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FXCM Announces Record Retail Trading Volumes in February and Pretty Good Results for Q2 and 2012

A couple of days ago FXCM's CEO Drew Niv delivered a presentation at the 2013 Citi Financial Services Conference. What Niv shared wasn't really surprising – three quarters of the broker's volume comes from retail customers and 25% -  from its institutional business; 2012 was a strong year for Chinese, Japanese and European operations, and dreadful for the ones in the USA; overall sustainable growth recorded for the past 5 years, and so on. 

There were two things that got my attention, though. The first one is while labels, which apparently account for 50% of FXCM's volumes. The broker's most recent white label agreements are the ones with Barclays in the UK, and with GVC Gaesco in Spain. Given that Europe is one of the markets where forex has been particularly strong in 2011 and 2012, this comes as no suprise. 
Another point to mention is the directions, where FXCM sees room for further development and growth: along with white labels, here we see developing the broker's operations in China, mergers and acquisitions, and cost reductions. A recent survey published by Integral shows that most global brokers see geographical expansions as the main growth opportunity, followed by front-end functionality and introducing new products and asset classes. FXCM doesn't exactly go with the mainstream here, however it must be doing things right in order to maintain its top broker spot. 

Let The Numbers Speak

Speaking of doing things right, let's take a look at the Q4 and full 2012 operational metrics FXCM just released. 
In Q4 of 2012 the broker recorded a slight year-on-year decrease of 9% in terms of total trading volume: $886 billion vs. $972 billion in Q4 of 2011. The decrease in the institutional volumes was more ostensible – 49% - but this difference is compensated on a yearly basis: the total institutional volumes for 2012 are 1% higher than in 2011. 
The retail trading volumes in Q4 of 2012 were only 3% lower than the ones of the same quarter the previous year - $95 billion. The total customer equity has risen by 14% with 5% increase in the number of total active accounts, which means that the average account size has grown as well. 
Looking at the entire 2012, we see that the average number of trades made per day has changed from 381,030 the previous year to 364,417 – and this is not too bad, considering the “sleeping” markets and almost non-existent trading activity during the last few months of 2012. 
What is more, in 2013 things are picking up at a great pace: February has seen a record retail customer trading volume of $17.9 billion per day ($359 billion in total — the fourth highest in FXCM history), with an average of 460,761 transactions per day. The active tradable accounts as of February 2013 is 190,891. Here are the full statisctics: 

FXCM's February 2013 Operating Metrics

Retail Trading Metrics
- Retail customer trading volume(1) of $359 billion in February 2013, 1% lower than January 2013 and 3% higher than February 2012. 
-  Average retail customer trading volume per day of $17.9 billion in February 2013, 8% higher than January 2013 and 8% higher than February 2012. 
- An average of 460,761 retail client trades per day in February 2013, 6% higher than January 2013 and 16% higher than February 2012. 
-  Tradable accounts(2) of 190,891 as of February 28, 2013, an increase of 1,784 or 1% from January 2013, and a decrease of 6,875 or 3% from February 2012. 
Institutional Trading Metrics
-  Institutional customer trading volume(1) of $132 billion in February 2013, 14% higher than January 2013 and 4% higher than February 2012. 
-  Average institutional trading volume per day of $6.6 billion in February 2013, 25% higher than January 2013 and 8% higher than February 2012. 
-  An average of 17,888 institutional client trades per day in February 2013, 13% higher than January 2013 and 39% lower than February 2012.

About FXCM Inc. 

FXCM Inc. (NYSE: FXCM) is a global online provider of foreign exchange (forex) trading and related services to retail and institutional customers world-wide. 
At the heart of FXCM's client offering is No Dealing Desk forex trading. Clients benefit from FXCM's large network of forex liquidity providers enabling FXCM to offer competitive spreads on major currency pairs. Clients have the advantage of mobile trading, one-click order execution and trading from real-time charts. FXCM's U.K. subsidiary, Forex Capital Markets Limited, also offers CFD products with no re-quote trading and allows clients to trade oil, gold, silver and stock indices along with forex on one platform. In addition, FXCM offers educational courses on forex trading and provides free news and market research through 
TAGS: FXCM  forex trading  forex metrics  forex trading platform  forex conference  white label agreement  Q4 2012  retail forex  institutional forex  forex trading volumes 

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