XTB Review

  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Products: Forex, Indices, Stocks, ETFs, Commodities

    81% of retail CFD accounts lose money

    Founded in 2002 as Poland’s first leveraged foreign exchange brokerage house, X-Trade morphed into X-Trade Brokers in 2004 to comply with new Polish regulations. It then rebranded to its current incarnation, XTB Online Trading (XTB), in 2009 and went public, listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2016 under the ticker symbol XTB.

    XTB has been steadily making inroads into the highly competitive and ever-changing online brokerage landscape and currently provides access to a variety of markets such as forex, shares, indices, metals, commodities and even cryptocurrencies. The company is regulated in the U.K. and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA #522157) as well as the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF). Like many forex brokers, XTB does not accept U.S. traders.

    XTB’s flagship platform is a web-based offering named “xStation 5.” While ancillary costs were on par with industry standards, XTB’s consistently lower spreads were hard to ignore as they clearly separated it from the competition. Investopedia’s ranking algorithm factored this in when recognizing XTB’s appeal to cost-conscious traders.

    Disclaimer(CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money)

    Pros

    • Low FX spreads
    • Good customer service
    • Offers protection for client accounts
    • Free and fast deposit and withdrawal
    Cons

    • No guaranteed stop loss
    • Inactivity fee charged

      XTB main highlights

      Country of regulationUK, Poland, Cyprus, Spain, Belize, Dubai
      Trading fees classLow
      Inactivity fee chargedYes
      Withdrawal fee amount$0
      Minimum deposit$0
      Time to open an account1 day
      Deposit with bank cardAvailable
      With electronic walletAvailable
      Number of base currencies5
      Demo account providedYes
      Products offeredForex, Indices, Stocks, ETFs, Commodities

      Fees

      Overall, XTB has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. In many cases there’s no withdrawal fee, however there’s an inactivity fee.

      Pros

      • Low forex fees
      • Most bank transfer withdrawals are free
      Cons

      • Inactivity fee

      The totality of XTB’s fee and cost structure is competitive within the online forex brokerage arena. What sets XTB apart is its advertised minimum FX spreads for the different account structures. XTB’s “Standard” account quotes a minimum spread of 0.5. In retail FX parlance, it is generally understood that one standard lot is 100,000 units of the base currency, so this would translate to a minimum spread of 0.45, still among the best in the industry.

      Standard account customers enjoyed average spread of 0.9 on EUR/USD for the last quarter, along with zero commissions on stock CFD transactions. XTB does, however, charge an inactivity fee of €10 if there is “no opening or closing of the position on the Customer’s account within the last 365 days and no cash deposit within the last 90 days.” There is also a 12£ fee for client withdrawals of less than 60£ from their cash account to a bank account. At the same time, though, there are no costs for incoming or outgoing wire transfers or for closing an account.

      XTB does not have a minimum deposit requirement for customers wishing to open a live account, but logic dictates that this amount will be subject to the margin requirements of the smallest trade size that the customer wishes to place. International and professional U.K. clients with high account balances are eligible for cashback rebates and welcome bonuses.

      Markets and products

      XTB provides access to a broad selection of financial instruments across a wide range of different asset classes. The product catalog includes:

      • 48 currency pairs
      • Over 30 global indexes
      • Major commodities
      • More than 1,850 global stock CFDs
      • 155 ETF and cryptocurrency CFDs

      Where the range of offerings does fall short is the lack of spread betting instruments. XTB offers maximum leverage of up to 500:1 for non-U.K. accounts while U.K. accounts get up to 30:1 leverage.

      Trade Experience

      xStation 5, XTB’s custom trading application, is a streamlined trading platform that is stable and easy to access from any browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer). User interface is fairly standard with a simplicity that enhances its appeal. It isn’t the most feature-rich platform, but its ease of use somehow makes it appear more functional than it actually is.

      This is the company’s flagship offering and provides an updated look and feel, one-click trading, and full integration across desktop and mobile platforms that should serve traders well. Entering trades, building watchlists and modifying charts all seem simple and intuitive. FAQs and educational resources can also be launched from within the trading application. Traders receive notifications directly on the platform or mobile application. That being said, there were downsides. The ability to create custom indicators was not an option.

      xStation 5 has three basic order types with the option of attaching “take profit” and/or “stop loss” orders to them. Additionally, the trader can choose to make the regular stop loss a trailing stop loss prior to, or after, execution of a trade.

      • Market – The simplest order where a trader signals that their trade request should be executed at the prevailing market rate.
      • Limit – A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point below or above the prevailing market rate depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.
      • Stop – A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point above or below the prevailing market rate depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.

      Security

      • XTB U.K. is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under license number 522157.
      • XTB Europe is regulated by CySEC under license number 169/12 as of 2018.
      • XTB International is regulated by the Belize International Financial Services Commission under license number IFSC/60/413/TS/19.
      • X-Trade Brokers DM SA is authorized by the Polish Securities and Exchange Commission under license number DDM-M-4021-57-1/2005 and supervised by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego).
      • XTB Spain is regulated by the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores under license number 40.

      XTB offers negative balance protection, which is mandated under ESMA rules that went into effect in 2018, but no guaranteed stop loss orders (GSLO). XTB does not have two-factor authentication (2FA) but does offer bio-metric authentication for its mobile application, and requires that passwords include upper/lower case letters, numbers, and characters. While XTB does not have 2FA for its platform mobile offerings, it does offer 2FA for key client office processes such as personal or bank data changes.

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