The gwglobalfx.com website is operated by GWG (Cyprus) Ltd, which is authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). The CySEC website shows that the company has previous names Gametech (Cyprus) Ltd and NENX Ltd. In March 2017, the Cypriot regulator suspended Gametech’s CIF license, which offered binary options trading (via brands prooptions.com and nenx.com), due to several violations related to the company’s own funds and capital adequacy ratio. So, the name change may be related to the desire to break with the bad practices used in the past. Clients can trade a wide range of financial instruments including currency pairs, commodities, indices, and shares, with variable spreads through the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) terminal. You can start trading with at least EUR100.
You can certainly rely more on regulated brokerage firms, and those regulated by the EU authorities are preferred because of the stricter requirements they must meet. GWG (Cyprus) Ltd is an investment company incorporated and registered under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus and is authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC) under the license number 291/16. GWG complies with EU regulations such as the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II). The company is a member of the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF), a scheme that serves to protect retail customers by paying compensation in the event of default. The customers’ money is kept in segregated accounts in large banks, the company claims. This license allows GWG (Cyprus) Ltd to perform investment services, including receiving, transmitting, and executing orders on behalf of clients.
There are three types of live trading accounts available that differ mainly in the required initial deposit and the spread offered.
Classic account – The required initial deposit is EUR100 and the spreads of major currency pairs start at 0.9 pips. Trading is commission free.
Gold account – The required minimum deposit amount is EUR100. Spreads for major currency pairs are close to zero at the expense of the commission. The commission amount depends on the asset class and is EUR5 per lot for currency pairs, EUR8 per lot for metals and EUR1.8 per lot for indices.
Platinum account – You must invest at least EUR5,000 to open it. Spreads for major currency pairs are close to zero at the expense of the commission. The commission amount depends on the asset class and is EUR4 per lot for currency pairs and metals and EUR0.9 per lot for indices.
Market Maker or STP Broker?
GWG does not clearly inform how it acts on customer orders. Neither the Execution Quality Summary Statement file, nor the Terms and Conditions document clarifies whether the company acts as a principal or agent or in any other way against the client’s transactions. The Terms and Conditions file explains that “Execution” means the execution of clients’ orders where the company acts as the execution venue to clients’ transactions. This shows that GWG eventually acts as a principal and market maker. It is also written that the company may transmit an order to a third party for execution and this third party is not a connected party, or an entity that is a member of the company’s group. In other words, GWG may transmit client orders to hedge the risk but it is not clear if each order is transmitted. Moreover, the Conflict of Interest Policy document informs about the possibility of matching the client’s orders with that of another client by acting on such other client’s behalf as well as on the client’s behalf. After all, we assume that the company can act as a market maker on its sole discretion. When customer orders are transmitted for execution, there is no major conflict of interest, through the Straight Through Processing (STP) model, but when the company executes orders, it keeps the risk to itself. In this case, the conflict of interest exists and any loss to customers is a gain for the company.
GWG also does not clearly inform about stop loss orders and whether it applies slippage in their execution. Since there is no mention of guaranteed stop orders, we assume that they are non-guaranteed. They and all other orders will be executed at the first available market price.
Although it is not mentioned explicitly, all retail clients are covered by the Negative Balance Protection. This provides an overall guaranteed limit on retail client losses; therefore, their account balance will never be allowed to go below zero, regardless of market conditions.
There is no inactivity fee, so you can choose the period when and how frequently you want to trade. If there is no trading activity for 12 consecutive months, the company will consider this account to be closed. It will return the remaining balance in the account. Of course, there are common fees such as spread, swap and rollover. There are commissions when you trade in the Platinum account.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Customers can top up their accounts by bank transfer (this can take up to 3 business days) or credit/debit cards (immediate payment). The company does not charge any additional commission on deposits. Deposits can only be processed if they are made by the account holder.
Withdrawals must be made by the same payment method with which the customer’s trading account is credited. This means that they must be transferred only to the original account. Withdrawals to bank accounts will be charged a commission of EUR5 for the transfers within the Eurozone (SEPA) and EUR50 for the international transfers.
Bank account withdrawals are processed within 3 business days, while debit/credit card withdrawals can take up to 24 hours.
Customers can trade through one of the most famous terminals in the world – MetaTrader 4 (MT4). MT4 is intended for both beginners and experienced traders. It combines an intuitive user interface with a customizable environment. It offers many trading tools that help traders to analyze charts, place orders and manage positions. Built-in features allow detailed analysis of the market situation, tracking price fluctuations and selecting the right entry point. In addition, MT4 provides its users with important real-time financial news. The terminal is available as a desktop version and as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.
Forex – You have access to 70 major, minor, and exotic currency pairs. The spread for the EUR/USD pair depends on the account type and starts from 1 pip for the Classic account where trading is commission free. Spreads for the other two accounts are narrower at the expense of the commission.
Indices – You can trade 17 of global indices, such as DAX30, FTSE100 and NASDAQ100. The minimum spread for the DAX30 is within 0.6-2 points and the one for the DJIA is 2-3.4 points.
Commodities – 10 of the most traded commodities are available for trading, including Gold, Silver, Crude Oil and Brent Oil. The minimum spread for the Gold is within USD0.20-USD0.50 and the one for the Crude Oil is USD0.06-USD0.10.
Shares – 150 of global companies such as Apple, Sanofi, AirBus, etc. The minimum spread for Apple shares is USD0.07.
There is an educational section called Tools and Education. It contains an automatically updated economic calendar, an upcoming revenue calendar that has not been updated for a long time.
GWG is regulated by the CySEC and this license allows it to provide financial services across European Union. Although not clearly stated, the company can act as a market maker, which is associated with a major conflict of interest. The company provides a wide range of trading instruments via the popular MT4 platform. There are three types of live accounts that differ in the spreads and commissions. However, if you would like to trade with better trading conditions, you must invest at least EUR5,000.