Please Note:

Due European Market Infrastructure Regulation, Barclay’s has decided to close marginFX and move all clients to FXCM. That happened January 2014. This review is not longer maintained, nor updated.


 

Barclays Margin FX

Important Facts 

  • About the Company: Barclays Margin FX is a trading name of Barclays Stockbrokers Ltd, which is in turn a subsidiary of Barclays Bank.
  • Founded: In 2012, though Barclays Bank have offered brokerage services for a considerably longer period of time.
  • Payment Options: Debit Card or Bank Transfer.
  • Platforms: A Barclays Margin FX Web and Download platform.
  • Accounts Available In: Not Stated.
  • Minimum Deposit: Not Stated.
  • Regulation: Barclays Stockbrokers are fully regulated in the UK and can take on clients from throughout the European Union.
  • Social Trading: No Support.
  • Support Options: Phone and Email.

Platform 

Barclays WebTrader Platform

Barclays Margin FX offers both a web and download platform. The platform may be very familiar to those of you who have ever traded with FXCM UK, this due to the fact that FXCM are Barclays technology partner. What this essentially means is that FXCM provides Barclays with the relevant technology for their platform, while Barclays acts as the liquidity provider. So this not like a standard white label partnership where a company just affixes a their brand name to another companies product. I have tried both the WebTrader and the stand alone download platform, while perfectly functional I can’t say that I was overly impressed. The platform does provide you with plenty of charting capabilities etc. but it’s not say as easy to use as the MetaTrader software. I personally wasn’t a fan of the charts feeling them to be pretty tough on the eyes. This is not to say the Barclays offering is bad, it’s just not personally to my tastes. I can however see many traders being totally satisfied with the platform offering from Barclays. What is more disappointing however is that at the time of writing their was no mobile support on offer at all. This is really quite shocking in a day and age where an ever increasing amount of trading is being undertaken on mobile devices. Hopefully, Barclays Margin FX will remedy this an introduce some form of mobile support.

Trading Conditions 

  • Leverage: Flexible, Up to 1:100. 
  • Scalping: Allowed.
  • Expert Advisors: Not applicable, no MetaTrader support.
  • Hedging: Allowed.
  • Trailing Stops: Yes
  • Spreads: Variable, 2.1 pip target on EUR/USD.
Barclays Spreads

The first thing to say is that the Spreads at Barclays Margin FX are variable and the target spreads set by the brokerage are pretty competitive, with Barclays generally keeping quite close to the target spreads listed on their website. The execution with the brokerage is pretty good with trades getting placed into the underlying market quickly, with very little re-quotes. Of course as Barclays only provides a web and download platform there are no social or auto trading options, meaning that those who want to engage in automated trading may be better choosing a brokerage which supports the MetaTrader platform. Overall the trading conditions at Barclays are pretty decent even if they don’t offer the tightest spreads around and the offering is well suited to people who simply want to place trades with a brokerage who offers competitive spreads.

Instruments

  • Number of Currency Pairings: 50 
  • Other Instruments: N/A

Barclays Margin FX offer 50 different currency pairings, offering all the different currency pairings that your going to want to trade. While this number is a few pairings less than whats on offer at other brokerages (with many brokerages offering 53 pairings), the vast majority of traders will be able to trade the currency pairings they want too. As a Margin FX platform Barclays doesn’t offer any other instruments to trade on their platform, which will be a bit disappointing to those who like to trade CFD’s or Commodities on the side from time to time. There is a perfectly good reason for this as Barclays already offers a CFD trading platform in conjunction with CityIndex and offering the ability to trade CFD’s on their Margin FX platform would cannibalize the other business.

Customer Support 

  • Contact Methods: Phone and Email.
  • Telephone Numbers: British Telephone Line.
  • Support Languages: Not Listed.

Barclays have a good reputation for customer service in general and Barclays Margin FX continues this tradition by providing 24/5 telephone customer service. As well as providing customer support email address for clients to get into contact with. Some traders may be a bit disappointed that Barclays Margin FX don’t offer international toll free numbers to clients as many other European brokerages do, this would make it considerably cheaper for those living in foreign countries to get into contact with the brokerage. However this is the only complaint I could see one having with the brokerages customer support.

Regulation 

  • Regulated: In the UK by the FSA to be superseded by the FCA. 
  • MiFID Regulated: Yes, can accept clients from throughout the European Union.
  • Can Accept US Traders: No.
  • Regulatory Record: While Barclays Bank PLC. have had three substantial fined levied against them in the last several years. I cannot see any of them to have been related to their Stockbroking businesses.

Barclays Margin FX is regulated in the UK, which is considered among the better regulatory jurisdictions for a Forex brokerage to be regulated in. While Barclays Bank PLC. the ultimate owner of Barclays Margin FX was fined by the FSA in 2009, 2011 and, 2012. There has never been any action taken by the UK regulators regarding Barclays retail brokerage services. It thus seems that those depositing with Barclays Margin FX should feel safe in the knowledge that they are depositing with a well regulated brokerage with a good reputation.

Overall

The Barclays Margin FX is a pretty good offering for those interested in getting into retail Forex trading. The real shortcomings of the offering is the limited platform and many traders miss having MetaTrader at their disposal. For those who are not interested in social or automated trading Barclays Margin FX may be a good option.

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