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Dukascopy Review

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Dukascopy review has shown that this platform works best for high volume traders and market professionals

  • $100 account minimum
  • 1.06 pip fee on average spread
  • Best for high volume traders and market professionals

Based in Geneva and founded in 2004, Dukascopy Bank provides a well-rounded operation that focuses on CFDs (contracts for difference) in addition to full banking services. One unique aspect of Dukascopy bank is that they are the primary owner and operators of the Swiss FX Marketplace (SWFX) ECN. They also have a separate division in Riga, Latvia and together both divisions provide financial services for Switzerland and the rest of Europe.

Though Dukascopy Bank has higher than average trading fees, their simple product catalog discloses those costs transparently. Those costs are significantly reduced for active traders through their discount program, and their proprietary trading platform performs equally well to MetaTrader 4. However, neither interface allows for the required degree of customization for upper-level account holders. Clients are also denied the unique tax advantages that are available through spread betting in Ireland and the UK as those options are not offered.

Pros 

  • Advanced charting
  • Synchronization between desktop, iOS, and Android platforms
  • Historical testing

Cons

  • Weak application customization
  • No two-factor authentication
  • Higher than average fees

Trust

Licensed through FINMA (Financial Markets Supervisory Authority) in Switzerland and the FCMC (Financial and Capital Market Commission) for the European Union, Dukascopy provides two separate agreements for clients residing in Switzerland versus clients living in the European Union. For clients in Switzerland, Dukascopy provides up to CHF 100,000 of bankruptcy protection, no negative balance protection, and no guaranteed stop-loss protection. There is limited control over slippage inside of the platform settings but only on the buy-side. Clients residing in the European Union are provided with up to EU 20,000 and negative balance protection as dictated by ESMA rules.

While all accounts and platforms provide industry-standard encryption and account management, no two-factor authentication is available on any of the platforms. One small positive is that the MetaTrader desktop app does allow the option for OTPs (one-time passwords). 

In addition, Dukascopy’s policies relating to best execution and average spread capabilities are extensively documented, which increases confidence in their systems. However, some concerns over conflict of interest were raised when company disclosures revealed that the SWSX ECN acts as a counterparty on ALL trades.

Desktop experience

With advanced charting, historical testing, hundreds of indicators, and real-time news along with embedded customer support, Dukascopy’s proprietary desktop platform, JForex 3, is an excellent trading platform. Despite the robust feature set, JForex 3 severely lacks in customization in essential areas such as complex watch lists, popout charts, and personalized screens. Security alerts are triggered when accessing the website through most browsers but not in the downloadable application. There are also fewer features in the web version with less than 50 total indicators. Conditional routing is another major flaw because, though offered, it is severely limited. This puts JForex 3 behind other European brokers who routinely offer advanced conditional routing. MetaTrader 4 offers slightly more customizability but has fewer currency pairs available and charges higher commissions.

Mobile experience

iOS and Android versions of JForex have well-organized menus and allow easy synchronization between platforms. However, there are fewer charting features than the desktop experience, and the problem of limited customization continues. The lack of two-factor authentication is significant on mobile because of the higher security risk. Moreover, in a surprisingly outdated move, Dukascopy charges clients for SMS message alerts. An additional and unique application offered is Dukascopy Connect 911, which allows active clients to chat with support and manage their account directly from the app.

Research

Dukascopy TV is a powerful financial research tool with a dedicated search tool, well-organized menus, and a comprehensive video archive containing hundreds of video clips. These resources are frequently updated and accessible on the website and in the mobile apps in both text and video form. The sheer size of the repository may overwhelm some clients as social sentiment reviews, real-time news, dozens of technically-oriented trading ideas, and tick data are all available and continuously updated by knowledgable in-house analysts.

dukascopy-research-comparison

Education

Educational material is embedded inside of the FAQs, research content, and video sections of the website. While it may be possible to find the necessary information, newer traders may be frustrated and discouraged when seeking to build their skill sets.

Special features

Algorithmic and automated strategies are available for traders through JForex and FIX APIs. Historical backtesting is supported by both MetaTrader 4 and JForex. Though there is no local VPS (virtual private server), Dukascopy offers a hosting program on a monthly subscription. Institutions, professionals, and active traders can use many products that allow for DMA (direct market access) as well as advanced charting software.

Buy and sell information on trades going through the ECN is compiled in the SWFX Sentiment Index. However, direct copy trading is not supported by JForex, causing clients to use other platforms. While there is a community site, it focuses mostly on non-financial information and is therefore not useful for research, sentiment, or strategy development.

Investment products

With just 500+ share CFDs, 61 currency pairs, two cryptocurrency CFDs, and 24 index, bond, and commodity CFDs, the product listing of Dukascopy is relatively small. Forex is further limited as it is only traded through CFDs without any forward contracts, options coverage, futures, contracts, or spot markets.

investment-options-on-dukascopy

Commissions and Fees

Clients are categorized by monthly trading volume, bottom-line equity, or net deposit with commissions and spreads recalculated monthly based on those specific values. If a fee conflict arises, Dukascopy Bank chooses the highest of the three numbers. The trading fees page documents commission costs for each tier. However, as currencies change daily, identifying the average spread fees requires clients to review a quarterly, monthly, or daily, SWFX report. This information would be more beneficial if it were also located on the trading fees page.

All withdrawals are charged a $20 fee by the broker in addition to any fees charged by other banks or credit cards. This represents one of the highest withdrawal fees of any European broker. While withdrawal fees were easy to identify on the fee schedule page, the information should have been on the trading fees disclosure page. The absence of the information in the expected place could lower client trust levels.

dukascopy-fee-comparison

Customer support

Industry-standard 24/5 support is provided by this broker to both current and prospective clients via live chat and phone. Clients can also send in questions via email or the web site’s online form submission function. Live chat inquiries are answered quickly and the active social media presence, along with a dedicated support forum for Forex and automated trading, is helpful for new traders.

What you need to know

Dukascopy Bank is geared toward high volume traders and market professionals who want a generous discount program and extensive research materials. Some smaller traders with growing accounts may find benefit in the generous upgrade path and thriving community, despite the higher-than-average trading fees, a smaller-than-average product catalog, and limited education resources.

To get a better understanding and make your choice even better you should also check out our other platform reviews:

Methodology

The mission of Business24-7 is to provide comprehensive, unbiased ratings and reviews of online brokers. User experience, the mobile experience, customer service, costs and fees, security, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms are all part of our six-month evaluation of a broker’s platform. The rating scale was based on thousands of data points that have been weighted into the scoring system.

Brokerages were also required to fill out a multi-point survey regarding every aspect of their platform. In-person demonstrations and evaluations were provided by the majority of the online brokers we reviewed.

Stefan Grasic, along with our team of industry experts, conducted our reviews and developed this methodology for ranking what form is used in online investing.

Business24-7 maintains high editorial standards and provides the best advice and recommendations. The products and companies that we review may compensate us when you click on the links on this website. Click below to find out more about our review process and methodology.

Disclosure

All trading involves risk. More than 80% of investors lose in Forex and CFD trading. As these complex instruments allow for the use of leverage, there is a high risk of losing more money than you have deposited. Before attempting to participate in spread bets and CFDs, consider how well you understand them and if you can afford to lose your money.