Useful reviews of forex brokers are hard to find, so I thought I'd post my ongoing thoughts about my new broker, Tickmill UK.
For the past six monts I've been using XM.co.uk as my broker. I've been broadly happy with them, but their spreads on the currencies I trade are pretty poor, especially on the GBPCAD, which is 2-3 times higher than most other brokers. I looked at their 'Zero' account, but for some weird reason they don't offer a GBP account of that type. And contrary to their website, my account manager was not at all interested in a 'custom solution'. So it was time to shop around.
I wanted an FCA regulated broker offering lower spreads and a GBP account. Because I trade movements on the H1, and exclusively use pending orders, I thought a commission account might be the way forward. I very nearly opened a 'Prime' account with Admiral Markets (who have somehow managed to maintain a 4 star rating on FPA), but while I had no problem with the minimum deposit, I did have a problem with the minimum position size (1 mini lot); my typical position size is larger than that, but I want the freedom to manage my risk however I see fit. And while I do not currently open long term positions, the minimum lot size would effectively prevent me from doing so.
So, I decided to check out Tickmill UK. I had seen positive references to them on this forum, and I liked their website. Their 'Pro' account seemed exactly what I was looking for. As part of my due dilligence, I called up their customer service, and spoke to 'Olga'. While she did not sound terribly pleased to hear from me, there was no telephone tree to navigate, and I was not placed on hold before getting through to her. She answered my questions about their commission model (it's a flat percentage with no minimum), and I went on to open my account with them the following day.
As you would expect, they asked me to verify my identity and address. I uploaded the required documents, and was somewhat surprised at how restrictive they were; as I bank online and don't pay any utilities, I struggled to find address documents that would qualify, and I suspect some people will struggle to get verified at all.
In the past, brokers have verified my identity within minutes of the documents being uploaded. However, after a few hours of receiving no verification, I called Olga back to see if there was a problem. Apparently, they are swamped with applications, and verification takes 24 hours.
If she had left it at that it would have been fine. However, she proceeded to try and convince me that 24 hours is a really good turnaround. At that stage I had to point out that none of the previous four brokers that had verified me had taken more than an hour. I hate it when people try and convince me that an obvious problem is not, in fact, a problem. I'd not been irritated with Tickmill she tried that. I had simply assumed that half their staff was on holiday, which is not unreasonable for the time of year.
It has now been several days, and my documents have not yet been looked at. This is not a case of verification being rejected, but simply not processed. Given the weekend and then the holidays, I suspect it will be late next week (at the earliest) before my verificaion comes through.
Appalling customer service does not make for an auspicious start. Still, I'm telling myself that they have to cut something to get their spreads & commission so low, and I'll only need to deal with this once.
If I ever actually get to trade with Tickmill UK, I will update my review with futher thoughts.