ActivTrades is a UK-based online broker providing trading in Forex, Contracts for Difference (CFDs), and Spread Betting. It provides services to retail and institutional traders via the electronic trading platforms ActivTrader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
The company's client base is primarily based in Europe, especially in Italy and Germany, as well as in South America, the Middle East and South East Asia.
The Forex broker expanded its product range offering MetaTrader 4 in 2007 and adding CFDs on indices and commodities to its offer in 2008.
ActivTrades expanded its presence in the UK, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and strengthened its position across Central Europe in 2012. The company also became a regular sponsor of the World of Trade Conference and has supported the conference for several years.
The first independent World of Trading Awards occurred in Germany in 2013, for which ActivTrades was recognised for as the top Forex Broker in relation to the MetaTrader platform.
In 2013, ActivTrades implemented its Negative Balance Protection Policy and a separate insurance protection as excess to the FSCS insurance. This policy is underwritten by QBE Underwriting Limited and other participating syndicates at Lloyd’s of London.
The launch of the Smart Tools, a series of add-ins for its trading platforms, followed later that year.
In 2015, ActivTrades launched its own Prepaid Master Card. In 2016 the company launched its proprietary trading platform ActivTrader.
In 2017, ActivTrades strengthened its client insurance protection to £1.0 million, one of the highest in the industry.
ActivTrades is headquartered in London. The company employs more than 200 individuals, covering key areas of the business such as customer service (a multilingual team serving over 14 different languages), marketing, compliance, finance, risk management and IT among others.
They operate three branches outside the UK – in Milan, Sofia and Dubai. The Milan office was opened in 2011 to better support clients in this area. The company’s larger branch in Sofia, Bulgaria, opened in 2012 and now employs more than 100 people and handles the programming and technical development aspects of the company. The Dubai office opened in 2016. The remainder of ActivTrades’ employees are in its UK headquarters.
The Middle Eastern expansion has resulted in the organisation’s recognition as the Best Retail FX Provider from the Investment Opportunities and Wealth Management Conference, as well as Fastest Growing FX Provider in the Middle East.
CEO Alex Pusco said about this expansion, "The Middle East market has seen undeniable growth in the last 10 years, and to meet the growing demand we have opened this new office (in Dubai), situated in the International Financial Centre, from where we can offer a bespoke service to these clients."
Platforms and mobile trading
ActivTrades offers MetaTrader 4 and 5, which are also available for mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Android. They also provide swap free accounts as well as access to the markets via ActivTrader, a web and mobile platform to buy and sell instruments on the go.
In December 2017, ActivTrades launched crypto CFDs in Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum for its clients. The offering of the three cryptocurrency pairs became available with a maximum trading leverage of 1:5, to ensure enough margin is allocated upfront in the event of the potentially strong movements cryptocurrencies tend to experience.
Commenting on the news, CEO Pusco, said, "Now that leading derivatives marketplaces such as the CME and CBOE have started offering Futures contracts on Bitcoin there is more liquidity in the cryptocurrencies market and we can offer a higher quality product for our traders."
In January 2018, ActivTrades gave its customers access to Ripple after a December where it grew 1500% to become the third biggest cryptocurrency for market capitalisation after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In 2018, the company launched exchange-traded funds as part of its offering, which can be used to track an index, commodity, bonds or a basket of assets like an index fund. This allows traders to balance the risk profile of an investment across an array of different companies in sectors such as finance, energy or healthcare, making them suitable to be traded in the long or short-term.
The Company is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and by CONSOB in Italy, and is also a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The firm was fined £85,750 in 2011 for failure to segregate customer funds. Since, the broker has increased its client funds protection insurance from £500,000 to £1 million as excess of the FSCS threshold. In 2017, ActivTrades became also regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.
ActivTrades has won various awards since its inception in 2001. In 2013, ActivTrades` was chosen as Best Forex Customer Service during the Jordan Forex Awards and were shortlisted as “Company of the Year” in the prestigious UK Growing Business Awards. They were also selected as One of the UK’s 100 fastest growing companies and were the highest rated broker in the Investec Hot 100.
In 2016, they were awarded the UK Forex Broker of the Year Award in the Le Fonti IAIR Awards. In 2017, ActivTrades won the ADVFN International Financial awards 2017 in the category of Best Online Trading services. The award panel commented that “The company places customer service at the core of its operation and continues to win globally recognised accolades for its commitment to meeting its customers’ needs.”
Most recently, the company won Best Execution Broker prize at the Agence IAT Grand Prize Excellence awards, the Best Online Trading Services in the Shares Magazine Awards last November 2017 and Le Fonti award for Forex Broker of the Year. In 2018, the company was awarded Best Online Trading Services at the ADVFN International financial awards.
2013 - One of the UK’s 100 fastest growing companies voted for by the Investec Hot 100
2013 - Shortlisted as "Company of the Year" in the prestigious UK Growing Business Award
2013 - Best Forex Customer Service
2016 - Corporate visions' CEO of the month
2016 - IAIR Best Forex Broker of the Year UK
2017 - ADVFN International Financial Awards 2017 in the category of Best Online Trading Services
2017 - Online Personal Wealth Awards' Best Non-Dealing Desk Broker
2017 - Shared magazine awards as Best Online Trading Services
2017 - Le Fonti award for Forex Broker of the Year
2018 - ADVFN International Financial Award for Best Online Trading Services
The Swiss franc case
ActivTrades is dedicated to providing a secure trading environment for its clients. This was evident with the Swiss-Franc decision in 2015. As a broker offering balance protection, ActivTrades took early precautions and increased margin requirements. This avoided the negative effects caused by the extreme market volatility.
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