This review will help you decide whether OANDA might be the best spread betting broker for your needs. It will also help you answer the question, is OANDA legit?
OANDA was established in 1996 making it one of the oldest Forex brokers around. It has established itself as a major player in the Forex market and now offers spread betting to UK and Irish clients.
While product range is limited, the platforms and analysis tools make this a good choice for Forex traders. OANDA offers standard and VIP accounts.
- Fewer products than other brokers
- Award winning platform
- Great research and analysis tools
- FCA regulated.
- 1. Spread Betting Trading Offer: Some of the best platforms in the market
- 2. Spread Betting Trading Costs: In line with the market
- 3. Accounts: Standard and VIP accounts accommodate all budgets.
- 4. Spread Betting Trading Platforms: Four platforms to choose from
- 5. Usability of the Website: Packed with Information
- 6. Customer Support: 24/7 email support available in 7 languages
- 7. Methods of Payment: Bank Transfers are the preferred method of payment
- 8. Additional Offers: A wide range of decision making tools
- 9. Regulation & Deposit Protection: FCA Regulated with FSCS deposit protection
- 10. Awards: Oanda has a long string of awards
- 11. Conclusion: Giant Spread Betting Firm with FCA Regulation
Trader Rating Total
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MT4, Broker-owned Software
1) Spread Betting Trading Offer: Some of the best platforms in the market
OANDA broker makes spread betting (also called spread trading) available to its existing customers who reside in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Oanda is one of the longest established Forex brokers and has a good reputation. It has only recently begun to offer spread trading, and is only doing so in certain countries.
Spread trading is very similar to trading contracts for difference from the end users point of view. Behind the scenes, there are more differences, but as far as a trader is concerned the differences are marginal. Spread trading also offers the benefit of profits being tax exempt to UK taxpayers.
Oanda has a relatively limited product offering when it comes to spread trading. While a wide array of currency pairs can be traded, there are only a handful of commodities and indices. OANDA does not offer spread trading on single stocks or cryptocurrencies.
One of OANDA’s strengths is its own trading platforms which have won several awards. It also offers spread betting on MT4, a popular platform.
- Spread trading is very similar to CFD trading.
- OANDA has a limited product range.
- The platforms are some of the best around.
2.) Spread Betting Trading Costs: In line with the market
If you are trying to decide is OANDA a good broker, you want to know about the trading costs. Trading costs are also a key factor to consider when doing a broker comparison.
Spread betting brokers include all the costs in the price in the price you trade at when you open and close a spread bet. When you buy, the price is based on the offer price in the underlying market with a fee added to it. When you sell, the price is based on the price in the underlying market, minus the broker’s fee.
In addition, spread betting brokers charge a financing charge, depending on how long a position is held for. These are usually charged based on hours and days.
Oanda’s spreads are comparable with other brokers. The spread betting market is very competitive, and most brokers charge the same. In some cases, Oanda does charge a little more – notably for indices and commodities. Oanda also charges for currency conversions when applicable.
- All trading fees are included in the price of execution.
- A financing charge is added, depending how long a bet is held for.
- Oanda’s spreads are about the same as other brokers.
3.) Accounts: Standard and VIP accounts accommodate all budgets.
Most spread betting brokers, as well as those that offer Forex and CFDs offer two to four different account types. Micros accounts allow for very small minimum deposits, but charge a little more for each trade. Standard accounts tend to have slightly lower fees, but require a larger minimum account balance.
VIP accounts offer the most cost-effective trading, provided trades are large enough. Some traders have said that the VIP account is a bit limited compared to other brokers.
OANDA broker offers standard and VIP accounts, but no micro account. However, this isn’t a problem as the minimum deposit is on $1.
The minimum and maximum trade sizes vary depending on the type of account. Demo accounts are also available to those just starting out. Oanda offers the demo account for as long as traders would like to practice their trading. Demo accounts allow traders to learn how the platform works and access almost all the platform features. They are also a good way to learn how the trading fees work and how the live prices compare to the spot market.
- Oanda offers standard and VIP accounts.
- No micro account.
- Minimum deposit of $1 which means there is no need for a micro account.
4.) Spread Betting Trading Platforms: Four platforms to choose from
One of the factors anyone doing a spread betting broker comparison will want to know, is which platforms a broker offers. In the case of Oanda, four trading platforms are on offer.
Like all modern brokers, Oanda offers MT4, which we will come back to shortly. OANDA also offers its own platform for desktops, and mobile devices, as well as a web based version which can be accessed from any connected device. These platforms offer a wide variety of technical indicators and other tools. Traders can also set price alerts to be notified when specific prices are reached.
MT4, or MetaTrader4, is the gold standard amongst forex, CFD and spread traders. This platform, which can also be used on Windows, Android and iOS devices, and via the web, offers all the functionality most traders will ever need. Besides advanced charting functionality and the ability to create and back test strategies, it offers a wide range of order types. That means traders get to control how and when trades are executed as well as contingent orders that can be entered to minimize risk and protect profits.
- Five platforms available.
- MT4 is available for spread betting.
- OANDA’s own platform can be used on desktops, mobile devices and via a web browser.
5.) Usability of the Website: Packed with Information
OANDA broker has a great website packed with useful information. Spread betting traders have access to the full site available for Forex and CFD customers. This includes research, tools and educational material.
A simple menu guides visitors to an overview of all the products, markets, platforms and tools available. The tools, analysis and resources tabs are probably the most useful and the first stop for active traders.
The tools tab has an overview of all the charting features, the pattern recognition tools, and the algo lab where traders can download trading systems to use on MT4.
The analysis tab includes news and analysis from the community. It also includes tools that allow traders to see what the rest of the Oanda community are doing in the market and find out where the action is.
The resources tab includes useful information on regulations, press releases and access to the developer API. There is also a marketplace for third party tools and applications.
- The website is packed with information.
- Despite all the information it’s easy to find your way around.
- The analysis and tools sections offer a variety of tools to help traders make decisions.
6.) Customer Support: 24/7 email support available in 7 languages
When asking: is OANDA a good broker? One of the first questions that comes to mind concerns customer service. Markets move fast and being able to contact customer support is vital if a broker is reliable.
Oanda offers 24/7 customer support via email across its entire business. Live chat and phone support is available during business hours only – though this covers the hours most markets are open. Oanda offers customer support in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian. Some online forums have pointed out that hold times can be quite long.
Eight global offices mean there is a local office in most major markets. Oanda hosts numerous educational webinars and live events in several cities. They also make educational materials available to help new traders learn the ropes.
An extensive FAQ section allows users to find answers to questions themselves. These include information on depositing funds, using the platform and how to access the educational information provided. There is also lots of information on the products offered and the trading costs for each market.
- 24/7 email support.
- Live chat and phone support available during business hours.
- Support available in seven languages.
7.) Methods of Payment: Bank Transfers are the preferred method of payment
When choosing a broker it’s always a good idea to see if the available methods to fund your account work for you. There is obviously no point trying to use a broker where you can’t fund the account with a method available to you. And of course, the same applies to receiving withdrawals.
Most brokers accept debit and credit cards, as well as wire transfers. In additions some brokers accept other methods like PayPal, Skrill, Neteller and others.
OANDA Broker’s account funding methods vary from country to country. Since the spread betting platform is only available to residents of the UK and Ireland, the methods applicable to those countries are most relevant.
In general, a spread betting accounts cannot be funded using credit and debit cards. Bank transfers are the preferred method of making deposits and withdrawals for OANDA accounts. It seems PayPal accounts can be used to send funds, but not always to receive funds. There is no reference on the site to other payment providers like Skrill.
- Bank Transfers are accepted
- Credit and Debit Cards not accepted for spread betting accounts
- Some clients may be able to pay via PayPal.
8.) Additional Offers: A wide range of decision making tools
OANDA broker offers its clients a wide selection of additional resources to help them with their trading. Educational webinars and articles are available on the site. These are of particular benefit to novice trades wanting to learn the basics. They cover basic strategies and capital management.
The Algo Lab allows traders to download strategies to test, as well as to create and back test their own. A series of calculators also allows traders to calculate their profit and loss and the cost of trading. This can be quite tricky for some markets where traders are spread betting using leverage and products being traded to four decimal places. This is a fairly unique feature of the platform.
Oanda publishes research and analysis on Forex, commodities and indices on a regular basis. This is all available on the website and traders can subscribe to regular email bulletins too.
Another unique feature is news headlines which can be viewed directly on top of charts. This allows traders to see how the market reacts to news events and gauge the mood of the market. Oanda also offers several data visualization tools to help traders understand what the market is doing at a glance.
- Educational webinars.
- Algo Lab to test strategies.
- Data Visualization tools.
9) Regulation & Deposit Protection: FCA Regulated with FSCS deposit protection
Is OANDA legit? This is a question many will be asking. The most important fact to ascertain before opening a trading account is whether the broker is regulated and if so by who.
Oanda is regulated by several bodies around the world. Since the spread betting service is available to UK and Irish customers, the regulatory body in this jurisdiction is relevant. OANDA is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) for all operations in Europe. It is also regulated by the relevant bodies in the US, Canada, Singapore, Australia and Japan.
As a regulated entity, OANDA is obligated to make certain information available to clients and to keep all client funds in segregated bank accounts. This means the company cannot use client funds to meet its own obligations.
In addition, OANDA’s customer funds are protected by the FSCS deposit protection fund, meaning up to GBP 50,000 is protected for each client. In the event of the company ceasing to operate and funds going missing, the fund will pay out any missing funds to the clients.
- FCA Regulated.
- All client funds kept in segregated accounts.
- Client funds protected by FSCS deposit protection.
10.) Awards: Oanda has a long string of awards
Finally, in asking: is OANDA a good broker, it’s worth looking at any awards the company may have won. OANDA has been operating since 1996 and in that time, it has developed a reputation as a major player in the Forex market. It has only recently entered the spread trading market, and therefore still needs to establish the same reputation.
However, the wards it has won in other areas will give you an idea of the caliber of this broker.
- 2008: Award for Excellence, Best Global Foreign Exchange House – Euromoney
- 2009: The One to Watch – Adam Smith Awards
- 2009: Forex Awards: Best Trading Platform – World Finance
- 2012: Best Global Forex Broker – International Business Times
- 2012: Best Forex Broker – Forex Magnates Summit
- 2012: Best Forex Provider – Financial Times & Investors Chronicle, Investment Awards
- 2013: Best Broker Canada & Best Broker Latin America – World Finance, Forex Awards
- 2013: Best Trade Execution Provider – International Finance Magazine
- 2013: Best Retail Trading Platform – International Finance Magazine
- 2013: Best Mobile Trading Platform – International Finance Magazine
- 2015: Best CFD Broker -Global Banking & Finance
- 2015: Most Preferred Forex Provider – Share Investor Awards
- 2016: World’s Best Retail FX Platform – FX-Week
- 2016: Most Preferred CFD Provider, Most Preferred Forex Provider -Share Investor Awards
- Oanda has won numerous awards since 2008
- Most awards are in the Forex category
- Has also won awards for its platforms
Conclusion: Giant Spread Betting Firm with FCA Regulation
OANDA was established in 1996 and is a popular Forex broker. It now offers spread betting to UK and Irish residents where spread betting offers certain tax advantages over other instruments.
OANDA offers a relatively limited product selection compared to other brokers in the spread betting space. However, it offers award winning platforms and a wide array of decision making tools.
Besides the usual charting tools, OANDA offers its client data visualization tools to see where the actions is and what other traders are doing. It also offers an algo lab where traders can back test and create strategies and download other trader strategies. News and analysis is published on a regular basis.
As far as pricing goes, OANDA’s rates are about inline with other brokers for Forex, and a little higher for indices and commodities.
OANDA only offers standard and VIP accounts. While there are no micro accounts, the minimum deposit of $1, makes micro accounts unnecessary. VIP accounts offer few extra frills, meaning standard accounts are the best choice for most traders.
The website is packed with information and learning resources for the beginning trader to get to grips with the market.
OANDA is regulated by the FCA and customer funds are protected by the FSCS deposit protection fund.
- Good platform
- Analysis tools
- Limited products
- Only avaible in UK and Ireland
- Forex pricing