Updated: inserted 40% of inactive accounts factoring element to better calculate the average US account balance size.
As every month US forex brokers publish their regulatory capital report as well as their clients’ capital figures. Results for February 2011 versus January 2011 are below:
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There are a total of 14 RFEDs in the US – including CMS Forex which is phasing out and Tradestation which isn’t active yet. All US brokers combined have over $556 million in their own net capital and hold over $685 million in client funds (only forex).
It’s interesting to see Oanda moving almost $19 million of its capital somewhere – perhaps there was an acquisition we don’t know about? But it is also possible that Oanda shifted funds between subsidiaries or paid dividend to shareholders – these figures don’t tell the story, only show the net change.
It’s also interesting to note that month-on-month client funds grew by $8 million which may mean many things but I think that in this case this simply means that clients deposited more money.
We can now also easily estimate the average size of US forex account as we know that there are about 108,000 active forex accounts. Based on Oanda changing its numbers due to NFA’s clarification we know that it has about 40% of inactive accounts which no longer appear in its profitability report. Although only Oanda pays interest and therefore probably has more of these inactive accounts we’ll still apply the 40% figure just to be conservative. Therefore there are in total about 180,000 forex accounts in the US (108,000/0.6). Now we can finally divide $685m by 180k to to see that the average US retail forex account size is $3,800. Not very high if you ask me…