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 As traders gain some experience, they realize how much of every trade actually goes to the broker, and they are naturally interested in paying less, says Paul Hayward, Head of Sales, OANDA Europe.  

I had the chance to speak with Hayward and Courtney Gibson, Vice-President of Trading at OANDA. In the interview below, they discuss future plans, regulation, technology, company focus and more.

  • OANDA passed the 1 billion transaction mark. When will the next milestone be reached?

For any company, 1 billion of anything is a huge achievement. The next billionth transaction will probably take some time to reach, but it will probably happen faster than the first billion.

  • Has the focus shifted to Asia-Pacific with the new CEO?

Emerging markets have already been growing fast and they were in OANDA’s focus beforehand. Nevertheless, the US and the UK remain important markets for OANDA and there is growth potential everywhere.

  • Are there still big growth opportunities in Eastern Europe?

Yes, especially in Hungary and the Czech Republic, but they are not the only countries with potential in that region.

  • Is the UK FSA regulator the most sound?

From our EMEA headquarters in the UK, we maintain a good relationship with the FSA who are highly regarded. Under their regulation we are well placed to conduct business throughout Europe.

  • How is volatility impacting the business?

Volatility impacts the institutional business more than the retail one. With less moves in the markets, there is a lower need for hedging. However, OANDA is focused on the retail business, which has always been the DNA of the company.

  • Do you expect the euro crisis to provide more volatility soon?

Yes, as Europe moves from summit to summit and a full solution isn’t seen in the near future, this crisis will likely provide more volatility and more trading opportunities.

  • Does a sideways stock market impact forex volatility?

People are always looking for better returns on their investment. With stock markets not necessarily providing the goods and interest rates sitting at very low levels, alternative investment such as foreign exchange trading is sometimes sought after.

  • How is fxUnity being received in Europe? Is it being promoted?

The social network is a tool for educating traders. Promotion is mostly made in a natural manner. We have had a positive response to this tool and consistently evaluate our educational resources to offer a greater service to customers.

  • Are clients taking advantage of the currency basket feature?

Yes, yet it is used more as a tool for educating traders and for research than as a money making feature for OANDA. At the moment there is no timeline for making it a full scale feature.

  • Has the new management changed the approach towards advertising? OANDA traditionally enjoyed positive word-of-mouth natural advertisement.

Client satisfaction has always been important for OANDA and this has legs of its own. Happy clients bring more happy clients. In recent years, some marketing efforts were added and advertising will likely continue.

  • Are spreads important for clients today?

Yes they are. As traders gain some experience, they realize how much of every trade actually goes to the broker, and they are naturally interested in paying less. At OANDA, we offer competitive spreads – the best spreads we can offer.

  • Is OANDA considering changing to the ECN model? This is gaining traction recently.

OANDA’s model is working very well at the moment. The model is very transparent, clients are satisfied and so are we.   There are no plans of changing the current model anytime soon.

Yohay Elam

Yohay Elam

Yohay Elam: Founder, Writer and Editor I have been into forex trading for over 5 years, and I share the experience that I have and the knowledge that I've accumulated. After taking a short course about forex. Like many forex traders, I've earned a significant share of my knowledge the hard way. Macroeconomics, the impact of news on the ever-moving currency markets and trading psychology have always fascinated me. Before founding Forex Crunch, I've worked as a programmer in various hi-tech companies. I have a B. Sc. in Computer Science from Ben Gurion University. Given this background, forex software has a relatively bigger share in the posts.