FXCM, the global leader in the retail Forex sector, announced on Tuesday the launch of raw spread accounts for its Japanese clients. The new accounts will replace the Standard accounts for the Trading Station platform starting from November 3, 2014. The broker, however, gives traders the opportunity to opt for the new accounts straight away.
The new accounts mark the shift of the broker’s pricing model to a fee-based system, where no markups will be calculated. Instead, the clients of FXCM Japan will have access to interbank rates thanks to the NDD ECN technology, which means that spreads are getting much tighter, while the cost structure of the trading process is more transparent.
The website shows that the normal fee for 10,000 currency units (one way) for the USD/JPY pair is JPY 20, while the spread is floating but still tight starting from 0 pips. Preferential fees are available in case the account balance exceeds a certain amount and/or a given volume is traded going a step further than IG Group which reduced spreads on 42 pairs recently.
The move underlines FXCM’s commitment to offer narrower spreads to its clients, a promise it stated in its Investor Presentation for August 2014. The introduction of the raw spread accounts is also another step by the leading brokerage to attract retail customers, especially in the APAC region. In March this year the company announced the launch of micro CFDs, with the clients of FXCM Australia being the first to experience trading with these instruments with smaller contract size.
We should not underestimate the fact that Asia is a crucial market for FXCM – in 2013, it generated 45% of the broker’s overall volumes. Hence it is more than rational that the broker focuses plenty of its efforts on its Asian business and seeks to gain new clients there and retain its existing clientele.
The broker also enables its clients in Japan to trade on Mirror Trader and Metatrader 4. As the transition to the fee-based model gathers pace, FXCM promises to offer raw spread accounts for MT4 too.
Amid the Forex brokers seeking to lure Japanese traders with super tight spreads is also Australia’s Pepperstone that counts on its Razor accounts in this respect. The list of brokerages with such raw spread accounts also includes VantageFX, which in October 2013 launched RAW accounts for its clients.
In the meantime, the efforts of foreign FX brokers to attract the attention of the conservative Japanese traders, who traditionally stick with Japan-based companies, gain pace. Last week OANDA Japan has launched a partnership with GMO Internet Inc to provide traders with the opportunity to use a Japanese virtual private server, with the service tailored with regard to the needs of the Japanese traders.