Definition, Purpose, Legal Framework, and Compensation for Forex Brokers


What Is a Forex Broker?

A forex broker is a financial services company who provides traders with a platform to purchase and sell foreign currencies.

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Forex stands for foreign exchange. Deals in the foreign exchange market are almost always between two different currencies.

A forex broker is sometimes known as a retail forex broker or a currency trading broker.

Comprehension of the Forex Dealer

The foreign exchange market is a global, 24/7 industry by necessity.

Among a forex broker’s clientele are retail currency traders who use these platforms to make predictions about the movement of currencies. Among their clientele are large financial services firms that trade on behalf of other clients as well as investment banks.

One forex broker organization cannot handle the volume of the whole foreign exchange market.

The Job of a Forex Broker

The G10 group of ten nations’ currencies are used in the bulk of foreign exchange operations. The nations and their corresponding currencies are the US dollar (USD), the euro (EUR), the pound sterling (GBP), the Japanese yen (JPY), the Australian dollar (AUD), the New Zealand dollar (NZD), the Canadian dollar (CAD), and the Swiss franc (CHF).

Most brokers allow their customers to exchange foreign currencies, especially those from developing countries.

Using a forex broker, a trader buys a currency pair to begin the transaction, and then sell the same pair to finish it. To convert euros into US dollars, for example, a trader buys the EUR/USD pair. It’s the same as swapping US dollars for euros.

To close the deal, the trader sells the pair, which is equivalent to spending euros to buy US dollars.

When a trade is completed at a higher exchange rate, the trader benefits. If not, the trader loses money.

Opening a Forex Account

These days, opening an account to trade FX online is rather simple. Before permitting trading, the forex broker will need a collateral deposit of money into the new account.

Brokers also give their customers leverage, which allows them to trade more amounts than what they have on deposit. Depending on the trader’s country of origin, leverage can be anywhere from 30 to 400 times the amount accessible in the trading account.

The Forex Brokers’ Revenue Model

Forex brokers are compensated in two ways. The bid-ask spread of a currency pair is the first method.

For example, the Euro-US dollar pair has a spread of 1.20010 and 1.20022, or 1.2 pip, between the ask and bid prices. When a retail client opens a transaction at the ask price and closes it at the bid price, the forex broker is paid the spread.

Second, certain brokers charge additional fees. Some charge consumers for each transaction, special trading products like exotic options, or access to certain software interfaces.

The forex broker market is quite competitive right now, and most businesses find that they have to reduce expenses as much as possible to attract retail customers. Several now provide free or extremely cheap trading charges in addition to the spread.

Some forex brokers also make money from their own trading ventures. This may be problematic if their trading puts them in a conflict of interest with their clients. Regulations have placed restrictions on this technique.

Regulation of Forex Brokers

The industry is governed by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA).

To learn more about the different brokers, anybody considering opening a forex account should check out the NFA website or the broker evaluations on Investopedia.