can choose between three main views:

  • Trading
  • News & Research
  • Account

The trading view has all the relevant functions you need:

  • editable watchlist
  • overview of the selected instrument:
    • interactive chart
    • basic fundamental analyses
    • trade signals
    • related news
  • alert setup and list
  • model portfolios to follow/ copy (SaxoSelect)
  • and positions, orders and portfolio overview.

It looks a bit overwhelming, but you’ll be able to familiarise yourself with the whole platform very quickly.

Brokerchooser really liked Saxo Bank’s search function, which clearly classifies the results into different asset classes: for example, if you search for Facebook, the results will show Facebook stocks, CFDs and options as well. This might be overwhelming though if you are a starter and you do not know what CFDs and options are.

Saxo-Bank-review-web-trading-platform-search-function

The interactive chart function is also very well developed. We liked that you can not just trade from the chart but also open fundamental data. You can work with four charts at the same time and the platform saves them when you log out. The four charts should be enough if you concentrate on a few financial instruments but can be a limitation if you aim to build a more ample chartbook. Be aware that there are two interactive chart views: the one from “Overview” comes with trade signals while the other from “Chart” is where you can play with the indicators.

Order types

At Saxo Bank you have quite a wide variety of order types when placing or managing orders.

Saxo-Bank-review-web-trading-platform-order-types

When you place an order you can select from

  • market
  • limit
  • stop
  • and stop limit orders.

For executed orders a trailing stop is also applicable.

The term of the orders is customizable:

  • Day order
  • Good-till-date order (GTD)
  • Good-till-cancel order (GTC).

If you don’t want to spend your time building up and managing your own portfolio, Saxo provides predefined model portfolios to follow. It's called SaxoSelect. At the web platform, you can find information about SaxoSelect and also trade the provided strategies.This is basically Saxo’s robo-advisory service.

Saxo Bank review
Mobile trading platform

Saxo Bank's mobile platform has the same design and almost the same functionality as the web platform, so it is great.

Functionality-wise the fundamental data and Saxo Select are missing from the mobile app. We think SaxoSelect should be included in the mobile version as well, although the app is totally usable without the fundamental data.

Saxo-Bank-review-mobile-trading-platform

Saxo Bank review
Desktop trading platform

Saxo Bank’s desktop platform is designed for hardcore traders, its  functionality, speed and customizability are great.

Saxo Bank's desktop platform is built for everyday and professional trading. This means more functionality and less design compared to the web platform.

Saxo-Bank-review-desktop-trading-platform

The main advantage is the fully customizable layout. You can create your own trading environment that only shows those charts, instruments and news windows you are interested in.

The interactive charting has limitless opportunities. For example, you can open as many charts as you want and manage your positions from the charts.

Saxo-Bank-review-desktop-chart

You can also trade from your excel table or try out algorithmic trading with no hassle. SaxoTrader can handle this using its OpenAPI plugin.

Saxo Bank review
Research

Saxo Bank has a great quality and very broad research service operated by an entire analysis and strategy team.

Research can be accessed from the web or desktop trading platforms or from tradingfloor.com, which is a separate page operated by Saxo.

Within the web platform, you have equity research, can read news and opinions from Saxo’s strategists, check the macro events calendar, and search for trade signals.

The equity research panel is absolutely brilliant, bearing in mind that this is a retail brokerage service. On the equity research front page, you can check out the winners and losers of the larger stock exchanges, read the related news and see the related trade signals and calendar events.

Saxo-Bank-review-research-equity-main

Detailed fundamental data on individual stocks can be accessed from the search panel or from the trading panel. Here you will find the current and historical data for fundamental stock analysis: general information, e.g. ownership structure, financials (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow, performance figures), valuation and peer group comparison. On top of that, if you want to benchmark your own analysis, analyst consensus and target price information are also available. It's a pity you cannot download fundamental data to an excel for further analysis and projection.

If you don’t know which company to analyze in more depth within one or more industries, you can use the stock screener function, which is again very helpful if you want to do your homework before investing in stocks.

In the screener, you can filter by country, industry, financials, and valuation criteria. So, for example, if you are searching for tech companies in the US with a P/E of less than 15 and a market cap higher than USD 1 billion, this is basically a two-click exercise in the screener. We think this is a great and very useful function.

Saxo-Bank-review-research-equity-screener

From asset classes other than equity, news can be found at the web platform, but deeper analyses are available on tradingfloor.com.

The same research functions are available from the desktop platform as from the web platform. However, the desktop platform has one additional feature. It’s called TradeMaker, which is a real time trade idea generator for forex and CFD trading. The trade ideas are provided by external research companies: PIA Trader, Sostratos, Mercury Forex and 3c Analysis.

The tradingfloor.com is Saxo Bank’s main research center. This is a separate page operated by Saxo. There is a lot of information here, you need to know what you are looking for. Daily comments, long-term outlooks and expert opinions are all available in written and video format. Some of the research information is available in Spanish, French, Italian and Turkish.

It’s worth mentioning that Saxo research creates a typical sell-side research team feel. They seem to be publishing research to generate trade, not to protect investor interest. Most of the research is trade focused, not investment focused (i.e. more technical analysis focus than portfolio allocation).

Saxo is catching up with the new social trading trend as well. On tradingfloor.com you can check other traders’ strategies and performance and you can even follow them, which means you will be notified about new and closed trades, although the system does not automatically copy the trades as it does at eToro. So if you like what other traders are doing, you’ll have to copy them manually.

Saxo-Bank-review-research-social-trading

Saxo Bank review
Education

If you want to improve your personal investment knowledge, Saxo Bank has a lot to offer.

You can attend online webinars held by Saxo experts or become a “student” at the Saxo Academy, where you can choose from tons of online educational videos.

Saxo Bank review
Customer service

Customer support usualy speaks your local language and gives relevant and to the point answers. On the flip side, live chat is not available.

You can reach customer service by phone or in writing. Saxo representatives are available in the Prague, Amsterdam, Geneva and London offices. They also do monthly customer meetings in Budapest and Bratislava.

The only annoying experience here was the pushy sales team, who called us several times trying to get us to fund our account.

Saxo Bank review
Bottom line

Saxo Bank is a great broker, providing a complex and good service.

It has one of the best trading platforms backed by a great research and customer service. The product portfolio is covering all important international markets and asset classes.

It has some drawbacks though. It hardly supports investors and traders with a smaller wallet to invest: there are high minimum trading fees and a $2,000 minimum funding requirement. If you happen to trade on margin, you won't like the missing negative account protection and the high financing cost.

In general, Saxo Bank is one of the best online brokerage companies a European customer can choose. By opening an account, you end up with a broad, well-developed service.

Saxo Bank logo

Saxo Bank is a Danish investment bank providing online trading and investments. It is a leading European retail brokerage innovator. Saxo is privately owned, established in 1992, and headquartered in Copenhagen. It is regulated worldwide by more than 10 financial regulators, including top-tier regulators.

As a plus

Saxo has a great research service, its proprietary research team constantly feeds trade ideas. It also provides a great, and well-designed trading platform to execute these ideas. Saxo's product portfolio is wide, can serve even heavy traders. The customer service is great, available in multiple local languages.

On the flip side

Saxo requires a minimum $2,000 USD funding requirement, that can be a burden for some customers. Its high minimum trading fees could weigh into the returns of smaller trades and its financing cost is one of the highest in the market. In most cases, Saxo does not provide negative balance protection, meaning your balance can go negative if Saxo cannot close your losing position.

Recommended for investors aiming for a great research and trading platform with a broad access to the international markets.

In our Saxo Bank review, we tested the Classic investment account.

Overall

Pros
  • Outstanding research
  • Great trading platform
  • Broad product portfolio
  • Good customer service
Cons
  • $2,000 minimum funding requirement
  • Missing negative balance protection
  • High financing cost
  • High minimum trading fees

Investor protection and regulation

Pros
  • Danish banking license
  • Regulated by 10+ financial regulators
Cons
  • Not listed on any stock exchange
  • Missing negative balance protection

Account opening

Pros
  • Available for almost all residents
  • Seamless account opening process
  • Fully digital account opening process
  • Multiple account base currencies available
Cons
  • $2,000 minimum funding requirement
  • Only single currency account available at classic accounts
  • Sales team is quite pushy, reaching out regularly to fund account

Funding and withdrawal

Pros
  • Withdrawal is free of charge
  • User-friendly funding and withdrawal
Cons
  • Card funding is charged

Product portfolio

  • Forex
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures
  • Cryptos
  • Major stock markets (USA, Germany, UK)
  • Japanese stocks
  • Hong Kong stocks
  • ETF
  • CFDs and Certificates
  • SaxoSelect

Fee structure

Pros
  • Relatively competitive fees, not the cheapest but usually in the top quarter
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • High financing rate
  • High minimum trading fees
  • High option, futures and bond trading fees
  • Monthly custody fee

Web trading platform

Pros
  • Well-designed web platform: User-friendly and transparent
  • Advanced stop-loss orders can be easily executed
  • Good product search function
Cons
  • Fee assessment complicated, together with gain/loss
  • Not fool-proof platform, needs care for starters
  • No two-step login authentication

Mobile trading platform

Pros
  • Great mobile app, structured and easy to use
Cons
  • No SaxoSelect
  • No two-step login authentication

Desktop trading platform

Pros
  • Can be very well customized to personal needs
Cons
  • No two-step login authentication

Research

Pros
  • Good proprietary research by own team
  • Fundamental data and screening for equity
  • Social trading, checking what others investing in
Cons
  • Sell-side research team feel, publishing research to generate trade
  • Most research trade focused, not investment focused
  • Complicated to customize email alerts

Education

Pros
  • Webinars and online educational videos
Cons
None

Customer service

Pros
  • Local language is available almost in all EU countries
  • Call center gives relevant, to the point answers
  • Call center speaks in kind, polite manner with relevant content answers
Cons
  • No live chat
  • Pushy sales team
Gergely Korpos
Author
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

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