Thursday, 7 July 2011

Oanda - Thievery Broker

Here came the day I stopped using Oanda forever. As a trader, you try to trust your broker, even when suspicious things happen. You try to play down critics of your own platform, you believe it's not that bad (hoping vainly your broker treats you better than other customers?). Then comes the moment it's OVER.
A long AUD/NZD trade hits stop loss at 5am, after a flash spike down to 1.2823. It happens, you think :

Out of curiosity though, you check the price at your other forex accounts. Then you check price data from the web. Amazingly, the lowest level you see everywhere else is : 1.2877

So you e-mail Oanda front desk:

Today, on one of my sub-accounts a long AUD/NZD position has hit stop loss level at 1.2831. The problem is the lowest level this pair traded today on my 2 other forex brokers accounts was 1.2877, check for yourself : Open AUD/NZD chart to see where was the price today. As your platform is the only to display this level of price I must say this was a system error to my detriment. Even if your spread was 35 points during news release - taken from your spread on Oanda website for Aud/Nzd for 5th of July - there is no way it could have reached my stop loss at 1.2831. Your spread, when the price was at 1.2877, must have been 90 points to reach my stop loss level!

After long 24 hours wait here comes the reply :

We have investigated your trade in question (ticket xxyy) as requested and found no error on the trade. Please note that OANDA is a Market Maker and our prices are determined by the rates we receive from our liquidity providers and our rates are not necessarily same or similar to the rates from other brokers. When your trade was closed by the stop loss, due to the news announcement released in Australia, our spreads on the AUD pairs were widened momentarily. Your long position was closed by the stop loss when the bid price on the market fell to 1.28312. At that moment, the ask price was 1.28382 making a spread of only 7 pips. During the period, the lowest price the bid went to was 1.28200.

This is incredible! There was no big 35 spread when the stop loss was hit, just the price was 50 pips off the market when it happened! Oanda - 1.2820, the market/other brokers - 1.2877.

Please note that OANDA does not trade against the clients nor benefit when they lose money on trades. OANDA hedges its exposure for trades made by clients by making corresponding trades with third-party banks. As a result, if you lose money on your OANDA trade, OANDA loses a corresponding amount to its third-party bank.

Oanda hedges its exposure, LOL. This is why during the busiest hours for AUD/NZD (Australasian session) on the most liquid market on earth - forex - there is 50pip difference from the spot market price! If your MM broker can be legally 50 pips off the market as their 'liquidity providers' dictate, this means it can do to your automatic exit and entry orders whatever they wish!

I am in the process of ending my relationship with Oanda. I've also promised them to write a review, so they lose more than they stole from me. Protect you money, there are many honest brokers around, even MM. Try a new platform and move on!