Leading multi-asset financial services firm, OANDA, has reported that it will be ceasing operations of its social trading solution, Trade Leaders Program. The firm issued a note on its website stating that the changes come into place on the back of a strategic review.
OANDA made the announcement of the news on its Forex forum, thus informing all participants involved of the change in practise. The firm joined the social trading arena in September 2013 after acquiring Currensee, a specialist social trading solution provider. After six months of development work post acquisition, OANDA reported that it had integrated its trading platform with the Currensee solution thus enabling copy trading. OANDA also gave investors an added dose of verification as the broker would be the first follower of a trade leader.
The firm informed all participants involved in the program. According to its website there are sixteen trade leaders with 3,737 investors. The broker’s official note stated: “Today, we have notified all participating parties that on October 31, 2014, Currensee and the OANDA Trade Leaders Program (OTLP) will cease operation.”
OANDA purchased Currensee in order to provide traders with opportunities to be more successful. However, since going live with the product in March earlier this year, the firm has decided to alter its offering. Ed Eger, President & CEO, OANDA Corporation, commented about the change in a statement, he said: “Following a strategic review including feedback from our customers around the world, self-directed trading remains their priority.
As such, we will continue to focus on core OANDA principles of superior execution, competitive spreads, integrating with industry leaders like MT4, providing analysis tools from partners like Autochartist, and premium educational resources.”
Currensee was founded by technology specialists Asaf Yigal and Dave Lemont. After the implementation in March, Mr. Lemont stepped down in April after serving as CEO for the firm since 2009. It was reported that he was going to continue to provide consultancy to the brokerage firm.
OANDA’s acquisition of Currensee came as a surprise to industry participants as the brokerage firm has had a unique business model, for several years the brokerage firm was focused on dealing with retail accounts directly without intermediaries such as introducing brokers or agents. Furthermore, the firm has had a consistent regulatory approach across its global entities.
The firm offers a maximum leverage of fifty to one but recommends twenty to one. The firm discourages higher leverage offered by a number of brokers, on its website it states: “Some companies may offer 100:1 leverage, or even 200:1, but OANDA believes these levels are far too risky and could cause clients to lose all their funds very quickly. Serious professionals seldom trade at those levels of risk.”
The notion of social trading has come under the regulatory radar, both European regulators and regional bodies have started moving and dividing the matter.