Saxo Bank – Europe’s Biggest Forex Broker

Saxo Bank is the biggest European-based forex broker  in terms of trading volume, and the second biggest in the world after Oanda. As well as FX, it also offers online trading in a range of asset classes including stocks, CFDs, futures, funds, and bonds. Recently Saxo Bank has established itself as a traditional bank in Denmark and expanded its offer in asset management and wealth management.

Saxo Bank has been offering private investors and institutional clients a platform to trade FX, CFDs, ETFs, Stocks, Futures, Options and other derivatives via online trading platforms. In addition, Saxo Bank started recently offering professional portfolio and fund management.

Saxo Bank headquarters are based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and they also have offices in London, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Milan and Singapore (a location that makes them one of the strongest Forex brokers in Asia). Other offices are being open, such as Moscow as they continue their geographical expansion.

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Saxo bank was founded in 1992 by CEO Kim Fournais and co-CEO Lars Seier Christensen as a brokerage called Midas Fondsmæglerselskab. At the beginning they were one of the first financial players looking at technology as their main key differentiation and they were visionary in the way they understood how IT and the advent of the Internet would change the trading and investing industry.

Since its very first moments they understood online trading as the area of expansion for the conservative capital markets industry and they launched their, at the time very advanced, MITS online forex trading platform, the forerunner of their popular and awarded SaxoTrader platform. They started very earlier as well one of the best URLs in the FX industry, the forextrading.com, their first website.

They decided to change their name to Saxo Bank in 2001 to reflect their newly acquired banking license, and to avoid confusion with a Nigerian bank called Mida. The bank expanded internationally after that and has been growing at a very fast pace ever since.

Over the course of the decade, Saxo Bank underwent a series of expansions and diversifications. One of the biggest areas of expansion was into providing white label online trading solutions for firms such as Citi and Microsoft.  These allowed these firms to offer branded trading platforms based on Saxo Bank’s own software and infrastructure. More than 100 banks and brokers use Saxo Bank’s white label institutional offering. Also it created around Saxo Bank a global network of banks and brokers association that make its business exposure and value particularly powerful and with an unique global reach.

It is estimated that a significant part of Saxo’s turnover comes from white label solutions, with the remainder coming from their own brand trading services.

The firm have won several awards for their SaxoTrader multi-asset trading platform over the years, including Fxweek’s e-FX Award for Best Retail Platform between 2005 and 2009, and the Profit & Loss magazine’s Best Retail Platform in 2008. Over the years, Saxo Bank have expanded the range of asset classes that they offer, and in 2010 they began offering online equities trading via a new platform. In 2011, they added binary touch options to their FX trading platform, offering an alternative to spot transactions and vanilla options.

One of Saxo Bank’s key strengths is that they develop all their software in-house, which gives them an edge in terms of innovation. Despite coming in for criticism from some quarters, their software is both feature-packed, secure and reliable, which is why so many firms choose Saxo to provide them with white label solutions. They offer three trading platforms:

– the downloadable SaxoTrader,

– the browser-based SaxoWebTrader,

– the smartphone app SaxoMobileTrader,

all of which integrated with the same trading account, and are available in over 20 languages.

Unlike most of their forex competitors, they have never offered an integrated version of the popular algorithmic trading software Metatrader 4, although it is possible to use this software to trade via Saxo Bank using a software bridge. This looks set to change in the near future, after the acquisition of 25% of Leverate, a leading provider of MT4 solutions. In 2007, they did offer an algorithmic trading platform of their own called TradeCommander, but they pulled the plug on the project two years later in the face of stiff competition from MT4 brokers.  They do, however, still offer a trading advice plug-in called TradeMaker, which offers real-time suggestions for trades on the FX and CFD markets.

Saxo Bank has in recent years aimed at broadening and diversifying the bank’s product and service offerings. Although forex trading is still at its main business area they have been expanding into Asset Management, Online Wealth Management, Market offering, conventional banking. They adquired as well the Euroinvestor.com group and started a very successful trading and investing website tradingfloor.com. TradingFloor.com‘s website (with a Spanish and Chinese version) and related data integration platform of content  with solid commentary and analysis delivered in text and video has positioned the group in the trading commentary though leadership. The website is also embedded in all Saxo bank’s trading platforms and has established partnerships with Reuters Insider among other global news and trading data providers.

Since 2009, Saxo Bank has been expanding its offer into the Banking and Online Investment business area which focuses on the development of a new product and service suite designed to cater for the Self-directed contemporary Investor.This goes hand-in-hand with the last years Saxo Bank’s new board executive management ambition to tailor offerings directly to the needs of clients.

Saxo Bank has been growing and expanding independent of the financial recent crisis and is without any doubt one of the key players in the forex, online trading and investing industry.