[Updated] How Forex Brokers Are Prepping for the Brexit Vote

Forex traders ain’t the only ones prepping their game plan for the EU referendum… Brokers are gearing up to make some adjustments for the Brexit vote, too! In case you’re scratching your head wondering what in the world all this is about, make sure you read our Brexit primer first.

As you’ve probably guessed, this highly-anticipated event is bound to bring an unprecedented amount of heart-stopping volatility to the mix. Heck, even Brexit opinion polls from various groups have been enough to push pound pairs to spike this way and that!

Now brokers have probably learned their lesson from last year’s SNB shocker to remember that fast and furious market moves could potentially trigger margin calls and wipe clients’ accounts out in an instant. A number of brokers were even forced to close shop then! Apart from that, majority of market participants might make several adjustments to their trades or close their pound positions, enough to push the market in a particular direction ahead of the vote.

Because of that, a number of firms have already ironed out their plans to manage their exposure to this event risk, not just for pound and euro pairs but also for other U.K. securities. Thanks to the intel shared by a few of my honorary ninja buddies (y’all know who you are!), here’s an updated list of adjustments being made by forex brokers ahead of the Brexit vote.

AlpariAdjustments in margin requirements for Standard, ECN, PAMM Standard, and Pro accounts by June 20

ActivTrade: Increasing margin requirements by four times for GBPUSD, GBPCHF, GBPAUD, GBPCAD, GBPJPY, GBPNZD, EURGBP, and UK100 index by June 19, and two times for several euro pairs and European indices

ADS Securities: Increased margin requirements on GBP pairs to 5%, EUR pairs to 2% and the UK100 index to 2%

FXPrimusIncreased margin for all GBP pairs and for Brent crude oil from June 19 to June 24

FXCC: 200% increase in margin requirements for all GBP pairs and 100% for EUR pairs as of June 13, 200% increase in margin requirements for EUR pairs and 100% for all remaining instruments by June 20. Margin call level raised to 150% and stop out level adjusted to 100%

Admiral Markets: Five-fold increase in margin requirements for GBP pairs and FTSE100 CFD. It will also disable internal fund transfers to and from GBP accounts via back office by June 23 and introduce close-only restrictions on trading exotic GBP crosses

Vantage FXTwo-stage adjustment to trading conditions for EUR and GBP pairs, USD/NOK, USD/SEK, DAX30, FTSE100, DJ30, SP500, and XAU/USD as of June 13 and also on June 20

Forex.com: Increase from 0.5% to 3% in minimum margin requirements for GBP pairs and UK indices by June 19. Increase from 0.5% to 1% in minimum margin requirements for EUR pairs, European indices, and US indices by June 19

IronFX: Increase in margin requirements for GBP crosses, FTSE100, spot metals, and UK shares by June 17 and possibly another round of adjustments by June 22

AxiTrader: Lower maximum leverage available for all products starting June 20 until market close on June 28

AFX Group: 100% increase in margin requirements for GBP pairs and FTSE100 index as of June 10, with potential adjustments upon appropriate notice

RoboForex: Close-only mode for GBP instruments from June 20 to 24, six-fold increase in margin requirements for GBP instruments for MT4 and MT5 ECN accounts and a twenty-fold increase in margin requirements for MT4 and MT5 Standard and Cent accounts

LiteForex: Increased margin requirements for GBP pairs, EUR pairs, commodities, and major indices. Five-fold margin increase for ECN, NDD, and PAMM accounts, a ten-fold margin increase for CLASSIC accounts, and twenty-fold increase for CENT accounts. Suspension of opening of new trades in a number of related currency pairs from June 20 to June 27

Tier1FX: Adjusted margin requirements for GBP pairs and UK100 index as of June 6, another round of adjustments by June 20 until further notice

Capital Index: Two-stage hike in margin requirements by June 17 and June 22 for GBP and EUR pairs, as well as European indices

FXTF: Changes to trading conditions for GBP-related currency pairs regarding bid-ask spreads

Orbex: Margin requirements for GBP and EUR pairs increased to 4% and margin for all other instruments at 1% as of June 16. Margin stop out level adjusted to 50% by June 20

FXCM: Adjustments for margin requirements for EUR and GBP pairs beginning on June 10, with additional increases by June 17

Saxo Bank: Revised starting margin levels for currency pairs with GBP, EUR, CHF, and JPY, as well as higher margin rates for U.K. Index CFDs that are GBP-denominated

IG Group: Increasing margin rates for all GBP pairs by June 10, with additional measures to be put in place by June 17 and June 22

OANDA: Lower maximum leverage on GBP pairs to 20:1 after the market close on June 17

CMC Markets: Margin changes for GBP pairs and several European indices to take effect by June 13

TradersWay: Increasing margin requirements on GBP pairs by four times as much (i.e. leverage on these pairs will be four times lower) by June 13

And the roses among the thorns…

easyMarkets: It will continue to offer 200:1 leverage, free guaranteed stop loss, no slippage, negative balance protection, and fixed spreads on GBP pairs

Trade360: No changes in margin requirements or leverage available, no limits on trading GBP pairs as well

Whether this plays out to their advantage or turns out to be a painful lesson in risk exposure remains to be seen, but it turns out that some exchanges would also rather be safe than sorry.

Moscow Exchange: Increasing margin requirements for EURUSD and GBPUSD FX futures contracts on June 20 and 21, with these changes up for review after the referendum results are announced

As always, I’d really appreciate it if you could help this ninja out by sharing any Brexit-related broker updates in our comments section below!

  • Zhexiang Chen

    For FXPrimus, margin for all Sterling (GBP) pairs will be increased from the current variable rate to a minimum of 2% (1:50) regardless of your account leverage. Additionally, margin requirements for Brent Oil will be increased from 1% to 2%. In effect during the entire week of Sunday 19th June 2016 until close of trading Friday 24th June 2016.

    • Got it. Thanks for sharing and helping a ninja out!

  • LeBlanc

    ActivTrade is also increasing margin as follows:

    As explained in a previous email,
    the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming EU
    Referendum in the UK on the 23rd June 2016, has the potential to
    generate increased volatility and turbulence in the financial
    markets.

    With this in
    mind, and with the usual aim of protecting our clients, ActivTrades will temporarily increase the margin required by 4
    times in all of the following
    instruments (including Spread Betting equivalents) at
    market opening on the 19th June 2016:

    FOREX: GBPUSD, GBPCHF, GBPAUD, GBPCAD, GBPJPY, GBPNZD,
    EURGBP

    INDICES: UK100

    Additionally,
    ActivTrades will temporarily increase the margin
    required by 2 times in all of the following instruments (including Spread Betting
    equivalents) at market opening on the 19th June 2016:

    FOREX: EURUSD, EURJPY, EURCHF, EURAUD, EURCAD, EURNZD, EURHUF, EURNOK,
    EURSEK, EURSGD, EURTRY and also EURPLN, EURMXN

    INDICES: BLG20, ESP35, EURO50, FRA40, GERTEC, GER30, ITA40,
    NETH25

    STOCK
    CFDs: UK STOCK CFD instruments

    • I’ll add this in our list. Thanks for sharing and helping a ninja out!

  • Jeff

    HotForex:

    Please be informed that on, Friday the 17th of June at market close, the margin requirements for all GBP pairs will be increased to 4% (1:25). In addition all remaining forex pairs and gold margins will be increased to 2% (1:50).

    This will be applied to existent and new orders and to all accounts no matter their current leverage.

    • Awesome. Thanks for sharing this!

      • Jeff

        Dear Clients and Partners,

        We would like to inform you HotForex has reassessed the market conditions surrounding the upcoming British Referendum and decided to ease margin requirements on all the Forex pairs available in HotForex’s trading platform.

        In light of the above please note that the margin requirements for all GBP pairs are going to be adjusted to 1% (1:100). In addition, all remaining Forex pairs will be adjusted to 0.5% (1:200).

        The above will be applicable as from the 20th of June and to all trading accounts no matter its current leverage level.

        This means that as of today you will be able to continue your regular trading activities and maintain any long term strategies you might have throughout the referendum process.

        Despite the above HotForex will continue monitoring the referendum developments closely and in the event of the market conditions worsening prior to the voting date or around the time the results are published further trading restrictions might apply.

        This is an automatic process which will not require any action from your side and your account will not be affected in any other way.

        Don’t hesitate to contact our always available customer service shall you have any queries regarding the above.

        Best Regards,

        The HotForex Execution Team

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