SNBomb – Reactions from 75 forex brokers


The shock move from the Swiss National Bank has significantly impacted foreign exchange and also foreign exchange brokers. We already noted how such events are tests for brokers. And now, here is a round up reactions (updated)

This is only a partial list giving you an idea of the range of responses: from making profits / business as usual, through taking losses, revisiting positions, suffering capital shortfalls and up to outright insolvencies. Here goes:

The biggest stories are the bailout of FXCM. and Alpari UK enters administration after no buyers found

There are quite a few brokers that suffered losses, several others that have CHF trading suspended and many saying “business as usual”. OANDA and Dukascopy stand out by forgiving negative equity. Opinion: All brokers should forgive negative balances and even further Forex traders should not lose more than they deposit

Here are 10 brokers that go after negative balances

Here is the updated list, now in alphabetical order for your convenience:

  1. ActivTrades: “no negative impact”. The company took measures: “Back in November 2014, ActivTrades had already anticipated the possibility of such events. Consequently, we decided at the time to increase the margin required on our CHF pairs by a multiple of 16. Thanks to this measure ActivTrades was able to protect its clients by substantially limiting their losses. Hence by protecting our clients’ interests, we protected the interests of the company as a whole”
  2. Admiral Markets Group: “the effect is limited” but CEO Dimitry LAush also told FM that “Further trade execution adjustments are likely to be processed on some client accounts as well as Admiral Markets accounts held with its counterparties”.
  3. ADS Securities: “record trading day” and business as usual, forgiving negative rates.
  4. Advanced Markets: “able to mitigate the losses”. From Forex Magnates: “We’ve spent the last 24 hours dealing with all of our client relationships and liquidity partners,” said Anthony Brocco, Executive Chairman, Advanced Markets Ltd. “We came through this period of unprecedented volatility cleanly and we’re on very solid ground and expect zero or minimal client losses.”.
  5. Alpari RU: relatively unaffected, removes minimum deposit requirements on all trading accounts from January 21st.
  6. Alpari UK: The firm has not yet entered insolvency (updated). Here is the original statement:The recent move on the Swiss franc caused by the Swiss National Bank’s unexpected policy reversal of capping the Swiss franc against the euro has resulted in exceptional volatility and extreme lack of liquidity. This has resulted in the majority of clients sustaining losses which has exceeded their account equity. Where a client cannot cover this loss, it is passed on to us. This has forced Alpari (UK) Limited to confirm today, 16/01/15, that it has entered into insolvency. Retail client funds continue to be segregated in accordance with FCA rules. And this has been updated to say that Alpari UK has NOT entered formal insolvency process – sale on the cards. And yet another update: UK unit scrambling for sale; Japanese unit asks clients to withdraw funds. And now, FXCM could be the buyer of Alpari UK. Quite amazing if this really happens. At the moment it is denied. And now, the WSJ reports that Pepperstone may buy Alpari UK.  Update: Alpari UK enters administration after no buyers found. Yet another update: There are already 5 suitors for Alpari UK
  7. Avatrade: “no material effect”. The broker says: “Avatrade is pleased to confirm that yesterdays SNB statement and Swiss Franc volatility had no material effect on the companies strong financial position”. Update: Thanks to reader Emil, we now know of a note they sent to clients about execution of EUR/CHF at 1.0450: “As you probably know, the Swiss National Bank removed the floor of 1.20 on the EURCHF yesterday at 9:30 GMT.Following the announcement, there was no liquidity on the CHF pairs and the EURCHF market fell from the floor of 1.2000 to 0.95-1.00, and then further through 0.85-0.90, and liquidity finally returned at prices between 1.03-1.04, all according to the Electronic Broking Services (EBS) .AvaTrade is applying fill levels for all executed trades/orders which occurred between the times of 09:30:00 GMT to 10:50:00, with a EURCHF price of 1.0450. For all other CHF pairs, the execution rate will be calculated and the trades/orders will be adjusted by using the EURCHF price from the above and the relevant 3rd currency price vs EUR at the time”
  8. AxiTrader: According to reader Paul (thanks!) the Australian broker is OK and has released a statement by Chairman and CEO Goran Drapac: “Like many firms, some of AxiTrader’s clients sustained losses greater than the balance of their accounts due to the gap in market pricing. The overall financial impact on AxiTrader has been limited and our regulatory capital and cash resources remain above the regulatory requirements. Customers can be assured that Client Funds remain segregated and business remains as usual”
  9. BMFN: “no client losses and full stability”. This is what the broker says: “Our risk management department managed the whole situation smoothly indeed. Clients uncovered losses were only $200,000 in total, and we will not ask these clients for any reinboursement, and the remainder of our clients had enough margin and had no problems”.
  10. Citibank: “lost 150 million”. The big global bank is also a broker and it suffered losses worth 150 US dollars. This is not really worrying given the sheer size of the institution.
  11. City Index: “No material impact”. From the statement: Following this and queries from customers, we would like to take the opportunity to reassure our clients and confirm to the market that City Index has not suffered any material impact as a result of yesterday’s volatility and our financial position has not been affected. It is very much business as usual for City Index and our global client base.
  12. CMC Markets: “Business as usual”. From their statement: CMC Markets sustained some losses, however, the overall impact including possible bad debts has not materially impacted the Group. The Group’s balance sheet post these events remains strong, with a regulatory capital ratio of 24% (300% pre CRD IV) and own funds in excess of £130m. All retail client funds are fully segregated and protected. CMC Markets continues to have a strong balance sheet and business model; the Group remains on course to exceed last year’s financial performance. It’s business as usual.”. Update: Reader Emil (Thanks!) added this interesting note about the firm’s execution: “sent a mail about revisiting all CHF trades and make “cash adjustment to match what they should have been executed at” (my translation, the mail is in Swedish).Turned out that translated to a _way_ worse price and a total loss 13-14 times bigger than with the original close (which was already 3-5 times over my stop loss).Since I had a pending order that may of may not have been triggered and them not adjusting each position but rather removing money directly from the balance it’s hard to give an exact pip number but at least (assuming the pending order triggered) 1200+ pips over the preset SL”
  13. Darwinex: This broker reports business as usual and links to news about FXCM and IG in their statement. They also sign with “Solvently yours”. Here is what they say about their situation: For our part, yesterday was business as usual. We suffered minimal losses as low-leverage customers were margined out and there was no market depth for them (and therefore, us) to stop their (therefore, our) losses. Broadly speaking, our low risk policy paid off.
  14. Divisa Capital: “financially sound”. The company said to Forex Magnates it has worked hard to improve fill rates: “We have been on calls and emails with LPs around the clock seeking improved rates for our PoP clients that traded during the extremely volatile period, other than that we are happy to inform that our matching engines in NY4 and LD4 had record work load but performed as expected throughout the crisis”.
  15. DMM: “business as usual” and “In light of recent events surrounding the Swiss Franc, DMM FX wishes to advise our clients that our operating capital has not been significantly affected. We also wish to reassure that all positive client equity and balances are safe in our Client Moneys Trust Accounts, which are segregated from DMM FX’s operating funds.”
  16. Dukascopy: The Swiss based broker says “business as usual”. Statement: “The scenario of such shock had been anticipated four months in advance as shown in our news published on 3rd of October 2014: “Due to the possibility of a break of the 1.2000 floor in EUR/CHF which may see significant price gaps and cause negative equity on client accounts, Dukascopy Bank is forced to implement a maximum leverage for EURCHF exposures of 1:10 as of 12 October 2014”. Update: Dukascopy has not adjusted or canceled orders, and also announced the waiver of negative balances.
  17. Easy-forex: “Reassures Clients On Swiss Franc Fears”. The Cyprus-based broker says: “easy-forex was not affected due to its strong risk management systems and our clients are safe due to our guaranteed stop losses and negative balance protection. We wish to reassure clients that at easy-forex it’s business as usual and we remain committed to client safety through numerous measures including segregated funds and full compliance with our regulatory authorities. With guaranteed stop losses, negative balance protection, no requotes and full support from our expert team our clients are happy and busy trading the trend. In fact, easy-forex was one of the first brokers in the world to resume trading on CHF pairs and has noted positive trading activity on the currency”.
  18. eToro: “business as usual” and “Furthermore, we are back to business as usual with our system fully operational, after a few hours of suspending trading for all CHF crosses yesterday. All deposits, withdrawals and orders are being executed in a fast and orderly manner”.
  19. Excel Markets: This not really globally known New Zealand based broker had to shut down. It was unable to meet client losses held at its liquidity providers.
  20. ETX Capital: “financial position is unaffected” and “The company is experiencing a profitable January following a very solid 2014 and is confident that its systems, controls, and policies properly manage the firm’s position and credit risk”
  21. EXNESS: “business not significantly affected”. The international forex broker said: “At the end of the day, EXNESS’ total losses amounted to less than 1.6% of the company’s capital. We would like to clarify that these losses only affected EXNESS’ own funds – this in no way whatsoever affects clients’ funds, which are held in special accounts that are separate from the company’s funds. However, we have decided to temporarily suspend trading currency pairs with the Swiss franc. This is due to our desire to maintain high-quality order execution and the need to minimize financial risks for our clients and the company”
  22. FinFX: “business not affected substantially”. There is a comment that says that the broker asked for a repayment of a negative balance. Update: A reader has noted that the broker readjusted trades after January 15th, resulting in substantial losses for the reader. Subsequent attempts to resolve this with the broker were fruitless.
  23. Forex Broker Inc: Trading has resumed on CHF pairs. After a temporary freeze on “Black Thursday”, the company announced that trading has been re-enabled on 7 pairs. There is no additional news regarding the company’s situation.
  24. FXCM: Forex Capital Management had this to report: “the company may be in breach of some regulatory capital requirements” as they were hit by a massive $225 million client negative balance. The publicly listed broker said that is “actively discussing alternatives to return our capital to levels prior to the events”. Update: trading has halted on the New York Stock Exchange after a fall of over 80% in the stock price. Update: FXCM received a 300 million lifeline from Leucadia. The mighty forex broker reported: “Under the terms of the agreements, Leucadia is investing $300 million in cash into FXCM in the form of a $300 million senior secured term loan with a two-year maturity and an initial coupon of 10%. The term loan obligations are guaranteed, on a secured basis, by certain of FXCM’s domestic subsidiaries. In addition, Leucadia will receive, in the event of a sale of FXCM or its subsidiaries, a certain percentage of the sale proceeds and, in the event FXCM makes other distributions on account of its equity, a corresponding payment for its own account”. Update:FXCM to forgive most clients with negative balances – more to follow?
  25. FXDD: “open for business, minimal impact”. The broker said: “As a result of yesterday’s decision from the Swiss National Bank to discontinue its minimum exchange rate, causing extraordinary volatility and creating massive gaps where pricing was not available and no execution was possible, as with all entities in the FX Space, FXDD was forced to adjust pricing in the CHF pairs,” said Emil Assentato CEO of Currency Mountain Holdings and Chairman of FXDD Global. “We apologize for having to take this extraordinary action. This was a global event that created illiquidity in all Swiss related products. All financial institutions have suffered because of this crisis. Despite these extraordinary market conditions, FXDD Global’s trading operations remain stable and we remain fully operational and open for business”
  26. FXOpen: resumed CHF trading. After halting trading on Swiss pairs, the broker resumed trading and said: “trading on CHF crosses suspended due to radical market situation. Following SNB decision on interest rate and removal of the 1.20 floor, the Liquidity Providers introduced more rigorous trading terms, including increased margin calls”.
  27. FX Primus: “balance sheet remains strong”. This is what they said to FM: “Fortunately the risk management protocol we’ve had in place since Day 1 of business has held up during this unprecedented event. Our balance sheet remains strong, and while it is disheartening to see other brokers in the industry are now going through some unfortunate times as a result of the SNB intervention, I feel vindicated in choosing to focus our efforts thus far at making FXPRIMUS “The Safest Place to Trade.”
  28. FX Solutions: The broker which is part of the City Index Groupd says that “due to the unprecedented volatility in CHF markets, we are widening our spreads”.
  29. FXTM: “no major impact”. Forex Time released this statement: Forex Time can confirm that the unexpected turn of events regarding the Swiss Franc have not had a major impact on the Company. A solid risk management policy is in place to safeguard the Company and its clients against situations of this kind. “We would like to assure our clients that our capital adequacy ratio has not been affected; any losses incurred have been absorbed and our clients’ funds remain protected. Any negative balances which have arisen are in the process of being corrected and business will continue as usual. Update: Forex Time has doubled its Cashback Rebate bonus from $2 per lot to $4 for ex-Alpari (UK) clients
  30. FxPro: The broker announced the suspension of all CHF trading. No problems were reported. From the firm:FxPro Group announces that negative balances resulting from yesterday’s extreme market conditions on CHF crosses have not affected the funds of our clients. All such losses were borne solely by the capital the company places as collateral with its prime broker and liquidity providers, as per our responsibility to protect our clients and comply with regulatory requirements. Our commitment to negative balance protection as outlined in our terms and conditions has been upheld. All negative balances still appearing on the terminals of our clients are in the process of being corrected. While the company has been affected by the events of what is now being called Black Thursday, FxPro remains fully operational and solidly capitalised, as ever. It is business as usual: deposits, withdrawals and the entering of positions continue as on any other trading day. The funds of our clients remain segregated and the protections afforded to them by our true agency model execution, which are now more important than ever, continue to prevail.
  31. Gain Capital: ( “no material adverse financial impact”. They note that they increased margin requirements on CHF to 5% back in September. Update: they actually say they made a gain on the Swiss move. Leap Rate now reports that Gain is going after clients with a negative balance. Update: Gain now decided NOT to purse negative balances.
  32. Gainsy: business as usual, forgiving negative balances at the Saint Vincent & the Grenadines based broker.
  33. GKFX: “exploring the possibility of acquiring several brokers” and “GKFX is in a very strong position to expand its business yet further”
  34. Global Prime Australia: “business as usual”. They limited leverage on Swiss pairs.
  35. GMO Click: “minimal losses”. The Japanese broker says it suffered a loss of around $937K but remains materially solid otherwise.
  36. Go Markets: “business as usual” and “The financial impact on GO Markets has been limited and our capital reserves are well in excess of the regulatory requirement. Customers can be assured that their Client Funds are segregated”.
  37. HotForex: “Operating as normal”. From their letter to clients: “We would like to reassure you that HotForex is operating as normal, and was not affected in any material way.Our strict Risk Management procedures minimized the impact of this event. Furthermore, we have stayed true to our motto of Honesty, Openness and Transparency. As testament to our commitment to fairness, all negative account balances have been reset to zero and any clients that bought CHF have been paid in”.
  38. HY Markets: “financial position unaffected” and “We’d like to confirm that our financial position is unaffected following the extreme movement in the price of the Swiss franc on last Thursday, January 15th 2015. We want to reassure all our clients that our systems, controls & policies properly manage the firm’s position & credit risk. We would also stress that all retail client funds continue to be segregated on a daily basis in accordance with FCA rules, and that the Firm continues to hold Regulatory Capital well in excess of the amounts required by the FCA”
  39. IBFX: “no material negative impact” – see more under TradeStation Group.
  40. IC Markets: business as usual. From the statement: “although had a few negative balances predominantly due to pricing anomalies from our LPs which we are in the process of adjusting, it is business as usual”
  41. IG: The group was the first to come out and they announced that they may be facing losses of up to 30 million pounds. Here is a quote from their statement: “The precise level of the impact will be partially dependent on the Company’s ability to recover client debts, but in total it will not exceed, from market and credit exposure”. There is a report that IG is now looking to buy forex brokers.
  42. IKON group: “business as usual”: Despite this unprecedented market event that resulted in an extraordinary volatility in the financial markets, IKON Group is proud to announce it continues, as always, to demonstrate significant financial strength, stability, unparalleled Risk Management and the most stringent customer protection for the benefit of its clients.
  43. ILQ: business as usual, forgiving negative balances.
  44. Instaforex: Website working as usual. No news yet. Reached out for a statement.
  45. Interactive Brokers: This broker says that several of its customers suffered losses in excess of their deposit with the company: “Such debits amount to approximately $120 million, less than 2.5% of our net worth”.
  46. Invast Australia: “strong financial position” and adds this on adjustments: “In our correspondence on Friday, we noted a review would be conducted on all CHF positions for potential adjustments. We have completed our review of all executed orders and no client adjustments are required” continued the statement. “Clients will also be able to resume trading in CHF pairs via MT4 and cTrader with immediate effect. The minimum margin requirement for the CHF pairs has however been revised and will be set at 2% for all CHF instruments” is Invast’s conclusion”
  47. Iron FX: The Cyprus-based broker reports “business as usual”. Here is the statement: “IronFX Global Limited was not affected by these events due to our strong risk management systems and procedures and we continue complying well with our capital regulatory requirements under all regulatory bodies we have licenses. We would, therefore, like to inform our clients that we continue conducting our business as usual. Feel free to contact our account managers around the world should you have any questions”.
  48. JFD: “only 0.3% of our total client base suffered negative balances” and “JFD’s balance sheet remains very strong with a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 24.5% set well above the minimum required of 8%”
  49. LCG: The London Capital Group says it is well capitalized and that the SNBomb had no material impact. It does not expect losses to exceed 1.7 million pounds. LCG operates in various markets and not only forex.
  50. LQD Markets: Bankrupt. Forex Magnates reports that the firm is the latest to file for a bankruptcy protection.
  51. MahiFX: “Business as usual” says the broker: “Risk management is at the heart of what we do and the machine performed admirably,” said David Cooney, MahiFX CEO. “Despite market conditions our systems and trading progressed as usual and we look forward to continuing to provide clients with the highest levels of service”. Full details here.
  52. “business as usual”. The Cyprus based broker says it actually made profits and “this extreme volatility didn’t impact the firm’s strong financial position. Thanks to the company’s robust risk management policies, the Company enjoyed a profitable trading day in yesterday’s session and didn’t have any negative impact from the Swiss Franc’s extreme volatility”.
  53. MFX Broker: business as usual + bonuses: “Previously we announced record high pay-outs to our clients who traded successfully on 15 January during the events in Switzerland. Now we are glad to announce that MFX Broker comes to rescue all other clients of other brokerage companies who suffered these events on the European market. Every client will be offered to choose special bonus which MFX Broker is ready to credit from its own funds.”
  54. MIB: “minimal impact”: and say: “Our Forex customers on all of our integrated platforms, including our own MBT Desktop Pro platform, cTrader, and MetaTrader, saw almost no lapses in trading availability. There were definitely fast market conditions in pairs like the USD/CHF and EUR/CHF that caused price gaps for some customer orders, but overall, the impact was immaterial”
  55. Monex Group: “negative balance loss of$ 1.3 million” and also says “This client negative balance will have no material negative financial impact on the consolidated performance and the business operations of the Company”.
  56. OANDA: Released a statement about honoring all trade executions and will be issuing withdrawals as normal. They have been suffering losses as liquidity vanished but state: “OANDA did not re-quote or amend any CHF cross client trades. We even took the further step of forgiving all negative client balances that were caused when clients could not close out their positions fast enough”. In addition, the company declined to buy competitors: “We actually had conversations with a number of firms that were looking for potential buyers during the course of the day,” Oanda CEO Ed Eger said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg today. “We ultimately decided not to do any of that.”
  57. OctaFX: “no charges inflicted on clients” and “fully reliable and solvent”. Here is more: “OctaFX demonstrated its high reliability: being devoted to our clients, we didn’t inflict any changes upon CHF cross clients trades. However, following the usual company policy we restored all negative client balances that occurred due to the fact that clients were unprepared to these rapid changes… OctaFX remains fully reliable and solvent despite the recent events. All the trades are performed according to the operational company standards. We are proud to confirm our stability and integrity”
  58. OFM: the events would only “serve to reinforce the perception of the company’s integrity and strength” says director of trading Andrew Henderson.
  59. One Financial Markets: “unaffected”. The London based broker said: “The statements from Alpari and others over the last twenty four hours will enhance our position in the industry as one of the most secure FCA regulated brokers. “We take a responsible and professional approach to Risk Management throughout our business and clients can be confident they are dealing with a financially sound company, despite the devastation that others have experienced. It is very much business as usual at One Financial Markets”.
  60. Orbex: “full capacity”. Here is the statement: “We would like to take this opportunity to assure you that despite the extreme volatility the markets have experienced over the past few days, which has cast its shadow over many forex brokers, we are still proudly serving our clients at full capacity and our operations have not been negatively affected.”. More here.
  61. Pepperstone: “business as usual” – They state that they hold capital “well in excess of our ASIC regulatory requirements”. It may even emerge larger: Pepperstone may buy Alpari UKThese reports never materialized.
  62. Plus500: “no material impact’. The broker also said that it was in fact profitable for the day, thanks to the robustness of its risk management policies.
  63. Saxo Bank: They say that they will revisit Swiss franc trades and that “clients may suffer”. All executed fills will be revisited, ammended and this may result in a “worse execution rate than the originally filled level”. Saxo is going after negative balances. Beware.
  64. Sensus Capital Markets: “not strongly affected” and “There were minimal losses, but the capital buffer was adequate to absorb those. Sensus remains a strong player in the industry and will continue to service you with our high standards as always”.
  65. Sunbird FX: Website working as usual. Reached out for a statement.
  66. Swissquote: They set aside 25 million CHF due to Swiss Franc volatility. Here is more: Being a Swiss bank, Swissquote retains a solid capital buffer, as the company stated that even after the provision its core Tier 1 capital ratio amounts to 17%. Update: the company activated the provision of 25 million francs.
  67. ThinkForex: “business as usual” but CHF trading remains at “close only”. The Australian broker says: “We continue to hold capital well in excess of all ASIC regulatory requirements, and confirm that trading on all CHF markets is currently “close only”. Clients with existing open positions are free to hold these positions and can close them at their convenience. As markets return to normal, we expect trading on CHF markets to resume again. We will keep clients notified in due course”
  68. TradeStation Group: “no material negative impact”. The Tokyo traded company said: “Swiss central bank’s decision announced yesterday to abolish its three-year-old policy of capping the Swiss franc against the euro has had no material negative impact on the financial condition of its IBFX/TradeStation Forex or IBFX Australia Pty Ltd operating subsidiaries, or any of its other operating subsidiaries, including TradeStation Securities, Inc. or TradeStation Europe Limited”
  69. TradeView: “business as usual”: The broker than has many clients in Latin America says “We are proud to say we were able to calmly navigate the rough waters during yesterday’s Swiss storm”
  70. Rubix FX: “Business as usual” and no negative impact – Rubix FX has taken additional risk measures as a consequence of the events of the Swiss National Bank removing the currency floor by reducing leverage and increasing margin requirements on specific currency pairs including CHF, other politically influenced and pegged currencies.
  71. UFX: business as usual, forgiving negative accounts.
  72. Varengold Bank: “continues operations undeterred”. The German broker said: “Varengold Bank AG would like to confirm that the extreme volatility experienced yesterday in the currency markets did not affect the financial stability of the bank or it’s clients. The combination of being a German regulated bank with a conservative risk management policy has paid off and Varengold continues to have a strong balance sheet and business ethics”.
  73. Windsor Brokers: “Business as normal”.  and: “We have reassured clients and business partners that trading operations were not affected and that we continued to conduct business as normal. Our risk management policies have helped us resist tough market conditions and solidify our processes over our 26 years of experience in the financial markets.  Moreover, our capital adequacy ratio is currently five times the minimum required as per EU regulations, one of the highest ratios in the FX industry.”
  74. XM: business as usual. Here is what they told us: “the overall effect on the company’s business is immaterial. We remain financially strong, well-capitalized, at levels well in excess of global regulatory requirements”
  75. XTB: “unaffected”. The UK broker also explains why they were not hurt and calls the SNB “callous” and “irresponsible”. Here’s part of what they said: “I’m happy to say that at XTB we’ve not been affected. In fact, it has been business as usual for us. Some have called us lucky – but 2 months ago our trading team made the decision to reduce our leverage limit on CHF pairs to 1:50 (2%), so our exposure to the movement has been effectively risk managed. That’s not luck. Looking at Excel and Alpari, who advertised 1:400 and 1:500 leverage on their FX pairs respectively, you can see why such a dramatic movement has caused so much damage”

For more news about the forex industry, please check out Forex Magnates  and Leap Rate (which also reported that Skrill is suspending payouts to some forex brokers). You can see headlines from both sites on our Forex Tools page.

Here is our full coverage of the shock SNB decision

In our latest podcast we analyze the SNBomb, do an ECB Preview, discuss US wages, dive into Saudi costs and the look at the Aussie

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About Author

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.


  1. Ilyes Negadi on

    Update from HotForex sent now:

    Dear Client,

    Following the Swiss National Bank’s decision yesterday to remove the Swiss Franc cap and the subsequent spike in volatility, the market experienced a period of extreme lack of liquidity for trading in CHF pairs. This led to significant losses for many market participants.

    We would like to reassure you that HotForex is operating as normal, and was not affected in any material way.Our strict Risk Management procedures minimized the impact of this event.

    Furthermore, we have stayed true to our motto of Honesty, Openness and Transparency. As testament to our commitment to fairness, all negative account balances have been reset to zero and any clients that bought CHF have been paid in full.

    We are very proud of our reputation in the market and we are confident that after this event our reputation will grow even stronger. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients and partners for their continued loyalty and we are looking forward to a strong 2015.

    As a last note, please exercise extreme caution if entering the markets today as the volatility seems to be set to continue

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated customer support team via myHotForex, live chat, or by telephone on +44 2033185978.

    Kind Regards,

    The HotForex Management Team

  2. if my broker is not on the list, what assumption(s) if any can be drawn……….

  3. I’m left in Saxobank with huge negative account. It’s the worst scenario, isn’t it?

  4. Regarding #7; CMC Markets also (like Saxo), i.e. sent a mail about revisiting all CHF trades and make “cash adjustment to match what they should have been executed at” (my translation, the mail is in swedish).

    Turned out that translated to a _way_ worse price and a total loss 13-14 times bigger than with the original close (which was already 3-5 times over my stop loss).

    Since I had a pending order that may of may not have been triggered and them not adjusting each position but rather removing money directly from the balance it’s hard to give an exact pip number but at least (assuming the pending order triggered) 1200+ pips over the preset SL.

    Just thought it might put some perspective on their “Business as usual” statement.

    • Hi Emil,
      I have the same situation with cmc “business as usual”. Just to add, that email was sent after 10 hours. During all day they allowed further trading and there were no restrictions to access the account. What are your actions after this? Did you claim?

      • Hello Marius!
        So far I haven’t done anything besides reading different threads (mostly on FF) trying to grasp the situation a little better.

        If I remember correctly it is stated that they reserve the right to alter executions that happened outside the actual price (or something like that) and I have absolutely no clue how to prove they could have made me a better stop (I’m not even sure they could have, from what I’ve read it seems pretty random if stops where respected or not).

        So while it truly stinks getting stops screwed this way, I’m not sure I can claim anything:-( If you have any ideas let me know!

        • Hi Emil,

          I claimed this “adjustment” according to their rules. I just want to clear up the situation. I have records from my account with other broker, who closed my positions some seconds later than cmc (in the morning)at price 150 points from the same stop loss level, not 1950 what I calculated after account “adjustment” with cmc. Not so much hope but any way waiting for their answers…

          • Hi Marius and Emil,

            I am in the same situation, and I plan to lodge a complaint with the FCA. The adjustment came 9 hours after and i assumed for the whole day that my positions were closed at my stop loss price.

            Could you update if you hear anything from them? thanks.

      • hello Marius and other, if you were penalised by cmc why do not we group ourselves together?

    • Hi Emil and all others, I am a victim of CMC Markets price adjustment notification. Obviously I find this tottaly unacceptable, unreasonable and unfair treatment. Please reply to this post in case you have become the subject of the same treatment. And as far as I know, CMC Markets treat all trades related to chf in the same way. It would be very helpful if we can stand up collectivelly. If you also think that this may be helpful, please contact me at this email: [email protected].

      • John
        I am also a victim of CMC Markets. They activated my SL at abt 200 pips then hours later made a 2000 pips revision. I would like to join the group to take an reasonable action.

        • Al Fight CMC Markets on

          It is time for all CMC Customers to get in touch with Peter the 90% owner of Cmc who will be worth billions. Tell him what you think of your price adjustment after Cmc have advertised no re-quotes!!
          [email protected]
          As owner he needs to answer to all clients

  5. Regarding #3, AvaTrade to did similar to (at least) Saxo and CMC and adjusted the trades. Didnät suffer on this one but here is the letter they sent out;
    Dear Client,

    As you probably know, the Swiss National Bank removed the floor of 1.20 on the EURCHF yesterday at 9:30 GMT.
    Following the announcement, there was no liquidity on the CHF pairs and the EURCHF market fell from the floor of 1.2000 to 0.95-1.00, and then further through 0.85-0.90, and liquidity finally returned at prices between 1.03-1.04, all according to the Electronic Broking Services (EBS) .

    AvaTrade is applying fill levels for all executed trades/orders which occurred between the times of 09:30:00 GMT to 10:50:00, with a EURCHF price of 1.0450. For all other CHF pairs, the execution rate will be calculated and the trades/orders will be adjusted by using the EURCHF price from the above and the relevant 3rd currency price vs EUR at the time.

    AvaTrade is pleased to confirm that yesterday’s SNB statement and Swiss Franc volatility had no material effect on the company’s strong financial position.

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our customer care team.

    AvaTrade Team

  6. Kindly inform about updates at Citi FxPro. I haven’t heard anything about them. Are they/Have they amended the trades?

    • I haven’t heard about amending their trades, only about a loss. If anybody has more information, I’ll gladly add it.

      • Thank Yohan, can you please share what have you heard about the loss? Do kindly add on the thread if someone gives you more info about amendments of trade, which would be strange right post that

  7. roszakaria on

    whre instaforex update??? all profit after news i trade eur/chf have been cencel…..why this happen…

  8. German DAB bank stopped providing prices and executing orders shortly after the announcement. Only 20 minutes later their platform resumed. Stop orders were subsequently shown as having been executed at under 1,0000 eur/chf, a slippage of over 2000 points. I received a call from the bank telling me that the bank seeks to recover the 80.000 euro loss on my account…, 18 times the amount of my stop loss…

    I will fight this, if necessary in court. According to the their contractual obligations, they are to provide prices on the basis of the relevant market. The inter bank market was working and it took 10 minutes for price to go down to 1,00000. On the way down price went down and up and down…. There was hence liquidity. The bank had an obligation to protect its customers and be prepared to execute stop loss orders at market levels. The fact that their own liquidity providers did not provide them with liquidity is the banks risk which they should have managed better through hedging.

  9. German DAB bank stopped providing prices and executing orders shortly after the announcement. Only 20 minutes later their platform resumed. Stop orders were subsequently shown as having been executed at under 1,0000 eur/chf, a slippage of over 2000 points. I received a call from the bank telling me that the bank seeks to recover the 80.000 euro loss on my account…, 18 times the amount of my stop loss…

  10. Yohay, excellent blog. Would be interesting to see as well how the brokers executed stop losses.

  11. Haven’t heard much about CitiFX….was seriously considering them as they are part of citibank. Any news ow they handled this?

  12. Hello!

    My account in Interactive Brokers is now negative due to the CHF movement.

    Am I liable for that negative balance?

    If I ask them they will say of course I have to pay the debt, but I’m not sure that’s true.

    I’m in a mess. Really appreciate any help on this.


    • I hope you aren’t. I don’t have any information, apart from the fact that some brokers decided to forgive negative balance. I hope others follow.

  13. I just wrote an article about this. Fortunately I didnt have any losses, but obviously worried about my funds at my broker anyway, who could have done.

  14. I longed USDCHF with CMC. my stoploss was at 1.0080. initially filled at 1.0060. then somehow it was conveniently revised to 0.85598. What is the point of me placing a stop-loss even? Where is the transparency?

    • are you planning to claim? i am in the same situation and plan to lodge a complaint with the fca. the trade adjustment was made to an arbitrary level after 9 hours.

      • I reported the case to local authority. Other than Oanda, which other brokers do not requote clients?

  15. Hi,

    I had similar case with Saxo. I had stop loss at 1.197. They executed it at 10:30:48 with 1.1966. That is fine, this is what I expected them to do.

    However next morning they arbitrarily changed price to 0.9625 and removed serious amount of money from my account.

    I think it is like a free robbery ! I know that they have a fuzzy sentence in their General Terms about changing issued prices back in time in special cases. In the future I will not deal with brokers who have similart sentence, unless they let me do the same, revise my trades after 12hrs 🙂

    However in this case it is not really applicable. You can hardly say that @ 10:30:48 the market was in a special state, can you ? I’m sure at this moment there were liquidity and the price just started to change. Otherwise they would close it at a much different price. Or much later in lack of liquidity. They close that position at that time and at that price because the actual market information justified it for their trading algorithm. The problems started later !

    Their statement sounds like if the price was 0.9625 in the whole time period of 10:30:00 and 10:41:30. Obvious nonsense.

    I think in the reality this is what goes on with Saxo and many other brokers :

    They act as Market Maker. No real transparency, they trade between their liquidity partners’ prices and their customers positions. That makes them profit normally above the spread. In fast changeing markets their trading algorithm may fail and generate losses.

    This time the change was so big that they cannot cover the loss of their trading algorithm with their 8% margin requirement for CHF. And now they try to push their unexpected losses to those customers who have some money left after a responsible stop-loss execution. Saying in an other way, they put the losses of their trading strategy on you instead of consolidate it with the profit they do during normal periods. The tool is overwrite the past!

    What you guys think?

    • Thanks for sharing Enco. This is certainly annoying. They are not the only broker to do so, but such a move is no fun.

      • I think all traders around the world should be warned about Saxobank General Terms which allowing them to change prices back in time. How can this be done, Yohay?

  16. 6.12
    It is possible that errors may occur in the prices of
    transactions quoted by Saxo Bank. In such circumstances,
    without prejudice to any rights it may
    have under Danish law, Saxo Bank shall not be
    bound by any Contract which purports to have
    been made (whether or not confirmed by Saxo
    Bank) at a price which:
    i Saxo Bank is able to substantiate to the Client
    was manifestly incorrect at the time of
    the transaction; or
    ii was, or ought to have reasonably been
    known by the Client to be incorrect at the
    time of the transaction.
    In which case Saxo Bank reserves the right to either
    1) cancel the trade all together or 2) correct
    the erroneous price at which the trade was done
    to either the price at which Saxo Bank hedged the
    trade or alternatively to the historic correct market

    In order for Saxo Bank to quote prices with the
    swiftness normally associated with speculative
    trading, Saxo Bank may have to rely on available
    price or availability information that may later
    prove to be faulty due to specific market circumstances,
    for instance, but not limited to, lack of liquidity
    in or suspension of an asset or errors in
    feeds from information providers or quotes from
    Counterparties. If so and if Saxo Bank has acted in
    good faith when providing the price to the Client,
    Saxo Bank may cancel the trade with the Client but
    shall do so within reasonable time and shall provide
    the Client with a full explanation for the reason for
    such cancellation.

  17. Saxo’s General Terms ( talks about backward changes in points 6.12 (Dealings.. ) and 16.5 (Market Making). These points raise several problems in general, especially with Market Making activity, where the price is set buy Saxo at his will. In this case they cannot say they got errored prices at all. In this position they declare a price which is their decision and cannot be considered error. They always have the possibility to quote different price or make no quote/trade. All this process is their trading strategy or algorithm after which they are responsible.
    But to make point 6.12 and 16.5 applicable I think first they have to prove us that during the questioned period the real sell price was 0.9625 or worse, or they cannot get sell offer from their liquidity partners. To prove this they need to show us credible statement from all of their liquidity partners that they gave no sell offer to Saxo or gave worse than 0.9625 during this period.
    It is obviously not possible if liquidity partners are honest. And in general a fixed price cannot be applied for the whole time period. Clearly these prices and time period are not coming from the market, but they calculated as an aftermath to hedge the losses of their trading machine.
    Point 6.12/I requires this explicitly, and off course 6.12/ii is not applicable. Point 16.5 mentions only cancelling a trade within reasonable time and with full explanation. So this point as again not applicable because they changed the price and not cancel the trade. And response time was not reasonable and I got no full explanation. The first thing I observed about it was around next morning 8am when my account was changed. And I got short email notification only 3 hrs later. I would not call this reasonable time.
    What we can do? Of course you can always start legal action, but it will be lengthy and maybe pricey.
    Maybe besides that we can also turn to the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority ( and ask if Saxo’s behaviour is compatible with the Danish financial rules, policies and goodwill. Namely
    – To change executed trades prices after 12 hrs of execution. One sided, no notice.
    – To declare fixed market price for a 10 min time period.
    – Practically to hedge the losses of their trading algorithm with a group of clients’ accounts whose account was not nulled due to responsible stop-loss stings.
    We can also raise similar questions to local financial authorities as well. More people raise these questions, more publicity than more pressure on Saxo to withdraw their sick decision and abuse their business power over individual clients.

  18. Gregor, we posted simultaneuosly. See my post while I think these points are not really applicable in the current crash, especially if you had a properly executed stop-loss early enough.

    I think point 6.12 is applicable only in case when they are not working as a Market Maker, but just as an Angent selling exchange traded funds. In this case it can happen in theory that they receive wrong data from and external source due to the failure of the external source. But it is not very likely today when all these suffs are computerised. A heard some cases but those were
    coupled with after or before hours trading.

    Point 16.5 is a complete BS, sad that I never spotted it before.
    As MM they cannot refer to external errors and they are responsible for their decesions. They cannot change it backwards in time based on information collected later in time, after which they have already influneced their clients and possible the market.

    No any business can do that. If they can do it, than it is not business anymore but free robbery and abuse of market power.

  19. Please I haven’t heard anything from my broker. Finexo. Anybody or comments will be helpful.

  20. Kindly update about CitiFX Pro please. Did anyone hear anything about amendment? Are they facilitating withdrawals yet?

  21. Pay attention to … Some minutes after SNB news, on their ECN-accounts, EUR/CHF rate spiked to 1.33, and after 1 second was back to the parity.
    This flash move triggered “stop outs” on short positions, turning many winning trades into loosing trades and negative balances.

  22. Cmc Markets AVOID them! had this for my 1.1995 level stop which should have been $50 loss in total. My position was executed out at 1.1898 for just over $300 loss and then they emailed with a further price adjustment 10 hours later

    Actions taken by the Swiss National Bank on 15 January 2015 in removing the euro “peg”, alongside the benchmark interest rate cut, created severe dislocation in the underlying foreign exchange market between [09:30 and 10:02 GMT][10:30 and 11:02 CET]. This resulted in little or no liquidity in the affected Swiss currency pairs, with several liquidity providers upon whom we place reliance to generate the Prices on our Platform ceasing to provide any prices during this time. These events gave rise to Circumstances Outside Our Control which impaired the ability of our Platform to quote correct Prices, resulting in Orders continuing to be accepted at incorrect Prices for the affected Swiss currency pairs. Given the circumstances we determined it fair and reasonable to take a Reserved Action by varying the Prices at which the affected trades were accepted on our Platform to reflect the correct Prices in accordance with the terms of the Disclosure Document, including but not limited to sections 11.5 (“Reserved Actions) and 11.7 (“Circumstances Outside Our Control”). This variation in Price was applied to all affected Accounts as a cash adjustment which can be viewed in your Account history.

    The first available sell price applicable to your EURCHF was 1.00684 and accordingly a trade adjustment of NZ$ -5,217 has been made to your Account which reflects the difference between the incorrect price at which our platform initially executed the trade and the correct price of 1.00684.

    Cmc have no morality being a market maker and I will complain to financial authorities here with how they can show an executed stop price then adjust with no details till I complained

      • Hey Gino

        They replied that their adjustment stands & a note to say that if i’m not happy i can complain to Financial Services Complaints here in New Zealand which i will do. No details of when “their executed trades took place” which i view as extremely problematic.

        Application of Disclosure Document to the events above on your account
        The justifications for the adjustments that we have made to your Account are set out in the DD, which
        forms part of the agreement between you and us in relation to all Trades. The relevant sections
        • Section 2.20 (“Errors”);
        • Section 4.2 (“How the Platform handles different types of Orders”);
        • Section 4.3 (“Prices generated by the Platform”);
        • Section 10.2 (“Gapping”);
        • Section 11.5 (“Reserved Actions”); and
        • Section 11.7 (“Circumstances Outside Our Control”).
        As noted in section 11.7 of the DD, a Circumstance Outside Our Control is a circumstance that is
        beyond our reasonable control such as:
        • an event or circumstance on any financial market that impairs the ability of the Platform to
        operate on a normal and orderly basis, including the ability to generate or quote correct prices
        • acts by third party financial institutions with whom we deal, which make us unable to Hedge
        our price risk relating to Trades (11.7(c)); and
        • failures or disruptions in the systems of third parties casing us to receive incorrect or no
        relevant data (11.7(d)).
        In this case, the actions of Swiss National Bank and the resulting effect on markets fall within the
        scope of each of the above circumstances in that they affected our ability to generate correct pricing
        as a result of a lack of pricing in the underlying market together with unreliable and sporadic pricing by
        third party liquidity and pricing providers.
        Following a Circumstance Outside Our Control, upon the resumption of correct pricing, section
        11.7(m) of the PDS provides that the value of any Trade be recalculated in accordance with the
        relevant Price as at the time we are able to resume normal and orderly operation of the Platform,
        which includes the ability to quote correct Prices.
        This is also in-line with our Order Execution Policy that states that Orders are executed at the first
        available price (buy or sell).
        In addition, section 2.20 states that where an Order is handled incorrectly, including execution at an
        incorrect price or contrary to underlying market conditions, we may take various measures to correct
        such error.
        Section 11.7 and section 2.20 set out the Reserved Actions that we are able to take upon the
        occurrence of a Circumstance Outside Our Control or the occurrence of an Error. In particular, section
        11.5(d) provides that Prices in respect of relevant Trades may be varied.
        We note that the risk of gapping, and the risk of an Order not being executed at the expected Price is
        outlined in several places in the DD, including sections 10.2, 4.3 and 4.2.
        In accordance with the above information we view the actions and adjustments taken with respect to
        your Account as correct.

        If you are dissatisfied with our response to your complaint you are entitled to refer your complaint to the Financial Services Complaints Limited. Please see our Complaints Procedure for details of the
        complaints handling process.

        • Hey Gino and AI.

          I suggest all connecting and doing a legal action together! Here is a website, created to gather and unite against CMC Markets:

          • Thanks so much for creating this website!

            I will contact all the other traders who has negative balance from CMC Markets as result of their unfair trading adjustment on EURCHF!

            It is really unfair what CMC did! I dont trust any these trading brokers!

    • For those who suffered a loss on EUR/CHF due to an unfair “trading adjustment” by CMC Markets, we are many and uniting to escalate this issue to the financial services regulators in different countries.
      We have strong evidence that the adjustment was unfair, and CMC Markets advertisement of “100% fully automated trading and no re-quotes” is misleading.

  23. I have a negative balance with ETX but remain in the dark about whether they will be forgoing it or seeking to recover. Not received any response since last week.

  24. Hi Al,

    what exact time (including sec) did they execute your stop order? There should be a log entry about it.

    • Hi Enco

      all my stops which had been set at 1.1995 got triggered at 22:30:51 NZ time at a price of 1.1898 which was already a massive slip but not the colossal slip they adjusted to of 1.0684

      Disgusting given the main guy of cmc owner peter cruddas is the major shareholder & is basically milking huge amounts of money each year from it. goldman sachs has 10% shareholding. So he misses out on part of his $100millions profit share as a result of this. Cmc have said they lost only $10mil if all bad debts.

      All just about the money – you have to be extremely careful how your brokers deal with -ve. In this case cmc dont necessarily take full hedging positions in the markets being market makers & net out longs & shorts by clients.

      They say clients don’t share or own the underlying asset in their disclosure docs!! So why even adjust the price? They are not ECNs which had full positions in the market

  25. Update: CitiFx Pro honours executed stop loss orders (all between 1.2000 and 1.1990) executed at prices above 1.1990 and agress to facilitate withdrawal.
    Haven’t heard of an broad amendment by them but the stop loss order level confirmation seems to be validated on a case by case basis.

  26. CMC did a trading adjustment that left my account with a negative balance of almost 300K.

    Any other traders left with negative balance at CMC after the trading adjustment?

    We can do a “class action” against CMC, if they do not bring the balances back to zero.

    • I think that is a great idea Gino – think we have to put up a Facebook page to set this one up. I am sure heaps of traders are fuming with cmc markets on this one

  27. GFT UK (part of Gain Capital) are already asking clients to pay back negative balances.

  28. Horrible situation. .. do you know anybody if the regulations changed about minimum deposits and max leverage after that?

  29. Swissquote started sending letters to negative accounts holders asking them to cover the losses until mid-end February

    • Al Fight CMC Markets on

      It is time for all CMC Customers to get in touch with Peter the 90% owner of Cmc who will be worth billions. Tell him what you think of your price adjustment after Cmc have advertised no re-quotes!!

      [email protected]
      As owner he needs to answer to all clients

  30. Everywhere people are saying that they lost $illions on Black Thursday. If so much was lost, didn’t someone else have to make that money? Where did all that money go? Did it just evaporate?

  31. Yohay. Please can you check on IG. They seem to be chasing negative balances. Making clients take all the loss even though it’s related to their aggregation process which meant they missed early liquidity. Thanks

  32. For those who suffered a loss on EUR/CHF due to an unfair “trading adjustment” by CMC Markets, we are many and uniting to escalate this issue to the financial services regulators in different countries.
    We have strong evidence that the adjustment was unfair, and CMC Markets advertisement of “100% fully automated trading and no re-quotes” is misleading.

  33. Has anyone experienced Interactive Brokers threatening arbitration /forcing bankruptcy over negative balances? It seems a bit aggressive given they are one of the few major brokers chasing negative balances but any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

  34. wh selfinvest on

    For those who suffered a negative balance due to EUR/CHF long positions at WHS / WH Selfinvest.
    Some of us are coming together to combine our efforts
    You can write e-mail to join this class action lawsuit.
    [email protected]

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