Swissquote Review 2018

4.3 · 20 April, 2018
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Swissquote is a Swiss investment bank. It has two entities, the Swissquote Ltd and the Swissquote Bank Ltd. 

Swissquote Ltd is London based, regulated by the FCA, the UK financial regulator, and it offers FX and CFD. Swissquote Bank Ltd is based in Switzerland and regulated by FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator and offers many products including stocks, funds, bonds, futures and options.

The UK entity offers £50,000 investor protection and the Swiss CHF 100,000 per account. 

In this review, we focus on the UK-based broker, but you will find the important information about the Swiss entity as well.

As a plus

Swissquote offers good investor protection. The account opening is fully digital with no minimum funding requirement, and the product portfolio is extensive.

On the flip side

Swissquote is not a discount broker, it employs relatively high trading fees. Its customer support, especially the live chat had troubles answering complex questions, like forex pricing when we tested.

Recommended for beginners and investors.

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Swissquote review
Investor protection and regulation

Swissquote is regulated by top-tier authorities. It has a Swiss banking license and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. It does not offer a negative balance protection.

Swissquote operates through Swissquote Ltd and Swissquote Bank Ltd legal entities. 

Swissquote Ltd is based in London and regulated by FCA, the UK regulator. Clients are eligible for the £50,000 investor protection amount per account.

Swissquote Bank Ltd is based in Switzerland and is regulated by FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator. It offers CHF 100,000 investor protection per account. Swissquote-review-group-structure

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Swissquote review
Account opening

Swissquote offers a fast, easy, and fully digital account opening process. As a plus, there is no minimum account balance requirement.

Who can open an account?

Swissquote is a global broker as its UK entity serves residents from ~150 countries, while the Swiss entity serves ~120 countries. This includes all European countries and most major non-European countries, e.g. Australia, Hong Kong, etc. To check if your country is available, use the broker selector tool.

Minimum funding requirements

There is no minimum funding requirement neither at the UK nor at the Swiss entity.

Account types

Swissquote offers three account types. At the London-based Swissquote Ltd, you can open only a forex account, while at the Switzerland-based Swissquote Bank Ltd, you can open a forex or a trading account. The major differences between the account types are the tradable products, the trading platforms, and the investor protection amounts.

  Entity Tradable products Available trading platforms
Forex account London-based Forex and CFDs MetaTrader4, MetaTrader 5
Trading account Switzerland-based Equities, ETFs, Funds, Bonds, Futures, Options eTrading
Forex account Switzerland-based Forex and CFDs Advanced Trader, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

Swissquote also provides a demo account to try it out.

Account opening process

If you open your account at the Swiss entity, you can verify your identity by video. However, it is not available at the UK entity. 

swissquote-review-account-opening-process

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Swissquote review
Funding and withdrawal

The funding process is fast and user-friendly. On the flip side, the only withdrawal option is bank transfer.

Funding options

Bank transfer is available both at the London-based and at the Switzerland-bassed entity. However, only the UK entity's clients can credit card as a funding method. 

Neither the bank transfer nor the credit card has a fee, and they are really fast as the money will arrive within 3 days.

swissquote-review-funding-and-withdrawal

Withdrawal options

Both the UK and the Swiss entity's clients can only use the bank transfer to withdraw money which can take more than three days.

Swissquote's UK entity charges no fee for withdrawal, while Swiss entity does. This charge depends on which country you transfer to and the currency:

Currency Withdrawal within Switzerland, Liechtenstein or the SEPA* countries Withdrawal outside Switzerland, Liechtenstein or the SEPA* countries
CHF 2 2
EUR 2 2
USD NA 10
GBP NA 10
  For the full list, visit Swissquote's site

*SEPA or Single Euro Payment Area countries includes all EU and EFTA countries. 

More funding and withdrawal info

Swissquote review
Product portfolio

The Switzerland-based entity offers an extensive product range, better than most brokers. However, at the London-based entity there are only Forex and CFDs.

At Swissquote's UK-entity, you can trade two asset classes:

  • Forex
  • CFDs

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% 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's Swiss entity provides a wide range of the asset classes:

  • Equities
  • ETFs
  • Forex
  • Funds
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures
  • CFDs
  • Cryptos
  • Themes trading

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swissquote products overview screenshot

Swissquote review
Fee structure

Swissquote is not a discount broker, it has high trading fees, and the financing rate is mid-range. As a plus, there is no inactivity fee.

Trading fees at the London-based entity

Forex trading fees

Some brokers build the forex costs into the spread, but some brokers use a commision-based forex fee structure. Swissquote's UK entity uses the latter, i.e. it charges commissions.

Different currency pairs have different markups, for the full list, visit Swissquote's site.

For the better understanding let's see an example: At Swissquote, the markup for EURUSD is 0.8 pip. Let's suppose that EURUSD's interbank bid (selling) price is 1.329, and the ask (buying) price is 1.330. If you want to buy EURUSD, you need to pay the price plus the markup, i.e. you will pay 1.3308. If you sell EURUSD, you will sell it for a price minus the markup of 0.8 pip, i.e. for 1.3282 in our example.  

Swissquote has high forex costs. We calculated the forex costs for a typical $20,000 trade and compared Swissquote to its peers: 

$ / typical trade Swissquote Saxo Bank Strateo Internaxx DEGIRO
EURUSD forex costs $16 $3.2 $13 $17 N/A

Trading fees at the Switzerland-based entity

Swissquote's Swiss entity uses a volume-based cost calculating. Higher the volume you trade, lower the costs you pay. The fee structure is transparent, which is great. On the flip side, the trading fees are really high even trading on a higher volume. We recommend Swissquote if you want to get a high-quality service and you are prone to pay a higher cost. However, if you want a bargain, there are more discount brokers out there.

Stock, ETF, fund, bond, options and futures trading fees

Within the trading fees, the mutual funds, the options, and the futures are quite favourable, while the stock, ETF, and bonds have quite high trading fees.

Below you can find the cost of a typical trade of the different asset types for Swissquote and its closest competitors. 

  Swissquote Saxo Bank Strateo Internaxx DEGIRO
US stocks/ETFs $25 $15 $15 $19 $1
European stocks/ETFs $26 $14 $17 $36 $6
European gov. bonds $57 $42 $41 NA $2
European mutual funds $9 NA $21 $25 $11
US stock index options $20 $60 $25 $60 $5
European stock index options $11 $69 $29 $68 $10
US stock index futures $20 $60 $60 $70 $5
European stock index futures $11 $69 $68 $80 $10

The volume of a typical trade for equities and funds is $2,000 or equivalent. The volume of the government bond trade is $10,000. The typical trade for stock index options and futures means ten contracts.

Forex trading fees

In contrast to the commission-based fee structure at Swissquote's UK entity, the Swiss entity builds the forex costs into the spreads. Another difference is that you get discounts if you trade at a higher volume.

The Forex fees for a typical trade is high. We calculated the cost of a typical trade of $20,000 and compared it to its competitors:

$ / typical trade Swissquote Saxo Bank Strateo Internaxx DEGIRO
EURUSD forex costs $17 $3.2 $13 $17 N/A

 

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Non-trading fees

Swissquote's non-trading fees are transparent, you can easily calculate what other costs can occur. As a plus, there is no inactivity fee, and clients of the UK entity don't have to pay for withdrawal. On the flip side, clients of the Swiss entity have to pay for withdrawal and the financing rate is at the mid-range.

Inactivity fee: There is no inactivity fee.

Deposit and withdrawal fee: There is no deposit fee, but there is a withdrawal fee.  This charge based on on which country you transfer to and the currency:

Currency Withdrawal within Switzerland, Liechtenstein or the SEPA* countries Withdrawal outside Switzerland, Liechtenstein or the SEPA* countries
CHF 2 2
EUR 2 2
USD NA 10
GBP NA 10
  For the full list, visit Swissquote's site

*SEPA or Single Euro Payment Area countries includes all EU and EFTA countries. 

Financing rate: It is practically a Swissquote loan for you to finance your overnight position. It is at the mid-range if you compare to its peers. 

Yearly financing rate Swissquote Internaxx Saxo Bank Strateo DEGIRO
USD 4.8% 6.9% 9.5%   2.7%
EUR 3.0% 4.9% 8.0%   1.2%

Swissquote review
Web trading platform

The Swiss Swissquote Bank platform is user-friendly, has good search functions and a wide range of order types. The UK entity uses only third-party trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 and 5.

In the review, we evaluated the MetaTrader 4 platform because it is available at both Swissquote entity and it is also more popular than MetaTrader 5.

MetaTrader 4 offers a fast and reliable online interface. From the market orders until the trailing stop order you will find a wide range of order types. Another advantage is that you can use a lot of indicator and analysis tools. Alerts and notifications are available, and easy to set up.

Swissquote-MetaTrader4-web-trading-platform

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Swissquote review
Mobile trading platform

Just like on the web trading platform, clients of the UK entity can only use MetaTrader's mobile platforms, while clients of the Swiss entity can also use Swissquote's own mobile platform.

MetaTrader 4 is available for Android and IOS as well. We tested it on Android.

MetaTrader 4's mobile platform's quality and features are really similar to its web-based platform. It's really user-friendly and intuitive with a wide variety of order types and indicator tools.

Swissquote-review-MetarTrader4-mobile-platform

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Swissquote review
Desktop trading platform

Swissquote does not offer a dedicated desktop trading platform.

Swissquote review
Research

Swissquote does a good job with stock recommendations. We also liked the Themes Trading, that offers portfolios for current investment trends like green energy. However, fundamental data is not available. It is also impossible to set a default language for the news flow, which is a mix of French, German, and English articles.

swissquote-review-research

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Swissquote review
Education

Swissquote provides understandable and professional educational videos. Beside videos you can participate webinars and seminars.

Swissquote-review-education

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Swissquote review
Customer service

Swissquote has phone, e-mail, and live chat support. When tested, the live chat could not answer complex questions. For example, how pricing is structured for forex transactions.

swissquote-review-customer-service

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Swissquote review
Bottom line

Swissquote has a rock solid background. It has two entities, one in the UK and one in Switzerland. If you open an account at the London-based entity, you can trade with forex and CFDs, while the Swiss entity gives you access to a wide range of asset classes from stocks to options.

Swissquote has an easy and fast account opening process. We really liked its market and product coverage, from US stocks to cryptocurrencies a lot of products are available. 

However, nothing comes for free. The trading fees are relatively high. Moreover, the quality of the customer support needs to be improved.

All in all, Swissquote is a good provider. As there is no minimum funding requirements and no inactivity fee, feel free to try it out.

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Swissquote logo

Swissquote is a Swiss investment bank. It has two entities, the Swissquote Ltd and the Swissquote Bank Ltd. 

Swissquote Ltd is London based, regulated by the FCA, the UK financial regulator, and it offers FX and CFD. Swissquote Bank Ltd is based in Switzerland and regulated by FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator and offers many products including stocks, funds, bonds, futures and options.

The UK entity offers £50,000 investor protection and the Swiss CHF 100,000 per account. 

In this review, we focus on the UK-based broker, but you will find the important information about the Swiss entity as well.

Recommended for beginners and investors.

Compare to other brokers

Overall

Pros
  • High amount of account protection
  • Easy account opening
  • Extensive product portfolio
Cons
  • Costly trading fees
  • Low quality live chat support

Investor protection and regulation

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authorities
  • High amount of account protection
  • Listed on stock exchange
Cons
  • Negative balance protection not available

Account opening

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • No minimum account balance
Cons
  • Video identification of documents may not be available from some locations

Funding and withdrawal

Pros
  • Speedy funding and withdrawal -within 3 days
Cons
  • Withdrawal by credit card is not available
  • Withdrawal process is not user-friendly

Product portfolio

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Stock
  • ETF
  • Forex
  • Fund
  • Bond
  • Options
  • Futures
  • CFD
  • Crypto
  • Themes trading

Fee structure

Pros
  • No inactivity fee
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • High minimum fees

Web trading platform

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Good search function
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Mobile trading platform

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Good search function
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No price alerts available
  • No order confirmation available

Research

Pros
  • Analyst recommendations for stocks
Cons
  • No fundamental data available
  • No default language setting for news flow

Education

Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial videos
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
Cons
None

Customer service

Pros
  • Phone support available
  • Live chat available
  • Fast support
Cons
  • Irrelevant and inconsistent answers, and an unprofessional tone on live chat

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
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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