Active Traders in Poland’s FX/CFD Markets Up 23%, Outpacing EU Peers

by Damian Chmiel
  • "European Tiger" takes the lead regarding active FX/CFD traders numbers, reaching 175,000.
  • However, investors' trading activity decreased compared to the record-breaking 2022.
Poland FX CFD market 2023
The number of the Polish FX/CFD traders is constantly rising
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The number of active clients of Polish brokers offering retail FX and CFD trading increased 23% in 2023, reaching over 175,000. The Polish Financial Supervision Authority's (KNF) data shows that the jump occurred despite a decrease in overall trading activity.

More FX/CFD Traders in Poland, but Fewer Transactions

Since 2018, when statistics began being collected, the KNF has observed a continuous increase in the number of active clients using the services of FX/CFD brokers registered in Poland. Six years ago, the total number of active investors in this market segment was less than 45,000, growing to 175,000 in 2023.

Poland boasts a mature retail FX/CFD market, home to XTB, one of the biggest publicly traded brokers in the industry. In addition, OANDA chose to shift its European base to Poland from Malta, its former regional headquarters.

"The analysis shows that most active clients (73%) lose on transactions involving these types of instruments. In 2023, the percentage of clients who incurred a loss decreased. Both the average profit and the average loss per client decreased," the KNF commented in its report.

Poland FX CFD market 2023

The figures increased 23% compared to 2022, which was a record year in this regard, rising from 142,000. However, it should be noted that these data include Polish residents and foreign clients served by brokers from Poland.

As for traders directly from this European region, the number of active traders exceeded 83,000, increasing nearly 17% from the level of 71,500 reported a year earlier.

Arkadiusz Jóźwiak
Arkadiusz Jóźwiak

"The data show, which pleases us greatly, that an increasing number of people in Poland want to invest actively. And that's in the difficult, speculative, and leveraged CFD markets," Arkadiusz Jóźwiak, the Editor-in-Chief of the retail investor media outlet Comparic.pl, commented for Finance Magnates. "The current number of active retail investors places us at the forefront in Europe."

For instance, the number of active traders in Germany is 65,000, in France 33,500, and in Spain 47,000. It is only higher in the UK, where it exceeds 200,000.

Despite such a significant jump in the number of retail traders, the KNF observed that the total profit and loss from active traders were lower than in previous years.

Loss Still Substantial, but More Modest than in 2022

According to official statistics, in 2023, clients' realized profit amounted to PLN 394.2 million, compared to PLN 519.5 million. Net loss also dropped from the record level of PLN 1.9 billion in the previous year to PLN 1.7 billion in 2023.

Jacek Kubrak
Jacek Kubrak

“Too many people mistakenly assume that one can effectively earn on Forex by taking a position whenever they have time,” commented Jacek Kubrak, a trader and expert in Polish capital markets. “Furthermore, intense marketing communication creates the false belief that success is ‘almost’ guaranteed, which fuels over-optimism and leads to neglecting the need for basic skills and thorough knowledge of market operations.

Some of these losses were incurred as part of Poland's latest "fool me twice" fraud scheme, which may have caused hundreds of investors to lose PLN 9 million.

With a larger number of clients, the average loss and profit per client additionally fell. The average losing trader lost PLN 13,745 on FX/CFD in Poland in 2023, compared to PLN 17,570 a year earlier. The average profitable trader earned PLN 7,457, compared to PLN 17,444 in 2022.

"Inappropriate psychology and compulsive behaviors instead of rational investment decisions exacerbate the risk of losses, resulting in a significant disproportion between the total value of losses and gains in the Forex market in Poland and beyond," added Kubrak.

Poland FX CFD market 2023

"The average result per client represented a loss (smaller than in the previous year). In 2023, the total value of losses incurred by losing clients was 5 times the total value of profits made by clients who achieved a profit," the KNF added. However, the percentage of clients who realized a profit among active clients was a record high, reaching almost 27%, compared to less than 21% in 2022. A better percentage was achieved only in 2021 when this ratio was 28.1%.

As in previous years, retail clients accounted for the overwhelming majority in the FX/CFD market, representing 99.8% of all accounts and 87.1% of executed transactions.

The "KNF emphasizes that over-the-counter derivative instruments carry a high level of risk and should be acquired only by investors with adequate knowledge and experience," the Polish financial markets regulator concluded in its report.

The KNF will soon gain new powers as Poland prepares to introduce cryptocurrency regulations this year. Under the new laws, the regulator will be able, among other things, to freeze the cryptocurrencies of any entity and investor for 96 hours in case of suspicion of fraud. The prosecutor's office can extend this freeze even up to 6 months and, in extreme cases, order the sale of the assets held.

The number of active clients of Polish brokers offering retail FX and CFD trading increased 23% in 2023, reaching over 175,000. The Polish Financial Supervision Authority's (KNF) data shows that the jump occurred despite a decrease in overall trading activity.

More FX/CFD Traders in Poland, but Fewer Transactions

Since 2018, when statistics began being collected, the KNF has observed a continuous increase in the number of active clients using the services of FX/CFD brokers registered in Poland. Six years ago, the total number of active investors in this market segment was less than 45,000, growing to 175,000 in 2023.

Poland boasts a mature retail FX/CFD market, home to XTB, one of the biggest publicly traded brokers in the industry. In addition, OANDA chose to shift its European base to Poland from Malta, its former regional headquarters.

"The analysis shows that most active clients (73%) lose on transactions involving these types of instruments. In 2023, the percentage of clients who incurred a loss decreased. Both the average profit and the average loss per client decreased," the KNF commented in its report.

Poland FX CFD market 2023

The figures increased 23% compared to 2022, which was a record year in this regard, rising from 142,000. However, it should be noted that these data include Polish residents and foreign clients served by brokers from Poland.

As for traders directly from this European region, the number of active traders exceeded 83,000, increasing nearly 17% from the level of 71,500 reported a year earlier.

Arkadiusz Jóźwiak
Arkadiusz Jóźwiak

"The data show, which pleases us greatly, that an increasing number of people in Poland want to invest actively. And that's in the difficult, speculative, and leveraged CFD markets," Arkadiusz Jóźwiak, the Editor-in-Chief of the retail investor media outlet Comparic.pl, commented for Finance Magnates. "The current number of active retail investors places us at the forefront in Europe."

For instance, the number of active traders in Germany is 65,000, in France 33,500, and in Spain 47,000. It is only higher in the UK, where it exceeds 200,000.

Despite such a significant jump in the number of retail traders, the KNF observed that the total profit and loss from active traders were lower than in previous years.

Loss Still Substantial, but More Modest than in 2022

According to official statistics, in 2023, clients' realized profit amounted to PLN 394.2 million, compared to PLN 519.5 million. Net loss also dropped from the record level of PLN 1.9 billion in the previous year to PLN 1.7 billion in 2023.

Jacek Kubrak
Jacek Kubrak

“Too many people mistakenly assume that one can effectively earn on Forex by taking a position whenever they have time,” commented Jacek Kubrak, a trader and expert in Polish capital markets. “Furthermore, intense marketing communication creates the false belief that success is ‘almost’ guaranteed, which fuels over-optimism and leads to neglecting the need for basic skills and thorough knowledge of market operations.

Some of these losses were incurred as part of Poland's latest "fool me twice" fraud scheme, which may have caused hundreds of investors to lose PLN 9 million.

With a larger number of clients, the average loss and profit per client additionally fell. The average losing trader lost PLN 13,745 on FX/CFD in Poland in 2023, compared to PLN 17,570 a year earlier. The average profitable trader earned PLN 7,457, compared to PLN 17,444 in 2022.

"Inappropriate psychology and compulsive behaviors instead of rational investment decisions exacerbate the risk of losses, resulting in a significant disproportion between the total value of losses and gains in the Forex market in Poland and beyond," added Kubrak.

Poland FX CFD market 2023

"The average result per client represented a loss (smaller than in the previous year). In 2023, the total value of losses incurred by losing clients was 5 times the total value of profits made by clients who achieved a profit," the KNF added. However, the percentage of clients who realized a profit among active clients was a record high, reaching almost 27%, compared to less than 21% in 2022. A better percentage was achieved only in 2021 when this ratio was 28.1%.

As in previous years, retail clients accounted for the overwhelming majority in the FX/CFD market, representing 99.8% of all accounts and 87.1% of executed transactions.

The "KNF emphasizes that over-the-counter derivative instruments carry a high level of risk and should be acquired only by investors with adequate knowledge and experience," the Polish financial markets regulator concluded in its report.

The KNF will soon gain new powers as Poland prepares to introduce cryptocurrency regulations this year. Under the new laws, the regulator will be able, among other things, to freeze the cryptocurrencies of any entity and investor for 96 hours in case of suspicion of fraud. The prosecutor's office can extend this freeze even up to 6 months and, in extreme cases, order the sale of the assets held.

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