Orbex Holding LTD is a Forex broker founded in 2011 and based in Cyprus, one of the most popular regulatory jurisdictions as it is part of the EU which lends its credibility while the enforcement of certain provisions tends to be more relaxed than other regulators, such as the UK’s FCA. The broker is currently experiencing a growth stage globally, according to their own account, and pride themselves on customer service.
Orbex claims to deliver its traders the “latest innovations in Forex tools and resources”, but we found during our Orbex review that they only offer the standard MT4 trading platform, which is well-respected, but hardly innovative. They did partner with TradeWorks in order to deliver a third-party automated trading tool which requires no coding experience which can be helpful for new traders. Besides this, the asset selection is rather limited and not suitable for advanced traders. Orbex has settled in the low end of the retail sector, has a minimum deposit of just $200 but offers zero spread accounts for deposits from $5,000. Given the lack of assets, traders with bigger deposits are better served elsewhere until Orbex expands its asset base.
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Regulation and Security
As mentioned previously, Orbex Holding LTD has been regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (License Number 124/10) since 2015. Orbex Holding LTD and the website orbex.com are owned by Orbex Global LTD which is authorized and regulated by the Mauritius Financial Services Commission. Since Cyprus is in the European Union and under the MiFID Directive, it is authorized in all EU member countries.
Orbex participates in the Cyprus Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) and client funds are segregated as mandated by its regulator. The fund carries a compensation limit per client of €20,000 which should be sufficient to cover’s Orbex’s seemingly low-deposit traders.
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Orbex earns its fees from spreads, the difference between bid and ask prices, as well as from commissions and swap rates. Those are the three basic types of income streams for most Forex brokers. The Orbex website lists its average spread on the EUR/USD, the most liquid currency pair which carries the lowest spread, as 1.7 pips which is on the high end of the spectrum and not trader friendly. The execution type is listed as NDD which stands for no-dealing desk, but given the high mark-up on spreads (EUR/USD raw spread is 0.0 pips) Orbex may operate a market maker model which means it earns additional revenues from losses of its traders where it acts as the counter-party to its clients. This applies to its account types where no commission is charged, the accounts where a commission is charged and spreads start at 0.0 pips appear in-line with NDD execution. Commissions start at $8 and are reduced to $5 in its prime account.
Swap rates are published on their website, but are best accessed directly from the MT4 Trading Platform by following these steps:
1. Right-click on the desires symbol in the “Market Watch” window and select “Symbols”.
2. Select the desired currency and then click on “Properties” located on the right side.
3. Scroll down until you see “Swap Long” and “Swap Short”
Orbex also charges “storage fees” on certain assets which is rather disappointing. This is a fee which is not necessary as Orbex already applies a heavy mark-up on raw spreads and swap rates for overnight positions are in place. This is a fixed cost which has nothing to do with interest rate conditions and simply a way to earn more money from its clients.
An inactivity fee is also charged which is another unnecessary fee in order to collect money from clients. Brokers who enact fess like this are better avoided.Back to Top
What Can I Trade?
Asset selection at Orbex is rather limited with only 36 currency pairs, two metals, one energy and five cash indices. When the assets can be counted easily, the offer is less than stellar.Back to Top
Orbex offers four account types plus a swap-free Islamic account. The minimum deposit is $200 for their Starter Account and increases from there. Maximum leverage on all accounts is 1:500 with a stop-out level of 20%. Two accounts offer spreads as low as 0.0 pips and are charged commissions per lot. All account types are listed as NDD execution type, but those who carry no commissions with high spreads appear to be market maker accounts. The two account types which charge commissions start with a rather high minimum deposit of $5,000 and $25,000 which given the limited asset selection make it an unlikely destination for traders who operate accounts of those sums.
The Fixed Spread Account starts from a minimum deposit of $500 and the spread on the EUR/USD is listed as 1.9 pips. This is extremely high, and makes this account type useless to any trader. The Starter Account has a minimum deposit of $200 and the EUR/USD spread starts at 1.7 pips. This is still very high and makes this account type equally useless due to high trading costs.
The Premium Account starts with 0.0 pip spread but comes with a commission of $8 per lot which is also on the high end of the scale. The minimum deposit starts from $5,000 which is out of reach for most new traders as well as the majority of retail traders. The commission is reduced to $5 per lot which brings it more in-line with competitors, but the minimum deposit starts at $25,000 which given the asset selection makes Orbex and unlikely candidate to attract those deposit sizes. The conclusion we reached during this Orbex review is that none of the account types makes any sense, regardless of what type of trader or strategy is applied.
Swap Free or Islamic Accounts are available at Orbex, but all other remain in place.Back to Top
Orbex only offers the MT4 Trading Platform, the go-to platform for Forex brokers, MT4 is rather cheap to obtain and often provided as a White Label solution. It supports EA’s which allow for autonomous trading and plenty of investment from third-parties has gone into this platform. It remains the most popular trading platform as it is offered by nearly every Forex broker. There are Forex brokers who make great use of the MT4 platform which can become a lot more powerful if used with third party modifications.
Orbex lists ECN trading as part of the MT4 capabilities which is impossible without the use of a bridge. By default, MT4 doesn’t support ECN trading and caters to market makers. Orbex doesn’t mention which ECB bridge they use which suggests that they don’t use one at all. This makes the NDD execution type impossible and therefore points towards all account types being offered as market maker accounts.Back to Top
Despite the serious of shortcomings so far, Orbex provides three features to its Forex traders which show that while this brokerage has a long way to go, the will appears to be there. The three unique features offered are Trading Central, Strategizer and Free VPS Hosting. Giving Free VPS to all traders is an unexpected positive surprise as Orbex has been loaded with high trading fees and unnecessary fees.
Trading Central is a registered investment advisor in the US, Hong Kong and authorized in the EU. It gives clients access to 24-hour coverage to 85 markets and Orbex offers its traders the Trading Central MT4 Analysis Indicator plug-in. Trading Central has been in business since 1999 and many retail traders will find it a useful tool in order to get an independent second opinion on markets.
Orbex has teamed up with TradeWorks in order to bring Strategizer to Orbex traders. This tool is an algorithmic Forex trading system and allows traders to create a Forex trading strategy which is then executed in the MT4 trading platform. No programming knowledge is required, and retail traders can create their own EA’s with Strategizer. Development of fully autonomous trading solutions is one of the fastest growing sectors in global finance and millions of dollars are spend every month by companies in order to deliver state-of-the are solutions to clients. Strategizer will fulfil the basic needs of retail traders but should not be confused with the capabilities delivered by fintech companies. It is a great tool offered to the client base which may be attracted by Orbex.
Free VPS Hosting
This is a nice extension to Strategizer as the created EA’s can operate 24/5 for clients and the fact that it is provided for free to all traders makes this a rare case of great service offered by Orbex.
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Research and Education
Orbex does offer a nice research and education package which will be great for new traders, but it still doesn’t justify the trading costs. Orbex shines in certain areas, but counters that by the most basic aspects of trading. It does spend the resources to educate new traders and to provide good coverage of the market through its research team, but the trading conditions at Orbex remain subpar in our professional opinion.
The research package is divided into Orbex WebTV, Technical Analysis, Fundamental Analysis and Weekly FX Reports. The research team is led by Head of Investment Research Stavros Tousios. The quality of the presentation is great and Forex traders can easily navigate through what interests them. The podcasts are also a great feature which is very popular, especially with younger traders.
This section is broken down into the following categories: Webinars, Free Forex eBooks, Free Forex Video Courses, Tutorials and Learn to Trade Forex. The videos are a great feature and allow traders to learn the basics, the webinars are hosted by their experts and the Learn to Trade Forex gives a quick crash course to new traders and covers the basics. Overall this is a great educational package for new traders.
Additionally, a comprehensive glossary is available to traders which allows them read up on terms and round out the great educational package is a Trading Tips sections which uses podcasts in order to deliver the content.Back to Top
Customer service is provided 24/5 and in multiple languages. Clients can send an e-mail, start a live chat or call support directly. Orbex offers a call-back service which is a nice feature. Additionally, an FAQ section is available which should cover most basic questions. Usually customer service is something most traders will never require, but given the trading environment and conditions at Orbex, it may be good to keep the contact details nearby.
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Bonuses and Promotions
At the time of this Orbex review, no bonuses or promotions were offered by the broker.Back to Top
Opening an Account
Clients have the choice to open an account with either Orbex LTD which is regulated by CySEC and under the EU framework, or with Orbex Global LTD which is regulated by the FSC in Mauritius. Following that choice, the registration form is the same two-step online application which should take less than two minutes to complete. Traders will have to submit verification documents are required by regulators in order to comply with KYC and AML regulations. This is a normal process and standard practice with all Forex brokers.
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Deposits and Withdrawals
Orbex offers a good mix of deposit and withdrawal options which include the basics such as credit and debit cards as well as wire transfers together with a nice mix of online payment processors and e-wallets. Orbex doesn’t charge fees for deposits which is in-line with standard industry practice. Withdrawals are also free of charge which is great and another surprise in the broker’s fee-heavy trading environment. Third party fees connected to wire transfers do apply, but most Forex traders prefer to use online payment solutions which makes this fee redundant to them. The processing speed for deposits is listed as up to 2 hours for everything except wire transfers, most of those deposits should be processed instantly. Withdrawal professing time is up to 24 hours except for credit/debit cards and wire transfers where it may take 3-5 business days.Back to Top
Where is Orbex based?
Orbex Holding LTD is based in Cyprus and Orbex Global LTD is based in Mauritius.
How does Orbex make money?
Orbex makes money from spreads, commission, swaps as well as fees related to storage as well as inactivity. It also makes money from trading losses of its clients where it acts as a counter party.
How can I deposit into an Orbex account?
Orbex offers credit and debit cards, bank wires, Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, Fasapay, K-Net and Klarna.
What is the minimum lot size at Orbex?
Orbex has a minimum lot size requirement of 0.01 standard lots for currency pairs.
When does a stop out take place at Orbex?
Orbex enforces a stop out at a 20% Equity-to-Margin ratio.
Is Orbex regulated?
Orbex Holding LTD is authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (License Number 124/10). Orbex Global LTD is authorized and regulated by the Mauritius Financial Services Commission.
What is the maximum leverage offered by Orbex?
Orbex offers a maximum leverage of 1:500 in all accounts.
How do I open an account with Orbex?
Orbex offers a quick and digitized online application form.
Does Orbex offer the MetaTrader Trading Platform?
Yes, Orbex offers MT4 trading platform.Back to Top
Orbex has a great educational course for new traders and their research team does an excellent job. It also offers its Forex traders Trading Central, Strategizer and Free VPS Hosting which are great tools many retail traders will appreciate. This is where the good news end for Orbex. Unfortunately, the trading environment is terrible with high trading costs, low asset selection and unnecessary fees. The high fees associated with this broker make us recommend finding a broker with lower fees and wider offerings, which would be most other brokers.
Adding to the negatives is that Orbex claims to offer NDD execution but given their account structure it all points towards a market maker. ECN capability is listed, without explaining which bridge is used as only the MT4 Trading Platform is offered which doesn’t support ECN capabilities. Despite being regulated in Cyprus, it appears that there is some misinformation in regards to execution type. While there are things to like about Orbex when it comes to education, research and trading tools, the high costs and fees associated with a trading account at this broker makes Orbex an unsuitable choice for any type of trader. There is potential if Orbex cleans up its act, but for the time being it is wise to stay away.Back to Top
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