Saxo Bank Discussion
|International offices||United Kingdom • Singapore • Switzerland • Spain • China|
|Broker Type||Market maker|
|Broker Status||Independent Broker • Bank|
|Accept U.S Clients|
|Phone||+45 3977 4000|
|Fax||+45 3977 4200|
|Website Languages||Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Greek, Dutch, Romanian|
|Free Demo Account||(Expire after 20 days)|
|Account Currencies||USD • EUR • GBP • AUD • CHF • JPY|
|Minimal Order Volume||0.05|
|Interest on margin|
|Deposit/ Withdraw Options||Bank Transfer|
|Trading Platforms||SaxoTrader (Desktop, Web, Mobile, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android)|
|Precision pricing||5 digits|
|Type of Spread||Floating|
|Lowest spread on EURUSD||2 pips|
|Other Trading Instruments||Futures • Energies • Indices • Stocks • Options • Bonds • ETFs|
October 13, 2013: Add FIN-FSA (Finland) license.
May 16, 2012: Add a listing for Saxo Bank.
Fellow GARPs, this Saxo Bank crisis should be well documented as a case study.
From risk management prospective, Saxo Bank committed a big mistake.
In its FX business, Saxo Bank makes prices to clients on FX spot, forward and options. That means Saxo Bank is having a principal-to-principal relationship with clients. On their trading platform, the prices are all tradable, and it forms an “offer”. Once the trade is executed on the trading platform, via clients’ action, or orders triggered, that constitutes an “acceptance”. With “offer” and “acceptance”, that is a contract sealed. For whatever reason that one side manipulate the details of the transaction (here it is price), it is a breach of contract. The new price of the contract has no legal power to be enforced because the content is not mutually agreed.
In its letter explaining the methodology of the “re-pricing”, Saxo Bank is confusing itself as an agent. In this business, Saxo Bank is actually the sole market maker from clients’ perspective. There are no other markets. If Saxo Bank explains its methodology with reference to EBS, the client agreements have to be re-written that Saxo Bannk acts as an agent and all trade flows (spot and forward) goes to EBS (and Saxo Bank bears no responsibility on the fills), and each and every trade confirmation with EBS has to be sent to clients. However, it still cannot solve Saxo Bank’s problems in options because it cannot find a sizable marketplace for options similar to EBS.
The key problem of Saxo Bank is its risk control on pricing. As a market maker, Saxo Bank has full discretion to quote a price on its trading platform. The bid price it quote to clients is the price Saxo Bank willing to buy from clients, and the ask price it quote to clients is the price Saxo Bank willing to sell to clients. Therefore, always, Saxo Bank should display a price that it is willing to do buy and sell (for this part the Trading department takes the blame, then the Risk Management department). It cannot first quote clients a price and then twelve hours later tell clients that, sorry, we are going to change your transacted price to another price blah blah blah.
Another highlight of the incidence, from a risk management perspective, is how Saxo Bank manages its FX exposure. If clients are selling CHF, to avoid depreciation of the CHF, Saxo Bank should have shorted a certain amount of CHF with its own trading counterparties. Did Saxo Bank get out of its hedge positions before it cut clients’ margin positions? Would it be possible that Saxo Bank got hit by betting bigger than clients and then transferred the losses to clients by manipulating clients’ positions?