Founded in 2014, ATFX is an online forex and contract for difference (CFD) broker that has a global presence and supports customers in over 16 different languages. The broker has its main offices in London and Limassol, Cyprus, although ATFX also has offshore offices in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and in Mauritius.
ATFX uses a no-dealing-desk (NDD) straight-through-processing (STP) broker model. It also supports either spot or CFD trading in numerous assets that include 43 currency pairs, 15 major indices, a basic set of precious metals and energy commodities, and over 50 individual stocks.
If you are interested in how we review ATFX, then read further in this ATFX UK review to determine if the broker fulfils your trading needs and if it makes sense to open a trading account with ATFX today.
- Low minimum deposit for Micro account.
- Provides 24/5 customer service access via live chat, phone and email.
- Offers CFDs on major indices, individual stocks and cryptocurrencies.
- Provides negative balance protection on all but Professional accounts.
- Regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the EU by CySEC.
- Offers relatively few tradeable assets.
- Lacks a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
- Poor English on website.
What can you trade?
ATFX Forex Review
When it comes to forex trading, ATFX offers access to only 48 currency pairs, which is less than most top online forex brokers. You will still get to trade all the majors, major crosses and minors with ATFX but not as many minor crosses and exotic pairs as you can trade through some other brokers.
For UK residents, ATFX offers zero-commission trading with competitive dealing spreads. Spreads are only charged when the position is opened, and they vary depending on quotes from the broker’s liquidity suppliers. ATFX also has a zero minimum spread account type option that requires you to pay a $25 commission on trades.
Regarding leverage, the FCA and EMSA only allow UK and EU based brokers to offer up to 30:1 leverage to retail forex clients in their jurisdictions. If you deal through ATFX’s offshore entities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Mauritius, however, then the broker offers a higher maximum leverage ratio of 200:1 for major and minor currency pairs and gold and silver, while the maximum leverage for exotic currency pairs is 50:1.
You can trade forex at ATFX in amounts as small as 0.01 of a lot and as large as 20 lots. The broker also supports MetaTrader 4 (MT4), which is the most popular trading platform among retail forex traders.
One possible issue for some traders is that the broker apparently takes a one minute trading break each day around midnight (GMT+2 or GMT+3 during Daylight Savings Time). While the impact of this may be minimal for many UK traders, it may not suit those who typically hold positions during that time that they might need to exit. It could also impact those who intend to run trading robots overnight that might try to enter or exit a position then.
ATFX CFD Review
ATFX offers a basic selection of assets for CFD trading. The broker’s CFD assert range includes around 15 indices, which consist of major stock market indices and the USDX index, and more than 50 individual stocks.
In terms of its client coverage, ATFX aims its CFD trading services at retail traders who find the MT4 trading platform sufficient for their needs.
When it comes to learning material, ATFX has a Market Analysis section on its website that offers educational seminars and investment research via Trading Central reports that cover forex, precious metals, commodities and indices.
The broker also has a decent economic calendar aimed at forex traders, and it provides a free Quarterly Market Outlook containing longer-term analysis that covers all of the markets ATFX provides access to.
ATFX also lets you trade CFDs using third party or your own automated trading software implemented using MT4.
ATFX Social Trading Review
Social trading at ATFX is limited and currently consists of the broker’s collaboration with the MT4 desktop trading software and community. Once inside the MT4 platform, you will need to register your account for social aka auto trading by clicking on ‘Auto Trading’.
You can then click on the Signals tab in the toolbox window positioned by default at the bottom of the MT4 platform’s display screen to find Trading Signals that you can follow. Selecting any of these Signals lets you begin copying the trades in real time of other MT4 traders who elect to provide such Signals, although you will probably need to pay for the privilege of copying top traders.
ATFX Cryptocurrency Review
When it comes to trading cryptocurrencies at ATFX, the broker offers CFDs on several of the most popular cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrencies you can currently trade at ATFX and their minimum spreads are: Bitcoin (BTC) with a 40 pip minimum, spread, Ethereum (ETH) with a 6 pip minimum spread, Litecoin (LTC) with a 5 pip minimum spread and Ripple (XRP) with a 0.05 pip minimum spread.
Although the selection is very limited, those minimum spreads seem quite good among cryptocurrency brokers. Also, ATFX’s margin rate on cryptocurrency trades is 50%, which implies a 2:1 leverage ratio.
ATFX Spread Betting Review
Spread betting at ATFX is typically tax free to UK traders and allows you to speculate on financial markets using margin. Furthermore, dealing spreads are competitive and start at 0.6 pips, and you only need a modest initial deposit to get started.
You also enjoy negative balance protection, and you can limit your risk with stop loss and limit orders when spread betting at ATFX. While hedging is allowed in a spread betting accounts, as are the use of MT4 and expert advisors, scalping is not permitted.
What did our traders think after reviewing the key criteria?
All clients of ATFX will need to pay away the dealing spread on a transaction when they enter a position, which is a standard type of fee that online brokers charge. Dealing spreads are variable and have a competitive minimum width specified by the broker for each account type. ATFX does not generally charge for withdrawals or inactivity fees.
Commissions are also generally not charged at ATFX, although traders who quality for and select the Premium account type will be charged a flat $25 commission per trade since they have access to raw dealing spreads that are typically very tight depending on liquidity and market conditions. Traders who engage in social trading via MT4 may also have to pay fees to the traders they are copying.
Extra trading-related fees can also arise as swaps or rollovers. These are incurred when a trader holds a position overnight if they are long the currency with the lower interest rate in a pair. Day traders and scalpers rarely have to worry about swaps, but longer term traders might be charged extra.
ATFX offers a decent range of trading account types that should suit most traders. Furthermore, all ATFX UK account types conform to FCA regulations, let traders enjoy free deposits and withdrawals, and allow access to ATFX’s online trading course.
Only the Professional account type does not qualify for negative balance protection, and all of the accounts currently supported by ATFX allow you to deal in sizes as small as 0.01 of a lot.
In addition to a free demo account funded with virtual money that you can use to practice trading and test strategies, you can choose among the following list of live account types:
- Micro Account: Requires a $/€/£100 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 1 pip with no commission. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for FCA regulated accounts. Has a maximum total deposit limit of $/€/£1,000.
- Standard Account: Requires a $/€/£500 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 1 pip with no commission. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for FCA regulated accounts.
- Edge Account: Requires a $/€/£5,000 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 0.6 pips with no commission. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for FCA regulated accounts.
- Premium Account: Requires a $/€/£10,000 minimum deposit and features raw spreads with a minimum of 0 pips with a $25 commission per side. Leverage is as high as 30:1 for FCA regulated accounts.
- Professional Account: Requires a $/€/£5,000 minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 0.01 pips with no commission. Leverage is as high as 400:1 for FCA regulated accounts. Traders must provide evidence to meet ESMA requirements for Elective Professionals.
The ATFX reviews posted on some websites state that the broker does not offer an Islamic account without overnight swaps, and that common account option was not listed among the available account types on the broker’s website when this review was written.
ATFX supports the free MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform developed by MetaQuotes. While MT4 remains the market standard for retail traders, this lack of selection might be seen as inferior to the trading platform choices top online brokers typically provide and that would yield a better ATFX review in this section.
The straightforward yet sophisticated MT4 platform has desktop, mobile and web-based versions. A screenshot of the mobile MT4 app is shown below.
The ATFX website is simple and very easy to use, so you should have no trouble navigating it to find the information you need. If you want to view the broker’s payment methods, tradeable assets, trading offers or other key information, you should find it easily.
A tab menu at the top of the page illustrates how the website is organised. It has these options: About ATFX, Trading, Market Analysis, IB Partnership, Promotions and Contact Us. These tabs provide a good sense of the organisation of the broker’s website, and their associated pull-down menus provide more detailed navigation information.
ATFX has received awards for its customer service that is focused on its 24/5 Live Chat service, although regional hot line phone numbers and email support regarding various issues are also available. In addition, the broker’s website has a decent FAQ that can be used to look up commonly-required information.
Although ATFX’s website does not always use correct English, it is generally understandable and has been translated into at least 16 languages.
The image below shows the broker’s Contact Us page on its AT Global Markets (UK) Limited website to provide a better sense of what support options are available for those who deal through ATFX’s UK office.
ATFX is a global broker that lets clients make deposits and withdrawals by way of several popular payment channels. These include the following:
- Credit and debit card payments: Card transactions are processed quickly and you should see your deposit reflected in your account within around 30 minutes.
- Bank wire transfers: You can send a wire transfer from any bank without transaction limits. Banks usually charge for such transactions, and processing a wire transfer can take two to five business days. ATFX credits your account within one day from receipt of funds from your bank.
- E-wallet payments: ATFX supports Neteller and Skrill, as well as SafeCharge that lets you use over 180 global and regional electronic payment methods, including PayPal.
UK traders can deposit funds directly and without fees in pounds sterling, U.S. dollars and euros. Non-UK traders might be charged a small fee for debit and credit card deposits.
As with most brokers, withdrawals are typically made to the same account the initial deposit came from. Note that ATFX might ask for a bank account if prevented from sending funds to your card for some reason when making a withdrawal.
ATFX currently runs two basic promotions as follows:
- Welcome Credit: ATFX offers a $100 welcome credit that provides you with an additional $100 to your deposited account balance when you open a live account. You will need to make a minimum deposit of $200 within 14 days of registration and trade 6 lots within the promotional period. At that point, you can withdraw your $100 welcome credit.
- Rebate Promotion: ATFX lets traders who participate in this promotion and trade during its active period be continually rewarded with cash back. The promotion has five levels that depend on the net amount deposited and which determine what cash back rebate you get up to a maximum payout level. Cash rewards start at $1/lot up to $100 total for a deposit up to $1,000 and range up to $5/lot up to $2,500 for a deposit above $10,000.
In addition, ATFX offers expert market analysis and trade ideas. The broker also makes an online trading course available to all live account holders, and it has an economic calendar on its website that forex traders should find useful.
ATFX also has several active social media accounts for both its global and UK regional offices. The broker’s Facebook Page presently has over 47,000 followers, and its UK YouTube channel has over 22,000 views, although its UK Twitter account only has 922 followers.
Regulation and Deposit Protection
The ATFX offices based in London and Cyprus are well regulated by the FCA and CySEC respectively. Those offices currently need to operate under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, and so they must segregate their own funds from their clients’ money. Those entities must also restrict leverage ratios to 30:1 among clients who trade through their UK and EU offices.
Furthermore, UK traders are protected against broker defaults in amounts up to GBP 85,000 per person per firm under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), while accounts of EU traders are only protected up to EUR 20,000 by Cyprus’ Investor Compensation Fund (ICF).
ATFX also maintains offices in offshore locations in Mauritius and St Vincent and the Grenadines. These entities are not as well regulated, although you can access higher leverage ratios when trading through them.
With respect to data security, your data on ATFX is properly safeguarded with SSL encryption. ATFX is also obligated to protect customer data in accordance with GDPR and EDPA, so it cannot disclose client information to third parties and needs to adequately guard against data breeches.
ATFX just started out in 2014, so it has won relatively few awards to date despite receiving typically favourable ATFX reviews. Most notably, the broker’s website currently highlights that it won the Best Forex CFD Broker award at the UK Forex Awards in 2018.
Additional awards ATFX has received to date include: the Best Forex Customer Services award for 2017 at The Entrepreneur JFEX Awards in Jordan, and the Online Personal Wealth Awards prize for the “Best No-Dealing Desk Broker” in 2018.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.