With more than half of 2017 behind us, we can already note that this year has been even less stable and more challenging for the trading industry than 2016 was. Political dramas in Europe have continued to influence currency volatility and the retail forex industry. France’s somewhat surprising election of Macron and Theresa May’s Pyrrhic victory in the UK, along with Germany’s upcoming elections, have shaken the foundations of the European status quo.
We can add to that the constant turmoil in Washington D.C. Will President Trump’s failure to pass his skinny replacement of Obamacare in July result in a full-blown tax reform that will dramatically influence the global corporate map? Only time will tell.
This increased volatility may explain the slight recovery and even growth of the industry. Despite a slow start with a very weak April (-10% MoM), the second quarter of 2017 brought about a rebound in non-Japanese retail volumes. This trend can also be attributed to the shift of traders from the declining binary options industry to the forex industry.
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IG Group remains the biggest non-Japanese player in the retail industry, followed by Saxo Bank. FXCM kept its 5th spot but showed the steepest decline (-18% QoQ), while IC Markets climbed up the ladder, growing by 27% QoQ. On the other hand, the Japanese industry has slipped by 10% QoQ.
The number of active accounts grew for most industry participants and especially in the case of medium sized brokers. However, Q2 was especially negative for FXCM, as it registered a decrease of 3,000 registered active accounts QoQ.
The Life and Death of a Brokerage
The lead article in the magazine section looks into one of the most basic and primal issues that one faces in this industry – the lifecycle of a forex/binary brokerage. We examined some of the better known examples of brokerage demise, and identified some patterns and rules of thumb regarding what can go wrong.
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Another article covered a major trend of the last two years or so – the Southeast Asian hype. A growing number of Western brokers are entering Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and other markets in the East Indies, as local players are growing strong and becoming more dominant in the global forex scene.
In our country review, we focused on Turkey, with a special analysis of the changes in the country’s regulatory framework and the ramifications for the local forex industry.
IG Group’s exposure to the binary options industry was also under the lens.
New Exclusive Benchmarks
Crypto-mania continues to rock the financial industry. We have analyzed the top currencies in the game and tried to predict which will prevail in the race for investors’ hearts. Beyond that, we looked into the major ICOs of this quarter and examined the implementation of cryptocurrencies as proposed assets for retail forex companies.
Beyond that, this issue features several new cross-industry benchmarks. We have gathered revenue data from leading forex firms and created a new industry benchmark that gives us an idea of industry trends. Another benchmark features the social network presence of selected brokers, to see who controls this strong marketing channel.
We also teamed up with the Financial Commission, that shared its dispute resolution statistics regarding complaints received from traders around the world.
All that and more in the brand new Quarterly Intelligence Report!