Interview: FXCM’s Kourosh Khanloo on the market situation in Germany

LeapRate interview… Kourosh Khanloo is Managing Director of FXCM Germany and has been active in the financial sector for several years. Most recently, he was responsible – also at FXCM Germany – for Sales & Service in the foreign exchange trading division. He holds a degree in business administration and is a proven specialist in Forex and CFD trading. Due to his previous employment at an exchange location he also has expertise in the financial markets.

Khanloo joins LeapRate today to discuss the market situation in Germany and how FXCM Germany has been managing through this challenging period.

LR: How has FXCM Germany been managing through this challenging period of global uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic?

Khanloo: FXCM has been managing well through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency plans were in place in advance to ensure that FXCM’s employees could work from home and that servers, trading platforms, and trading services were functioning properly. In addition, thanks to our Hong Kong office, we were able to gain experience in dealing with the pandemic at an early stage.

LR: What steps has your company been taking to address the myriad concerns of clients, employees and partners around safety, platform stability and risk mitigation?

Khanloo: We made sure that our clients were able to reach us at all times and that the trading systems were always fully functional. For the safety of our customers, we increased the margin on certain products in advance of volatile events and informed our customers of this ahead of time.

LR: Tell us more about the company’s customer service.

Khanloo: First of all, our customer service is available worldwide almost around the clock and in 15 languages. We have also reduced customer waiting times to a minimum. This averaged seven seconds in chat rooms and 40 seconds on the phone. Our customer reviews speak for themselves: they were 90% positive.

LR: Any new company offerings you want to share with us?

Khanloo: Recently, there have been stock CFDs on for instance Facebook and Google that can be traded without commission*. We also want to gradually expand our product range to include additional companies from the USA, UK, France, Germany and Spain. We have also expanded our range of equity baskets. Furthermore, there are two new oil CFDs (USOilSpot and UKOilSpot) that can be traded without an expiration date, however overnight charges may apply.

LR: What have been your most popular products so far this year?

Khanloo: The most popular products have been CFDs on the DAX, Gold and Oil.

LR: What are the growth areas of the company’s German business?

Khanloo: Above all, we see growth potential in automated trading. FXCM currently offers four APIs, each of which is directly connected to the trading server. By the way, we have been working with TradingView since February and jointly launched an API-supported integration that allows traders to execute orders directly from TradingView and to take advantage of additional information sources.

LR: According to you, what are the key traders’ demands in 2020 so far?

Khanloo: Traders continue to value good customer service and easy access to their broker. Especially in the past few months during the Corona crisis, we have noticed an increased need for information on the part of our clients, which we were able to meet thanks to our well-established staff and mechanisms.

LR: How the German market has been responding to the coronavirus? Are there any observations or insights you might be able to share?

Khanloo: It can be observed that more and more competitors are pushing into the German market and accordingly the pressure to consolidate and the competition for customers is increasing. In general, the Corona period was characterised by increased interest in trading and correspondingly higher demand on the part of customers.

We attribute this in particular to the high market volatility of these days, which has continued to this day in a somewhat weaker form. We have reacted to this by expanding our product range and our training programme.

LR: What changes do you expect in the German brokerage market in the next 12 months?

Khanloo: The competitive pressure will remain in any case. From 2021, the tax loss offset for CFDs could also be restricted in Germany, which would be regrettable from an investor’s point of view, as it limits the possibility of portfolio hedging. The migration of traders to brokers in less regulated areas as a result of ESMA regulations also remains an issue. At the same time, we notice that traders also see the market, which became more volatile during the Corona crisis, as an opportunity and we have put together a convincing package with our stable platforms and customer service.

*All transaction costs are already built into the spread and there are no added commission fees. Overnight charges may apply.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

75.38% 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.
Forex Capital Markets Limited is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registration number 217689. Registered in England and Wales with Companies House company number 04072877.

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