Trading industry-focused research house Investment Trends just published the results of its latest study of the French retail FX and CFDs market. The survey encompasses 6,000 investors and was concluded at the end of July 2017.
The 2017 France CFD & FX Report shows that the number of traders in France is continuing to contract – hardly a surprising trend, given the latest regulatory developments in the country. The total number of traders that have placed a trade in the past 12 months declined by 7 percent to 20,500.
This is the fourth consecutive yearly decline after a peak was set in 2013 at 26,000.
Advertising Ban Doesn’t Stop New Traders
Despite the challenging marketing conditions for brokers in the aftermath of the Sapin 2 law, new-to-market trader numbers continued to be robust. A total of 5,000 CFD traders placed their first trade in the past year, only 10 percent lower than 2016’s 5,500 traders.
Nevertheless, the introduction of the advertising ban earlier in 2017 materially affected the market. A number of trading accounts have remained dormant. The study highlights that close to 50 percent of traders that have placed an order in the previous year remained active.
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“While declining volatility in equities markets and restrictions on electronic advertisement presented a challenging environment, it is high levels of client dormancy that is proving to be a major stumbling block,” said Dr Irene Guiamatsia, Research Director at Investment Trends.
IG & FXCM Markets Continue Dominating
Two brokers on the French market have been the dominant players. Every two in five clients were wither with IG Group or with FXCM. On its part, during the past 12 months, the French subsidiary of Saxo Bank, Saxo Banque, has been very successful with the on-boarding of new clients.
According to Investment Trends, traders in France have become less likely to switch their providers. A metric that measures this activity called ‘switching activity’ declined to 18 percent. The figure was 20 percent during the previous year and 25 percent in 2015.
“With client loyalty on the rise, new-to-market traders are now the largest segment contestable for client acquisition,” said Guiamatsia.
Trading Platform Key, FXCM Leads in Desktop, CMC in Mobile
The trading platforms used by clients are the most crucial feature when it comes to innovation. The best-rated platform for features was FXCM’s. The company also topped the ranking for quality of education materials.
“When asked to describe useful innovations introduced by their primary provider in the past year, clients most often mentioned either new access to a new charting package or substantial upgrades to their provider’s proprietary trading platform,” explained Guiamatsia.
Crucially CMC Markets topped the rankings in the key mobile trading survey. The company also received excellent marks for customer service and value for money. The highest overall satisfaction marks, however, were scored by IG Group.