US forex brokers’ retail client deposits slightly recover in Feb 2016

US forex brokers’ retail client deposits slightly recover in Feb 2016

The combined client assets of retail forex brokers in the US increased by 3.9% to nearly $519 million in February 2016, showing signs of slight recovery after two consecutive months of very low levels, data published on Monday by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) indicated.

However, if compared to the same period a year earlier, the figure represents a decline of 8.5% and is lower than the 2015 lowest levels  reported in December when client deposits totaled $544.1 million.

Despite the fact that just one forex broker reported higher client deposits for the second month of the year, compared to the previous month, the growth was significant enough to offset the decline posted by the rest of the brokers. Wedbush Securities saw its client deposits jump by a monthly 840% to $40.6 million in February from $4.3 million in January. Compared to February 2015, there is a 13% decline in the broker’s client assets. As a result of the increase, Wedbush Securities outperformed its peer Interactive Brokers and is no longer the broker with lowest retail client deposits.

Meanwhile, Forex Capital Markets, aka FXCM, retained its leader position with total client deposits of $176.6 million in February, or flattish over the month and 2.5% higher on the year. The rest of the retail forex brokers operational in the US – Gain Capital, IBFX, Interactive Brokers, and Oanda – posted a negative monthly difference in client assets in February, ranging from 2.4% to 12%. More details follow:

Forex brokerTotal retail forex obligation Feb ‘16Total retail forex obligation Jan ‘16M/M changeTotal retail forex obligation Feb ’15Y/Y change
FOREX CAPITAL MARKETS LLC176,554,674176,516,399+0.02172,333,690+2.5%
GAIN CAPITAL GROUP LLC128,725,139135,259,767-4.8%108,779,575+18.3%
IBFX INC43,118,44148,979,331-12%47,254,735-8.8%
INTERACTIVE BROKERS LLC35,129,89637,130,215-5.4%47,945,605-26.7%
MB TRADING FUTURES INC19,514,899
OANDA CORPORATION94,818,49597,133,939-2.4%123,210,023-23%
WEDBUSH SECURITIES INC40,598,8694,319,433+840%46,784,065-13%
RJ OBRIEN ASSOCIATES LLC1,021,766
TOTAL518,945,514
499,339,084
+3.9%566,844,358  -8.5%

Client deposits include funds that would be obtained by combining all money, securities and property deposited by a retail forex customer into a retail forex account, adjusted for the realized and unrealized net profit or loss.

The regulator neither added, nor deleted any retail forex brokers from its list in February. The forex brokers that were active in the month under review were six, or two less than a year earlier. MB Trading Futures was removed in November 2015.

Considering that as of the beginning of March, IBFX terminated its forex broker operations and sold its US clients to peer Oanda, we do not expect to see data about IBFX in CFTC’s next monthly report.

The US retail forex market is among the leading ones worldwide. FXCM, the leader in the US, is also in the top three of the world’s largest retail forex brokers in terms of trading volume, outperformed only by Japanese peers GMO Click Securities and FX Prime by GMO, both part of brokerage group GMO Click Holdings.

Source: CFTC


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