Denmark's Saxo Bank Group (Saxo Bank), established in 1992, operates several regulated banks and is licensed in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a very safe broker (low-risk) for trading FOREX and Contract for Differences (CFD).
Saxo Bank is best-suited for advanced traders. It offers a broad range of brokerage services designed for sophisticated traders, professionals, investors and institutions. Holders of smaller accounts will run into a number of obstacles that include higher account minimums, a variety of fees and fewer customer support options.
Saxo built its own proprietary platforms, SaxoTraderPRO (download) and SaxoTraderGO (Web-based), with the trader in mind, providing major upgrades over the industry-standard MetaTrader4 (MT4), as well as competitor offerings.
A big drawback is the broker’s murky selection of fee schedules, in addition to some hidden costs, that make it difficult to understand its pricing. Not only are commission and spread disclosures often contradictory, but also different prices are quoted for similar or identical instruments and venues.
Saxo Bank offers three different account types to all retail traders, with a joint account option and a professional account choice.
Saxo Bank offers credit and debit card deposits, in addition to wire transfers, but e-wallets are not available.
Saxo Bank has attempted to create an insightful trading environment, where support is not required, but not to a great degree of success.
In the instances where Saxo Bank pricing can be understood, it provides traders very competitive rates. As of August 2020, the average EUR/USD spreads were 0.8, 0.7 and 0.6 pips for the “Classic,” “Platinum” and “VIP” accounts, respectively.
Saxo Bank combines high quality, in-house research with top-tier third-party providers to offer an exceptional research experience. At the same time, Saxo Bank provides a diverse selection of quality educational materials in both written and video formats.
Saxo Bank does a great job unifying the excellent SaxoTraderGO Web-based platform experience across devices. Indeed, Saxo Bank’s SaxoTraderGO mobile app is a favorite of ours and ranks among the best from FOREX brokers for cell devices.
For traders who can afford the $10,000 minimum deposit (£500 for the UK), Saxo Bank offers competitive pricing, brilliant research, excellent trading platforms, reliable customer service and over 40,000 instruments to trade.
Denmark's Saxo Bank Group (Saxo Bank), established in 1992, considers itself as “a leading Fintech specialist focused on multi-asset trading and investment and delivering ‘Banking-as-a-Service’ to wholesale clients.”
Saxo Bank has operated in the UK since 2006 through its subsidiary Saxo Capital Markets UK Ltd. (SCML). Like many FOREX brokers, it does not accept US traders.
Saxo Bank operates multiple regulated banks and is licensed in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a very safe broker (low-risk) for trading FOREX and CFDs.
Saxo Bank is an “exclusive” broker, requiring a $10,000 minimum deposit (£500 for the UK, $3,000 for Singapore, and $3,000 for Australia) to open an entry-level Classic Account. Saxo Bank's Platinum and VIP Accounts entail $200,000 and $1,000,000, respectively.
Minimum deposits aside, the full Saxo trader client experience is excellent. Alongside access to a wide range of offerings, including a breathtaking 40,000 instruments from which to choose, Saxo Bank offers advanced user interfaces, reliable customer service, superior research amenities, and excellent pricing across the board.
An extraordinary product catalog includes FOREX, shares, commodities, indices, options, bonds and futures, all of which can be bought or sold short through CFDs, forward contracts and/or direct ownership.
Unlike some of its competitors, Saxo's spread-betting offering is only available to customers who qualify as professional clients, while FOREX spreads are extremely competitive across all retail account tiers (Classic, Platinum and VIP).
Saxo's flagship platform is SaxoTraderPRO, a downloadable offering that is ideal for advanced traders.
Meanwhile, SaxoTraderGO is a Web-based platform equipped with functional trading features and a user-friendly interface, as well as a highly functional mobile application.
Saxo also offers access to third-party tools that can enhance the trading experience and Application Programming Interfaces (API) the client can use to build bespoke applications. A key point to note is that MT4, which is part of nearly every FOREX broker's platform suite, is not offered by Saxo Bank.
Is Saxo Safe?
Yes. Saxo Bank is considered low risk. While Saxo Bank is not publicly traded, it does operate an investment bank and is authorized by six tier-1 regulators (high trust) and one tier-2 regulator (average trust). Saxo Bank is licensed by the following tier-1 regulators:
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
The Securities Futures Commission (SFC).
The Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA).
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Saxo also endeavors to ensure that client funds are not mixed with corporate funds, in accordance with the UK’s FCA client money rules. This provides a guarantee that client assets are protected, in the unlikely event that Saxo goes bust, by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated, often tier-1 banks. Clients also have additional asset protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000.
Saxo provides clients with a guarantee that they will never lose more than they have in their accounts via the “negative balance protection” rules mandated under the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), in effect since 2018. However, guaranteed stop-loss (GSLO) protection is not available, exposing accounts to potentially grave losses in extreme market conditions, such was the case with the 2015 Swiss franc currency shock.
Finally, Saxo's software security is aligned with the best the industry has to offer. In addition to two-factor and biometric authentication, the user will be logged out of both the Web-based and mobile applications if not being used for a user-specified period of time. Web releases include company procedures to ensure the best executions possible, underpinned by a broad range of Direct Market Access (DMA), aggregated and in-house liquidity providers.
Who Is Saxo Recommended For?
Saxo Bank is best-suited for advanced traders. It offers a broad variety of brokerage services geared toward active traders, professionals, investors and institutions.
Smaller account holders will face a number of atypical obstacles that include higher account minimums, a variety of fees, and fewer customer support options.
Tiered accounts lower trading costs and add benefits as equity grows, but the majority of retail traders will have a tough time reaching the higher customer tiers that, for UK-based accounts, begin at £200,000 (Platinum) and £1,000,000 (VIP).
Saxo Bank offers clients access to a comprehensive catalog, comprising both leveraged and investment products, that covers a multitude of asset classes. Indeed, it might be easier to list what Saxo Bank does not offer. As advertised on its UK and international Websites, the available instruments include, but are not confined to:
- FOREX spot pairs.
140 FOREX forwards.
44 FOREX vanilla options.
200+ futures contracts.
19,000+ stocks (36 worldwide exchanges).
1,200+ listed options (24 exchanges).
19 commodity CFDs.
5,000+ bonds (government and corporate).
3,000+ Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) (30+ exchanges).
While many instruments are able to be traded through multiple venues and order-routing techniques, some locations will generate higher-than-average costs. Nonetheless, the product suite is quite impressive and is sure to please a global markets aficionado.
Saxo Bank offers a Loyalty Program, something rather unique among our reviewed brokers. Depending on the asset you trade, and in what volume, you can receive points (ranging from 30 to 110) after each trade you execute. If you earn a certain number of points, you can upgrade to a Platinum or VIP account. You would need 120,000 points for a Platinum and 500,000 for a VIP Account upgrade.
The Saxo trading experience is propelled by an excellent, well-designed trading platform. At the same time, the research service is superb, with Saxo's proprietary research team constantly churning out new trade ideas. Saxo has a wide-ranging product portfolio, meeting the needs of even heavyweight traders.
Saxo Bank gives clients access to an extensive range of offerings, comprising both leveraged and investment products, which span a multitude of asset classes. Among other things, clients have access to FOREX, shares, commodities, ETFs, options, indices, bonds, forwards and futures.
Saxo Bank is regulated by the FCA (FCA #551422), which is the primary regulatory agency in the UK and highly regarded globally for being strict in ensuring that market practices are fair for individuals and businesses alike.
Saxo built its trading platforms, SaxoTraderPRO (download) and SaxoTraderGO (Web-based), with the end-user (trader) in mind, providing major upgrades over the industry-standard MT4 and competitor offerings. Furthermore, seamless integration with third-party tools releases a host of possibilities for advanced traders.
Saxo offers negative balance protection, which has become a fairly standard feature offered by most online brokers. This was most likely due the SNB event of January 15, 2015, that shook the markets, especially the highly leveraged retail FOREX market.
On the negative side, Saxo's bond, options and futures trading fees are relatively high, and the minimum deposit is significantly above average. There is no live-chat customer support or 24/7 availability.
Simultaneously, a confusing array of fee schedules and hidden charges make it difficult to estimate bottom-line costs accurately. Commission and spread disclosures are often contradictory, with different prices quoted for similar or identical instruments and venues.
The lack of emphasis on customer service is arguably the biggest downside to Saxo’s online brokerage offering. Being able to readily contact a broker is crucial for anyone engaged in the arena of online trading.
Its Website has no live-chat functionality, and online chat is only available to funded accounts.
Though “chat-bot” functionality is available, Saxo Bank might have been better off if it weren't.
While prospective clients are able to test Saxo Bank’s offerings via a demo account, not having access to live chat is an obvious glaring oversight.
Like most other FOREX brokers, Saxo Bank does not accept US clients due to regulatory constraints. Though this precludes it from truly being considered a global broker, one is hard pressed to find another FOREX firm with a larger global reach.
Finally, and as aforementioned, MT4, the ever-present, white-labeled interface that is part of nearly every FOREX broker's platform suite, is not offered by Saxo Bank.
Trading Account Information
Offering of Investments
Saxo Bank is a multi-asset broker that offers investors and traders a vast selection of more than 40,000 tradable symbols. In addition to electronically tradeable markets extending over nearly every asset, Saxo Bank offers spot FOREX, FOREX options, CFDs, non-deliverable forwards (NDF), stocks, stock options, ETFs, Exchange Traded Notes (ETN), futures and 33,000 bonds. Bonds are only available by phone.
Saxo Bank offers three different account types to all retail traders, with a joint account option and a professional account choice. Each comes with a different pricing model, service approach, and overall package. Distinctive minimum deposits are required, and traders can move up various tiers depending on trading frequency and volume.
Moreover, two specific UK account types are available, together with a corporate account choice and a trust fund account alternative for all global clients.
Classic and Platinum
These are the two main account types for retail traders. The Saxo Account Classic comes with a minimum deposit of just €/£500 and is the account where most retail traders will find their comfort zone.
To qualify for a Saxo Account Platinum Account, a minimum deposit €/£200,000 is required, but by extension, the spreads are decreased by up to 30%. This makes a big difference to the growth of portfolios.
Saxo Bank offers a VIP Account for deposits above €/£1,000,000. It is noteworthy that with Platinum and VIP Accounts, traders can enjoy more favorable pricing structures and have their own dedicated contact person.
Following opening an account, the client is placed in a tier that represents their deposit; but after three months, account activity is reviewed and clients may be moved into a higher tier without making an additional deposit. This can allow traders to advance to better trading conditions even if the minimum deposit amount is not satisfied, which offers great benefit to active, profitable traders who have smaller starting balances.
Saxo Professional Account
With tightening EU regulations, enhanced protection is awarded to retail traders that puts them at a slight disadvantage when it comes to certain key trading instruments. Professional Accounts come with more leverage, less protection, and require a minimum portfolio size of €/£500,000. Here are the main requirements for a professional account:
One year of professional experience in finance is required.
As are 10 significant trades placed over the past 12 months.
Securities may be used as collateral for margin trading.
Saxo ISA Account
This account is for trust fund managers who desire access to global markets through Saxo's trading platforms and regulatory environment.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Saxo Bank offers credit and debit card deposits, as well as wire transfers. E-wallets are not available. In some countries, credit/debit card withdrawal is not available either. Traders are advised to consult the Saxo Bank Website for full details.
Saxo Bank does not charge for deposits. Withdrawals are handled free of charge through the Online Cash Withdrawal Module, unless a manual-funds withdrawal form is submitted, which is subject to a $40 charge. Corresponding banks may also charge fees. Please note that you can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.
At Saxo Bank, you can choose from 26 base currencies. You can also open several sub-accounts in different currencies, which is a great option if you plan to trade assets in more than one currency. This selection is great compared to that of other brokers.
Saxo Bank has tried to create an intuitive trading environment, where support would not be required and, therefore, a comprehensive online database has been created, covering all key support topics. A chat bot is available. A support ticket can also be created from inside the trading platform and, if necessary, there is phone support around the world.
An extensive language selection is available, not only on Saxo's trading platforms, but also in customer support. As aforementioned, you can also use a chatbot, which is like an intelligent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, but one that cannot answer specific queries. The ability to chat with a real person would have solved this problem.
While Saxo Bank advertises industry-standard 24/5 customer support, the contact page includes office reception and sales numbers. There is also no direct number to the dealing desk.
Commissions and Fees
Saxo Bank’s trading costs are either included in the spread, which is primarily how the broker generates its profits, or added as commissions, which are on par with industry standards. Overall, Saxo Bank provides traders excellent all-around pricing.
For active traders and those with large account balances, Saxo Bank offers among the lowest pricing in the industry. As of August 2020, the average EUR/USD spreads were 0.8, 0.7 and 0.6 pips, for the Classic, Platinum and VIP accounts, respectively.
We found that the Classic account to be in line with the industry average, while the Platinum and VIP Accounts rank among the best FOREX brokers.
Average spreads drop while benefits rise for the higher-tiered Platinum and VIP Accounts, offering the potential for substantial active-trader discounts, but the £200,000 minimum to upgrade tiers will be off putting to the average retail client. Commission charges added to the listed spread come into play when trading other instruments.
Overnight holding costs are average to competitive, and there is an inactivity fee of £25/quarter if the client “only holds cash funds” in their account.
There are a host of other costs, broadly characterized as “general charges,” which, when combined together, tend to be quite hefty to the average retail trader. However, account holders will appreciate free withdrawals.
Different fees and costs among CFDs, contracts, and direct sales of identical instruments are poorly explained, adding to a lack of transparency evident throughout the Website and in the trading platforms. This is not to say that Saxo Bank is deliberately trying to be opaque, but just that the sheer complexity of costs associated with all that the broker offers can be quite difficult to explain for anyone.
Our reviewers found that documentation for other regions in which Saxo Banks operates was often contradictory to what was listed on the UK Website, outlining conflicting fees (even after factoring in currency conversions) and trading conditions for identical products and position sizes. It is also easy to miss fine print that adds a separate surcharge on small trades, raising the potential for sown confusion.
Saxo Bank is commission-free, which means it makes money off the spread. The only exception is traders who trade fewer than 50,000 units (half of one standard lot) per month. In that case, these customers are charged a ticket-fee of $3 per side.
Finally, Saxo Bank is committed to the FX Global Code, an evolving interbank standard around enhanced disclosures and execution best practices. The mission of the FX Global Code is to promote integrity and transparency across the global foreign exchange market.
SaxoSelect, a robo-advisory service mixed with mutual funds, allows you to select an investment theme and then Saxo Bank builds a portfolio for you.
It is recommended for traders who do not want to manage their investments on their own or simply need to gain some confidence in investing.
Traders can choose from different portfolios and trading strategies based on their risk appetite.
The minimum investment is high and usually begins from $20,000; fees range between 0.5% and 1% of the invested amount.
Similarly to mutual funds, SaxoSelect is available only in certain countries, such as Germany, Denmark or Poland. It is not available to UK clients.
Saxo Bank has average non-trading fees. The broker charges no account or withdrawal fees, but there is a high inactivity fee. The inactivity fee depends on your residency:
For UK clients, it is called a platform fee and amounts to £25 per quarter. The fee is charged if you only hold cash funds in your account. If you have paid a custody fee (more on that later) for the given period, you won't be charged the platform fee.
For non-UK clients, the inactivity fee is $150 after six months (180 days) of inactivity. Inactivity in this case means not executing at least one trade.
If you hold stocks, ETFs or bonds in your account, you will be charged a custody fee. For UK residents, this is an annual 0.12% on open positions with a minimum of €10/month. Fees are calculated daily, but debited on a monthly basis. For most other countries, it is an annual 0.25% on open positions, with a minimum of €5/month. For Platinum and VIP customers, the custody fee is reduced to 0.20% and 0.12%, respectively. Custody fee is a Value Added Tax (VAT)-liable service, so VAT is levied on top of the custody fee. For investors residing within the EU, the Danish VAT rate of 25% applies, while for investors residing outside the EU, there is no VAT.
You may also be charged for currency conversion if you trade assets that are denominated in a different currency than your account currency. The currency conversion rate is calculated as the mid-FOREX spot rate +/-1%.
Platinum and VIP customers are charged a lower markup (0.5% and 0.3%, respectively.) Positions held overnight in futures, CFD futures and short options are subject to a carrying cost.
Platforms and Tools
Saxo Bank offers clients its proprietary trading platform, developed in-house, which comes in two versions: SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO.
SaxoTraderGO (Web): Saxo Bank’s responsive Web-based platform, SaxoTraderGO, is designed to be easy to use, but also to deliver advanced trading capabilities. The watchlist, screener and alerts work together in concert.
Charts come with 58 indicators and nearly 20 drawing tools. There are nine chart types from which to choose, and charts sync with the mobile version. As with the platform itself, charts are also versatile. Swapping among instruments is a breeze, and we really liked the product overview section, which shows related news and trade signals from Autochartist.
SaxoTraderPRO Desktop: The flagship desktop platform is SaxoTraderPRO, which resembles SaxoTraderGO in terms of look and feel. Functionality is similar. However, the PRO platform offers a larger selection of professional trading features. For example, PRO supports as many as six monitors, streaming Level-2 order books, streaming time and sales, in addition to algorithmic orders. It is noteworthy that additional data subscriptions are required to use tools like the streaming Level-2 order book, which is a standard industry practice.
Charting on SaxoTraderPRO is as equally powerful as the Web-version. Subtle touches are seamlessly incorporated, such as the included countdown timers showing the remaining time in each candle. The only minor drawback we found when comparing PRO versus GO is that many of the research features loaded by default in GO must be added manually by using the “add module” tab.
Saxo Bank has made a great attempt to deliver its global traders a state-of-the-art trading platform, which is also available as a White Label Solution for partners. FOREX traders who have grown accustomed to the popular MT4 or MT5 trading platforms, or who deploy Expert Advisors (EA), will be disappointed because Saxo Bank does not support them.
SaxoTraderGO is an award-winning Webtrader, fully customizable, and also available as a mobile version. It includes an extensive charting package that fully supports manual analysis of assets with a wide range of fundamental and technical analytics tools, which include equity insights provided by SaxoStrats and third-party TipRanks, streaming news and market commentary and more than 40 technical indicators. Automated trade signals assist traders in navigating the broad asset selection, while the option chain grants excellent hedging opportunities.
The comprehensive account overview, in addition to a portfolio summary, includes performance analysis and a returns breakdown. It allows traders to identify necessary adjustments to their trading strategy and improve overall profitability.
Protecting the bottom line is a set of risk management tools featuring a margin breakdown on each position, margin alerts and an account shield. SaxoTraderGO represents an excellent trading platform for manual traders, while automated trading solutions are not supported.
Both platforms' order ticket has five 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 stop-loss order a trailing stop loss or a stop-limit.
The one omission to an otherwise-impressive array of order types is the lack of GSLO order. This might deter new traders, but advanced traders would understand that guaranteeing a stop-loss order defies market dynamics.
Market – The simplest order, where a trader signals that their trade request should be executed at the prevailing market rate. The platform offers a variant of this called “quick trade,” which allows the trader to “hit the bid” or “pay the offer” to place a trade without any pending stop-loss or take profit attached. This is there to satisfy the trader's need for speed.
Limit – A pending order, where the entry is at a predetermined point below or above the prevailing market rate, depending on whether it is 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 is a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.
Stop-Limit – A pending order, where the entry is at a predetermined point above or below the prevailing market rate, depending on whether it is a buy or sell, but where the trader can select the tolerance range for execution. For example, if the market gaps over the selected rate and the tolerance interval, then this order is immediately cancelled. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.
One-Cancels-the-Other Order (OCO) – A pair of pending orders (one an entry stop and the other an entry limit), where the execution of one automatically cancels the other. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.
Saxo Bank offers APIs to allow third parties to connect and interact with the SaxoTraderPRO. Direct clients and subsidiaries may manage accounts via Excel, connect through TradingView or utilize MultiCharts.
Saxo Advanced Solutions features FIX and Open API, supporting the development of third-party trading applications with full access to the Saxo Bank market portfolio. However, the advanced features are not available to retail clients, who have access to algorithmic trading as is available inside of the SaxoTraderPRO platform.
SaxoTraderGO does not support automated trading solutions, the sole drawback as compared to the retail-favorite and developer-friendly MT4 trading platform.
For risk-management purposes, there is an “Account Value Shield” feature that lets you specify the maximum risk across your account balance, which, if triggered, will attempt to close all open positions (except for bonds and mutual funds). There are also at least 13 advanced algorithmic order types available for various supported markets.
Saxo Bank's user-friendly mobile platform has the same look and very similar functionalities as the Web platform. The indicator list is shorter but comprehensive, and traders can read real-time news and research with a few swipes.
The app provides fingerprint ID entry, but this useful feature is not part of a two-tier authentication process.
The platform is available in the same languages and has similar search functions, order types and alerts as the Web trading platform. It provides a two-step authentication.
Additionally, Saxo offers clients the option to build bespoke applications via APIs, both its own OpenAPI and third-party API (Excel, etc.), that can access Saxo's data feeds.
On top of all this, clients can also access third-party applications, such as TradingView, Dynamic Trend, and MultiCharts, to assist them in their trading. For example, MultiCharts allows traders to back-test strategies while TradingView advertises itself as a social trading platform. Saxo does not offer local Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting.
Portfolio analysis, including performance data, risk assessment and portfolio breakdowns, is available across all of Saxo's platforms. The platform reporting suite allows clients to export all historical position, trade and performance data in PDF or Excel format. This reporting functionality offers the opportunity to consolidate holdings in an external spreadsheet or third-party reporting software.
Saxo Bank offers access to third-party portfolio tools (eXimius), and external tax reporting and reclaim services can be requested from third-party provider GlobeTax.
All clients have access to a comprehensive reporting suite directly in the trading platforms.
The provided reports facilitate tax reporting by displaying performance, profitability, dividend, interest income and fee data in both PDF and Excel format.
Saxo's search functions are very good. The search results are relevant and grouped according to asset class. Thus, if you search for “Google,” the results will show Google stocks, CFDs, as well as options.
There is a drop-down button on the right side of the search box for filtering results.
Further, you can narrow stock search results to specific countries, or filter FOREX search results for major currency pairs.
You can use many order types and order time limits. The selection includes:
· Stop limit.
· Trailing stop.
There are also several order-time limits available:
· Good-till-canceled (GTC).
· Day Order.
· One week.
· One month.
· End of week.
· End of month.
· End of Year.
· Good-till-date (GTD).
· Immediate or cancel (IOC).
Alerts and Notifications
Traders can use a wide range of alerts:
· Price alert.
· Position closing/opening.
· Portfolio change.
· Margin call, etc.
Platform notifications are available as pop-up messages or in email.
Saxo Bank does a great job of unifying the excellent SaxoTraderGO Web-based platform experience across devices. Saxo Bank’s SaxoTraderGO mobile app ranks among the best FOREX brokers for mobile.
Trading Tools: Nearly all features found in the Web version of the platform are available in the SaxoTraderGO mobile app, including the trade ticket window, watchlist and screener features, and all research tabs. Also, the economic calendar, market news and pattern-recognition analysis from Autochartist, along with educational videos, are all accessible via mobile just as they are on the Web version.
Charting: The charting capabilities are rich, with nearly 20 drawing tools and 58 indicators, matching the experience of the Web-based version of the platform. In addition to syncing watchlists, mobile charts in SaxoTraderGO mobile also sync with the browser-based version of the platform.
Research and Development
Saxo Bank combines high quality, in-house research with top-tier third-party providers to offer an outstanding research experience. Overall, Saxo Bank continues as one of the best choices for FOREX research in 2022. Saxo Bank offers a rich, diverse research offering across its Website, as well as its different platforms.
The research consists of various types of content formats (video, articles, podcasts) from in-house analysts who publish daily updates through Saxo Bank’s Market Analysis section.
Multiple real-time, streaming news services (Dow Jones Global News, NewsEdge Equities, NewsEdge Macro, Ransquawk), a variety of market reports in varying time formats, trading idea generators (Trade Signals by Autochartist and trade ideas from Sales Traders and SaxoStrats), and access to analyst rating reports (TipRanks) should satisfy even the most seasoned traders.
Generally speaking, any research that a client would need in order to make an informed trading decision is likely offered by Saxo Bank.
Research materials can be accessed through the Website or directly through the platforms. Saxo has an impressive roster of in-house analysts who provide regular market updates, ratings and timely commentary.
Third-party trading signals and analysis are provided via Autochartist, which is nicely integrated into the software. On the downside, there is an integrated economic calendar, but it is not interactive.
Video Content: Video research is seamlessly integrated into the Saxo Bank’s Website and platforms, such as Saxo Bank’s Fintech Unfiltered series, which we found to be of high quality.
Saxo Bank also includes playlists on YouTube, although it is worth mentioning that many of Saxo Bank’s videos are unlisted on purpose and thus not easy to identify.
Saxo Bank’s focus on its Websites and trading platforms instead of YouTube makes sense, as we think it provides a much cleaner customer experience (bouncing between a trading platform and YouTube is anything but efficient).
Reports: Saxo Bank’s research team delivers quarterly outlooks and yearly forecast reports in PDF format, which include accompanying videos. These reports are excellent for traders and investors seeking to take a theme-based position based on quality research.
Charting: The interactive chart function is great and user-friendly. You will find 50 technical indicators and can add many editing tools, such as trend lines or Fibonacci tools. Further, there is a trading signal tool that gives you a buy or sell signal based on technical indicators. This feature is powered by Autochartist, a third-party research company.
News Feed: A news feed and an economic calendar are also available on Saxo's trading platforms. One slight drawback is that you cannot filter news by assets. Another is that the calendar is not interactive, as noted earlier.
Saxo Bank provides additional materials for your research. Quarterly outlooks provide an in-depth analysis of potential market movements. These are both general predictions or tied to world events like the recent US elections or COVID-19 pandemic developments. The daily podcasts can also give you some insights into current market trends.
Saxo Bank provides a diverse selection of quality educational materials in both written and video formats. Overall, the depth of educational resources available at Saxo Bank is above the industry average and comparable to category frontrunners.
Written Materials: Under its Insights section, Saxo Bank provides market analysis articles powered by the firm’s in-house Saxo Strategy (Saxo Strats) team.
You can filter articles by analyst, as well as by asset class, with multiple updates per day alongside client sentiment data and market movers.
The Insights section also contains 20 beginner videos, ranging in length from five to 20 minutes.
Video Content: Aside from 41 platform video tutorials available in Saxo Bank’s flagship platform suite, our reviewers counted at least 11 for risk management, and eight for fundamental analysis. Some videos are produced by in-house staff, while CME Group powers the rest of the courses.
Educational materials focus primarily on platform and product tutorials and introductory coverage of fundamental and technical analysis topics, with few skill-building resources. However, that fits with what appears to be Saxo's unstated goal of attracting advanced, well-funded traders.
There is no glossary, at least in the widely accepted definition of that term, adding another obstacle for lesser-skilled traders. There is, however, a FAQs page that is functionally adequate.
Final Thoughts on Saxo
Saxo Bank is a highly-trusted, global brand that understands traders very well. Not only is the client experience seamless, but it is also rich with advanced tools and high-quality market research. Saxo Bank also does an excellent job of unifying its desktop, Web and mobile platforms.
For traders who can afford the $10,000 minimum deposit (£500 for the UK), Saxo Bank offers competitive pricing, excellent trading platforms, deep research, reliable customer service and over 40,000 instruments to trade.
Established in 1992, Saxo Bank is one of the leading retail FOREX and multi-asset brokerages, servicing more than 620,000 clients from its regulated entities and across 15 international jurisdictions, including the UK, Denmark and Singapore, to name a few.
Saxo Bank employs over 2,000 workers and is majority-owned by the China-based Geely Holding Group.
Furnishing both retail and institutional clients, Saxo Bank has processed over 34 million transactions and holds over $62 billion in client assets, as per its first half report for 2020, following its acquisition of BinckBank.
Meanwhile, the multi-tier classification is an appealing incentive for frequent and high-volume traders. Saxo Bank is well-capitalized, gives clients great investor protection, and has innovative educational courses, as well as a top-class research team. No wonder this broker is a go-to choice for over 600,000 clients worldwide.
It does not mean the broker is free of drawbacks. A confusing array of fee schedules and hidden charges makes it difficult to estimate bottom-line costs. Commission and spread disclosures are often contradictory, with different prices quoted for similar or identical instruments and venues/places.
While there is a certain “arrogance” to Saxo's approach that might be justified, given its track record, it can be quite off-putting to a new trader seeking access to its service. Small and lower-skilled traders can find better deals elsewhere due to Saxo's surcharges for small trades, relatively few educational resources, relatively high account minimums, limited support options, and higher-than-average trading costs. However, for a sophisticated, well-funded market professional, Saxo's extensive product catalog, advanced user interfaces, and superior research offerings would be quite attractive.
Saxo in Brief
Saxo Bank is considered one of the best investment banks in the area of financial markets and currencies, as it offers the very best trading platform and tools from all the companies we have reviewed. Meanwhile, its spread is very low and, as such, suitable for short-term deals, and it offers a large number of asset classes, including currencies, commodities, indices etc.
The team at Arincen collected more than 120 pieces of data covering in excess of 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise.
We have identified 12 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets etc.
Afterward we validated the data by:
Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and past experience.
The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including taking into account different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems,e.g., Apple, Samsung etc.
To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%.
Where is this broker regulated?
Saxo Bank is authorized by six tier-1 regulators (high trust) and one tier-2 regulator (average trust). Saxo Bank is licensed by the following tier-1 regulators: ASIC, SFC, JFSA, MAS, FINMA and the FCA.
In what other ways does this broker protect me?
Saxo also takes steps to ensure that client funds are not mixed with corporate funds, in accordance with the UK’s FCA client money rules. Clients also have additional asset protection through the FSCS, up to £85,000.
Saxo provides clients Negative Balance Protection, but does not offer GSLO protection, exposing accounts to potentially grave losses in extreme market conditions.
Which countries does this broker serve?
As a global broker, Saxo Bank boasts customers from dozens of countries around the world. However, it does not accept US traders.
Does this broker offer Cryptocurrency trading?
Yes. Clients can trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.
Does this broker provide any extra offerings?
Through Saxo Rewards, traders can earn reward points for every qualifying trade. With increased trading volumes, clients get to pay less and receive better service with this points-based loyalty program.
How do I fund my account?
Saxo Bank offers credit and debit card deposits, as well as wire transfers, but e-wallets are not available. In some countries, credit/debit card withdrawal is not available either. Traders are advised to consult the Saxo Bank Website for full details.
Which trading platforms does this broker offer?
Saxo Bank offers clients its proprietary trading platform, developed in-house. It comes in two versions, SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO. SaxoTraderGO is an award-winning Webtrader, fully customizable, and also available as a mobile version.
How can I access customer service?
Saxo Bank has created a comprehensive online database, covering all key support topics. A chat bot is available. A support ticket can also be created from inside the trading platform and, if necessary, there is phone support around the world.
While Saxo Bank advertises industry-standard 24/5 customer support, the contact page includes office reception and sales numbers.