Retail forex broker EXNESS broke onto the global scene over the past couple of years, seeing its monthly volumes grow from $20-$40 billion in 2012 to the $150-$200 billion range in 2014 (with its volumes audited by Deloitte), making EXNESS one of the world’s leading retail forex brokers.
EXNESS just unveiled a major redesign of its website (see screenshot below), giving us a good opportunity to discuss the present and future of retail forex trading with Victor Masalov, Director of Product Development at EXNESS.
We see that EXNESS just launched a brand new website, very visually oriented. Can you give us some background to the changes you’ve made?
Absolutely. I think the addition of lots of striking visual images has given the site a fresh design and made the biggest impression on our clients. This was intentional: it is well known that people comprehend any information much better if it is accompanied by interesting photos and illustrations, so the updated website is a lot more understandable and significantly better at conveying what we want to communicate to traders. EXNESS’ philosophy is founded on an awareness of our clients’ and partners’ needs and creating a comfortable environment for them. So if the new website is more comfortable for visitors and helps us more clearly express our company’s values, then I think we achieved our purpose.
Were you reluctant to make the changes, given how well your business was doing with the old site?
Since its founding, EXNESS has evolved continuously, and this year our trading volume grew so noticeably that we have become an industry leader. Above all, we have our trading conditions and our professional client support service to thank for this. However, we realized long ago that our site needed a major overhaul. Today its not only the design that has changed. Our innovations affect both navigation and content. It is logical: the market changes, traders change, and our service adapts to new requirements.
For several years EXNESS has solidly maintained top positions in southeast Asian countries. In a way, this reflects the growth trend of the Asian financial market in general and the forex market in particular. Clients in this region can try trading at various companies and choose the best conditions. But being licensed by CySEC opened new opportunities for EXNESS, and we can already see a huge influx of clients from European countries.
What have been the main challenges in managing your growth?
I’m confident that whatever the market, this rule applies: the higher the standard, the more difficult – but it is also more interesting to work toward the established goals. And if the goal is to provide the best conditions in the market for clients and top-notch service, you have to work at it non-stop. For example, at the beginning of 2014 we took unprecedented steps to improve trading conditions: we eliminated the requirement for a minimum initial deposit for Mini accounts and reduced it for other account types; we reduced margin requirements; and then we entirely removed commissions on deposits and withdrawals. Not only did all of this require huge efforts from our specialists, but we also took some of traders’ costs on ourselves. We took a chance and found our actions justified – over a year the company saw increased trading volume and more trading accounts registered, which was difficult to predict earlier.
We understand that you’re in the process of moving most of your Headquarters functions from Russia to Cyprus. How is that changeover going?
In 2015 we plan to make serious changes to the overall structure of EXNESS Group. Of course, for now it is premature to disclose everything in detail, but I can say for sure that the result will be good for traders.
How do you see the Forex industry changing in the near future?
Today’s forex traders are becoming more and more demanding of their brokerage: they want to be confident in the future, trade profitably, and receive the highest-quality service. Stiff competition in the industry is unquestionably good for clients — first, brokers worry about their reputation, so they take steps to improve the market’s transparency; second, conditions become more and more profitable and convenient. I should also note that regulatory oversight of forex companies is increasing in many countries, which will foster trust toward the industry as a whole. In 2014 EXNESS not only disclosed financial information, it also certified trading volume information by an independent audit company. We hope this also becomes a standard procedure for other market participants and helps create an honest and open environment in the forex industry.
Given what’s going on, perhaps we should add something about the new Russia Forex Law, and all the Ruble volatility. Another question to answer could be: EXNESS is also strong in the Russian market. How do you see the new Russia Forex Law affecting the industry? And how is all the recent volatility in the Ruble affecting your business with Russian clients?
There is no doubt that Russia’s new forex law will be beneficial to both forex companies as well as their clients. It could be called one of the first steps toward developing the region’s currency market. And even if some of its points are unclear today, it can be improved appropriately in the future. As for the ruble’s high volatility, the current situation’s unpredictability certainly has a negative impact on all market participants. Like many other forex companies, today EXNESS restricted trading ruble-denominated financial instruments. But we are continuing to monitor the situation and hope to offer our clients the ability to trade these currency pairs in the future.