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Decoding XTB: A Guide to Its Pros, Cons & Fees

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Written by

Josep Garcia

Josep Garcia

Upcashwise Advisor

I'm Josep Garcia, originally from Barcelona. I launched my own website in 2016, focusing on personal finance, which has been live since 2018. Since then, I've continuously produced online content related to personal finances, covering topics like banking and investment products, and also creating videos on these subjects. In 2023, I decided to deepen my expertise in finance and obtained my EFPA (#37363) certification in financial advisement.

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Edited by

Catherine Cooke

Catherine Cooke

Upcashwise Advisor

I'm Catherine, originally from London and now living in Spain. My professional journey led me from being a teacher to becoming an online entrepreneur. At Upcashwise, I assist with content creation and graphic design, two of my areas of expertise. With years of secondary school teaching experience and a Master's Degree in Teaching from UEL, I bring a strong educational background to the team.

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upcashwise.com is fully supported by its readers. If you register or buy a course using our links, we may receive a commission. This does not affect our ratings, methodology or partners. We don’t offer investment advice, our content is purely educational.

The XTB Trading platform, originating from Poland, has offices in over 13 countries, including the UK, Spain, Chile, France, Germany, and Poland. It’s registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 522157), among other similar entities, and is regulated by CySEC in Cyprus. Additionally, it’s been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2016.

Josep Garcia, financial expert at Upcashwise.com

Why Can You Trust This XTB Review?

I’ve been an XTB user for years, and I also hold a certification as an EFPA (European Financial Advisor), membership number #37363. I’ve thoroughly tested XTB, researching its advantages and drawbacks. I’m thrilled to offer you my seasoned perspective on this platform in the following guide.

Josep GarciaEFPA Financial Advisor

However, XTB may not be the right online broker for you. You’ll need to understand the assets they offer, their operation (e.g., order types), and their commission structure to decide.

Note: Please, be aware that XTB is available in most European countries like the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany or Poland. But if you’re based in the US, you won’t be able to trade with them, check out other alternatives.

XTB Review Verdict

XTB is a trading platform that is duly registered and regulated by several countries (including Cyprus, UK, Spain, Germany, Uruguay, etc.). The platform is highly flexible, catering to both novice and advanced investors/traders, with reasonably adjusted commissions.

It allows trading in CFDs on stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, indices, and commodities. XTB also offers the possibility to invest in real stocks and ETFs in some European countries.

I have to say that it’s not the easiest solution to use. You can’t adjust the leverage (e.g. to reduce it), and its demo account is only available for 30 days (unless you’re a client, then it’s unlimited). For simpler online brokers, eToro or Trading 212 might be better options.

XTB Pros & Cons

Pros

Good Charts

Their system for interacting with full charts is among the most comprehensive. You can draw on these charts, compare asset prices with others like the S&P500, and apply analysis tools such as Bollinger Bands or Moving Averages.

News Feed & Economic Calendar

They offer a section where you can find economic and financial news relevant to your investments, and an economic calendar to remind you of the most important (economic and financial) events (e.g. macroeconomic data releases).

Accoun Currencies (GBP, EUR or USD)

You can trade with XTB using an account set up in GBP, EUR, or USD, depending on your linked bank account’s currency.

Flexible Alerts

The alert and notification system is flexible; you can request notifications for activities such as opening or closing positions, making deposits or withdrawals, and receiving asset price alerts. These notifications can be received by email, live on the platform or on your phone.

FCA Regulated

This European broker, is registered by many governmental bodies, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 522157) in the UK, CNMV in Spain, CySEC in Cyprus, BaFin in Germany, and AMF in France.

Opening an Account

Opening an account with XTB is straightforward; you just provide an email address and password, and upload the requested personal information (e.g., your ID and phone number). The entire process is 100% online.

CFD and Securities Trading

You can trade CFDs (ideal for traders), as well as stocks and real ETFs (suited for medium to long-term investors).

Fractional & Full Assets

XTB allows you to trade fractional slices of ETFs and stocks, or the whole asset if you prefer.

Cons

Not the Easiest

XTB offers a comprehensive platform, you won’t miss any options. However, this complexity makes it less user-friendly. The design, though, is modern and appealing.

Information Hard to Find

Occasionally, details about fees or trading processes are unclear, as offerings vary by country.

Limited Demo Account

XTB’s demo account is quite limited. Ideally, XTB would offer a non-expiring demo account. Once you’re a client, demo account access is unlimited.

Fixed Leverage

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to adjust leverage in derivative trading. I prefer the leverage flexibility that eToro provides.

XTB in Detail

Criteria

Comment

Country and Regulation ?

5

XTB serves around 20 countries, including major European nations and Vietnam, but not the USA. It’s regulated in multiple countries, with UK operations registered under the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 522157).

Deposit Fees ?

4.5

Fund your XTB account with a debit/credit card (Mastercard, Maestro, VISA) or bank transfer without commissions. Skrill or PayPal deposits have a 2% fee. Minimum $250 deposit. Set up your account in GBP, EUR, or USD.

Demo Account ?

You can access a demo account to practice on the XTB platform. If you’re not a client, this account is available for only 30 days. You’ll have $100k in virtual funds to practice without risking your capital.

Stocks

European clients access 3,000 + global shares, while UK clients are limited to CFDs, not real shares. EU clients can invest in major markets, including the UK, US, and Europe.

ETFs & Mutual Funds

European clients can invest in over 150 + ETFs, not mutual funds. However, UK clients can trade only CFDs, not ETFs.

Bonds

It’s not possible to trade bonds with XTB.

Derivatives

XTB offers a diverse range of CFDs, including Forex (48 pairs), Cryptocurrencies (10 types), about 20 commodity CFDs, and 20 CFDs on indices. They also provide CFDs on shares and ETFs. Note: CFD trading is restricted in several countries.

Forex

No direct Forex trading. You can trade about 48 currency pairs exclusively with CFDs. Examples include EUR/USD, EUR/GBP, USD/MXN, and USD/JPY.

Cryptos

It’s not possible to trade cryptocurrencies on XTB.

Other Products

You can’t trade other derivatives like options or warrants. Investing in fixed income securities with XTB isn’t possible either.

Types of Orders ?

4.5

XTB offers various order types like market, limit, stop loss, and take profit. However, its system can be complex, so ensure you’re familiar with it before trading. Both long and short positions are available.

Leverage ?

Leverage ratios vary by country. In Europe and the UK, maximum regulatory levels apply. Changing leverage while trading, like reduction, is not possible.

Trading Fees ?

Stocks and ETFs trade at 0% commission in certain countries. CFD trades include a spread favouring XTB, typical for market makers.

Overnight Fees ?

Leaving a position open overnight incurs financing fees on the leveraged funds from XTB. Though modest, these daily percentage-based fees can accumulate significantly.

Inactivity Fees ?

If your account remains inoperative for 1 year, you have to pay a fee of $10.

Other Fees

If you prefer to have your transaction information on paper, it’ll cost £75. However, in this digital age, storing it electronically is simpler.

Available Platforms

4.5

XTB offers its xStation 5 trading platform, accessible from any modern browser. You can switch the platform between dark and light modes; I prefer the light mode. Additionally, it’s available as apps for Android and iOS.

Charting ?

4.5

Customize charts with candlesticks, lines, or bars. Adjust time frames and annotations for analysis. Easily compare assets and apply indicators like seasonal trends or moving averages.

Research ?

4.5

Stay informed with a customizable news feed for your investments and an economic calendar for key financial events.

Education and Guides

4.5

In the knowledge centre, you’ll discover the “Trading Academy,” featuring dozens of articles on concepts like Forex and platform tutorials. There are also numerous videos.

Alerts

4

Receive XTB notifications via email, on the platform (with sound), or your phone (with app). Alerts include important events, deposits/withdrawals, position updates, and price alerts.

Support ?

4

You can reach XTB via email, chat, or telephone. Our customer service is available from 9 AM to 6 PM. At times, there might be a delay in our response.

Overall Rating ?

4.2

XTB is certainly a very complete trading platform that offers all the basic (and not so basic) functions for trading. It would be nice if they could offer more assets such as ETFs and stocks in all countries, and if the leverage could be adjusted. More advanced traders will like XTB very much.

Is XTB Safe?

I get the impression XTB’s platform is secure. You can set up notifications to receive alerts on your mobile phone or email whenever a position is opened or closed, or when funds are withdrawn. This way, you’re informed of any suspicious activity.

xtb notifications and alerts
XTB notifications and alerts

Withdrawals can only be made to a bank account in your name, which I imagine adds extra security.

I’d like to see a 2-step authentication system allowing confirmation of access to the XTB platform with a code sent to your phone, like by SMS or in the app.

Who Regulates XTB?

XTB is a trading platform of European origin, based in Poland, and it is regulated by multiple countries. As mentioned previously, it is also regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, and others.

However, XTB is not solely registered with the FCA; it is also subject to regulation and registration by other agencies in various countries, including:

  • ACP of the Banque de France
  • German BanFin
  • Spanish CNMV
  • The Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom
  • KNF of Poland
  • National Bank of the Czech Republic
  • Or the CMVM of Portugal
  • Central Bank of Uruguay

Additionally, XTB has offices in 13 countries, including the UK, Spain, Poland, Germany, France, and Chile.

XTB's Fees & Commissions

As you may already know, the commissions you face when investing can have a big (negative) impact on your profits.

For example, imagine you have average commissions of 1% per year on your investments. If you invested £10,000 over 25 years, you would pay around £9,200 in commissions.

However, if the commissions were higher, and you paid an average of 1.50%, you would have paid around £11,750 in commissions at the end of 25 years (assuming compound interest).

Traders have to deal with a lot of commissions (more specifically spreads), as they follow the market trend and open and close positions very frequently. That is why the difference between a low-fee broker and an expensive one can mean a lot of money.

You will face 2 types of commissions: operational; related to opening and closing positions, and non-operational.

Non-Operational XTB Fees

There are several commissions you may have to pay when you have an XTB account. Here are the details:

  • Inactivity: If you don’t trade with XTB for 12 months you’ll have to pay $10. Trading is defined as opening or closing positions.
  • Withdrawal: Withdrawing funds from XTB is free if your withdrawal is more than $60. If the amount you withdraw is less than $60, there is a commission fee.
  • Deposits: There are generally no commissions for deposits you make. You may face a commission fee if you use an electronic payment method such as PayPal and Skrill – charged by the payment processor and not XTB.

It’s positive that with XTB there are no commissions for opening or maintaining an account, one less cost to worry about.

XTB’s Operating Fees

On the contrary, every time you trade a new position, you’ll face commissions (and/or spreads). Generally XTB has quite competitive commissions, the following are the commissions for the Standard account, if you have a Pro account these may be a bit lower.

  • Commissions on asset purchases: In 2020, XTB started to offer the possibility to buy stocks and ETFs without commissions, but as we have said, these assets are only available in some European countries (not in the UK).
  • Spreads: If you end up trading CFDs, you’ll not have a commissions fee, but you’ll have to deal with the spread. This is the difference between the bid price and the ask price at XTB, which is how derivatives brokers are usually funded.
  • Exchange rate commissions: Your account can be in euros, pounds or US dollars, if you make deposits in other currencies you’ll have to pay an exchange rate commission. Similarly, if you invest in an asset that is traded in a currency other than your account currency you’ll also face a commissions fee, which in most cases is 0.5%.

Example Of Commissions With XTB

As an example, I will compare XTB’s commissions with some of its alternatives to give you an idea of how much it will cost you to trade with them.

XTB Spread XTB Daily Swap Points
GBPUSD 0.00022 -3.664 (long)

-3.138 (short)

US30 2 N/A
UK100 1.1 N/A
Oil 0.04 N/A
Gold 0.3 -8.197 (long)

-7.192 (short)

Apple 0.08%

(min. £8)

-2.62725% (long)

-2.37275% (short)

Barclays 0.08%

(min. £8)

-2.52675% (long)

-2.47325% (short)

More information www.XTB.com

* Please note that commissions fluctuate, the table above refers to commissions as of 24 January 2023.

Products You Can Trade With XTB

The fact that XTB has low spread and is a platform with one of the best chart analysis and news feeds is very positive. However, if XTB doesn’t allow you to trade the assets you’re interested in, it may not be a viable option for you, right?

In the following paragraphs, I will break down which assets you can invest in using XTB and which markets it will give you access to:

CFDs (Contracts For Difference)

One of the most popular products with XTB is CFDs, or Contracts For Difference. The prices of these are derivative financial assets that are linked to the price of another asset (called the underlying).

Technically, we could have CFDs on any asset. For example, if you and I were to agree, we could create a CFD on the price of bread or even the price of a bus pass.

They are generally used by advanced traders to invest with low commissions, trying to capitalise on short-term market trends. Honestly, if you don’t know what a CFD is, I would recommend that you don’t invest with them until you understand how they work; they are even riskier when trading with leverage.
Invest in cfds with xtb
CFD investing with XTB

Let’s see which CFDs you can invest in with XTB:

  • Stocks: With XTB you can invest in real stocks, or you can do so with the CFD version of these. You can trade CFDs on major companies in the US and Europe.
  • ETF: On the other hand, it’s also possible to invest in CFDs of the ETFs mentioned above.
  • Forex: Surely currency pairs trading is one of the most popular CFDs. XTB have a lot available, about 50 popular pairs (e.g. EUR, USD, MXN JPY or GBP), but they also have some less common currencies like BRL or TRY.
  • Indices: Another way to trade CFDs is to trade entire indices, which is also possible with XTB. You can trade the main European indices (e.g. SPA35 or UK100), American indices (e.g. US30 or BRAComp) and other regions such as Japan, Hong Kong, Australia or South Korea. In total, they have more than 20.
  • Commodities: With XTB you can trade CFDs whose underlying asset is linked to a commodity. There are many available in various sectors: agriculture (e.g. sugar or coffee), energy (e.g. natural gas or oil), precious metals (e.g. gold or palladium) and industrial metals (e.g. zinc or copper).
  • Cryptocurrencies: With the boom in cryptocurrencies, many market makers (such as XTB) have started to offer CFDs linked to the price of these assets. With XTB you can buy CFDs on around 25 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dash or Ripple.

More information

Shares & ETFs

XTB allows you to invest in real stocks and ETFs in several European countries. This option is ideal for investors who aim to trade securities of specific companies over the medium to long term.

You will have access to a diverse selection of 3,000 + stocks across various markets. For instance, you can explore shares of leading companies in the United States and major European nations, including Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the Nordic countries.

XTB stands out as one of the brokers I have used, offering an extensive collection of more than 150 +. These ETFs are sourced from reputable managers such as iShares, Vanguard, SPDR, and Lyxor.

What Assets Can You Not Find On XTB?

Unfortunately, there are several assets that you won’t be able to trade on XTB, the most important of which include:

  • Equities and ETFs outside some countries in Europe and UK
  • Investment funds
  • Cryptocurrencies: check eToro for cryptocurrencies
  • Fixed income assets
  • Derivatives (other than CFDs) such as warrants, options or futures.

How To Open An Account With XTB

Opening an account with XTB is a fairly straightforward process, but I want to guide you through it for clarity:

Open an xtb account
Open an xtb account
  1. Go to www.XTB.com and click on “Demo” – I always recommend starting by exploring the demo account to become familiar with it.
  2. Provide your email address, country of residence, and review and accept the terms of use.
  3. Enter your personal information, including your name and phone number. Select the platform you wish to use, choose the account type, and set your password.

That’s it! You can now access the XTB demo account and become acquainted with its interface and features.

If, after a few days, you feel prepared to begin investing with real funds, follow these steps to open a live account:

  1. Log in to your XTB Demo Account and click on “Open Real Account.” If you don’t have a demo account, visit XTB and click on “Become a Client”.
  2. Provide your email address and agree to XTB’s terms of use.
  3. Complete your personal details, including your date of birth and other necessary information.
  4. Specify your postal address.
  5. Respond to the questions regarding your investor profile.
  6. Confirm your email address and phone number. Upload any documents XTB may request, typically your passport – you can do this by uploading a photo online.
  7. Make your initial deposit and commence your investment journey.

Tax Management With XTB

They may withhold taxes on the profits you make, depending a little on the country you trade from and the type of asset you invested in.

XTB stores your trading information, so you should be able to compile your profits and losses for tax purposes. But remember, you’re responsible for all of this.

XTB Alternatives

Trading212

No fees for Stocks and ETFs

4.4

eToro

Social investing made easy

4.1

Certainly, XTB is a one of the best brokers that can be a suitable choice for many users. However, there are instances where this Polish trading platform may not be the optimal selection. Therefore, allow me to introduce a couple of alternative services:

Trading 212

Trading 212 homepage
Trading212 is an alternative to XTB

Trading 212 (read our review) is an online brokerage that offers a user-friendly trading platform accessible via a smartphone or web browser. This broker allows you to trade ETFs, stocks, and CFDs across various instruments, including stocks, indices, forex, and commodities. Currently, they do not impose fees for trading ETFs and shares. The only drawback is that they could expand their range of assets, as some instruments and markets are currently missing.

eToro

etoro is an alternative to degiro
etoro is an alternative to XTB

eToro is a prominent online broker boasting approximately 32 million users, making it stand out among many other investment platforms. Similar to XTB, eToro offers CFD trading, but it also provides the opportunity to invest in fractional (real) stocks and ETFs. Additionally, eToro embraces the cryptocurrency market, allowing you to ride the wave of digital assets. If you’re interested in social trading and wish to replicate the trades of others, eToro provides this option as well.

XTB Review: Final Thoughts

Alright, after this detailed guide and sharing my opinions on XTB, you should have a pretty good idea of when it’s appropriate to use this trading platform.

But let me provide you with a brief summary of the most important points to consider:

  • It’s an ideal broker for individuals looking to invest on CFDs and real Stocks and ETFs. Its spreads are competitive and cover a wide range of markets, including Forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, and commodities, among others.
  • It’s a registered platform with the FCA, ensuring that it’s not involved in any financial scams. Additionally, it’s registered with other European regulatory organizations.
  • XTB’s platform offers some of the most useful charting tools I’ve ever tested; you can even draw on these charts.
  • Opening an account with them is a straightforward process.

However, there are some factors to consider that may not be entirely positive:

  • While it’s true that you can invest in real stocks and ETFs in some countries, other brokers like DEGIRO may offer more variety.
  • Although its platform is feature-rich, it can be somewhat complex for beginners due to the numerous options available.
  • If you trade CFDs, keep in mind that you won’t have the ability to reduce leverage. This means that your losses may be greater due to the effects of leverage. Ensure you have a clear understanding of this concept.
  • XTB demo account is limited to 30 days of practice, unless you’re an existing client.

That concludes my overview of XTB. If you still have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to provide answers.

Visit XTB.com

 

Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are leveraged financial assets and carry a high level of risk to your capital as prices may move quickly against you. Losses can exceed your deposits and you may be required to make further payments. These products may not be suitable for all clients therefore ensure you understand the risks and seek independent advice. 80% of retail accounts trading CDFs at XTB lose money, so make sure you understand how it works before you start.

Frequently Asked Questions

XTB is a trading platform that allows its users to invest in CFDs of indices, stocks, Forex, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. Additionally, XTB offers the option for investors to purchase real stocks and ETFs, in case CFD trading is not your preference.

This broker is regulated by the British Financial Conduct Authority (among others) and provides a diverse range of investment products. It’s worth noting that while XTB offers a comprehensive set of features, including charting tools, which experts will appreciate, beginners may initially find it overwhelming. Please be aware that when trading with CFDs, the leverage cannot be reduced.

XTB was founded in Poland by Jakub Zablocki, who remains an integral part of the company to this day.

Currently, XTB is a publicly traded broker, which means that anyone interested in purchasing shares can become a part-owner of XTB.

Who owns xtb
XTB Shareholders

However, as evident from the previous image, the founder of XTB still retains more than 65% control of XTB’s parent company, XXZW Investment Group.

XTB is absolutely reliable, as it is regulated and well-established. This trading platform has been in business for many years and serves millions of customers. Additionally, it is regulated in several countries, including Cyprus and the UK. XTB is also listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, which means it is subject to rigorous audits and controls.