The legitimacy and reputation of a broker is always a major concern for traders. Even if a firm has been on the scene for several years, reputations aren’t always enough to go by when investing funds. With this in mind, our ATC Brokers review took a closer look at the broker to ascertain just how legit it is.
ATC Brokers was founded in the UK and was authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority, which is a world-renowned regulatory body for British financial institutions. Being FCA regulated may not have direct relevance to those looking to open an account in the US, but it does lend a degree of trustworthiness to the broker from the outset, as the FCA has stringent guidelines to protect customers from any shady dealings. Internationally, ATC Brokers is also regulated by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.
ATC Brokers USA is regulated by the National Futures Association, which was set up to oversee the derivatives markets and offer protection to investors. However, in the US the firm is only regulated as an Introducing Broker, which effectively means the broker is in contact with clients directly but delegates trade execution and back-office operations to third parties.
Whilst the US regulation of ATC Brokers is less stringent than that of other authorities, it is enough for traders to be confident that ATC Brokers USA is not a scam.
Thanks to its streamlined offering, the ATC Brokers USA website is well laid out and easy to navigate. Access to the trading platform, educational resources, customer service, and account information are all easy to find via the tabs at the top of the screen. There is also a page dedicated to the products and services provided by the company. Each page then presents information in a clear and intuitive way, making it easy to find what you are looking for.
In terms of design, the ATC Brokers USA website has a minimalist color design that, whilst somewhat perfunctory, is non-offensive and easy on the eye. Overall, it feels modern and functional. There are also very few complaints regarding the site’s performance – it is quick to load and our ATC Brokers review found no dead links. The simple design of the site also makes it easily portable to mobiles and tablets without losing functionality.
Our ATC Brokers review USA also found that the site works perfectly with mobile devices, with no noticeable impact on the layout or appearance of site pages. Of course, responsive performance is to be expected with what is quite a simple website, but ATC nonetheless delivers a pleasing interface that does everything it needs to.
ATC Brokers offer 3 types of accounts – individual, joint, and corporate. The options are fairly self-explanatory and apart from differences in access and transfer options, each account will appear the same. In practical terms, the ATC Brokers open account comes in one size. There are no membership tiers, VIP services, or other memberships associated with the site. This is largely in-keeping with ATC’s streamlined approach to trading and it means that opening an account is extremely straightforward – you simply click on the omnipresent ‘Open Account’ tab at the bottom right of the page and it will take you to the sign-up form.
One thing to be aware of when opening an account with ATC Brokers USA is the reasonably high initial deposit requirement. The minimum amount required to open an account is $2,000. This is considerably higher than the $50 required from its rival firm that we discovered in our Forex.com review, yet a great deal lower than the $10,000 minimum deposit for CitiFX Pro accounts.
When opening an account, you will need a government-issued proof of ID and proof of residence for all parties to be named on the account. Acceptable forms of proof of residence include utility bills and bank or credit card statements.
ATC Brokers claim that on average an individual and joint account takes 1-2 business days and a corporate account takes 3-5 business days, assuming the necessary documentation is in place.
ATC Brokers USA continues its streamlined theme with its singular platform offering. Experienced traders will probably already be familiar with MetaTrader 4, as it is one of the most popular platforms available on the market. However, the existing format has been augmented with MT4 Pro, a plugin developed in-house by ATC Brokers which expands upon the existing MetaQuotes Software.
MT4 is known for the way it combines an excellent range of features and powerful trading tools with an intuitive and minimalist interface. Traders can quickly execute order types like trailing stops, order cancels orders, and bracket orders, in addition to easy access to place your market orders, stop orders and limit orders and easily view the development of open trades. There is also access to ATC Brokers’ expert support and automated services.
MT4s are also highly customizable, which makes the platform good for both novice traders and seasoned pros. At its most comprehensive, the central window can offer hundreds of metrics for those who prioritize technical analysis. Alternatively, newbie traders who might be confused by the more complex statistics can strip the charting down to the bare essentials.
MT4 has also been optimized for mobile devices and the app can be downloaded on IOS and Android devices. The mobile offering provides seamless trade-execution on the go with a good selection of charting and indicators. Whilst it might not quite have the functionality of the desktop version, MT4 mobile is head and shoulders above many of its competitors when it comes to trading on the move.
As previously noted, the minimum deposit required to open an account is $2,000, which our ATC Brokers review found to be quite high. The platform is also somewhat restrictive with its payments and withdrawals. The options to fund your account are via bank transfer, Visa, UnionPay, Skrill, and Mastercard, with USD and EUR being the only currencies supported. Each has a limit of $10,000 per calendar month.
Transactions carried out via card payments are free, but there are fees associated with withdrawals directly to your bank account: USD Currency withdrawals have a $20 tacked on to the first withdrawal of the month, increasing to $35 for subsequent transactions. Transfers will usually take between 2 – 5 business days, but exact times will depend on your bank’s processing times. Naturally, the banking fees will be off-putting to new traders who would prefer to make regular but smaller withdrawals.
All in all, our ATC Brokers review found the account funding options for ATC brokers were a little limited, however, they are in line with more established brokers who usually restrict payment options to mainstream providers, as you might expect from retailers or other commercial entities.
ATC Brokers offers a fairly comprehensive customer support service, available 24/5 across several channels. ATC Brokers open account holders have the option to get in touch by phone, email or via the webchat function, the latter is manned by staff rather than bots and becomes an email form outside of business hours. All of the contact options are easily found under the “Help Center”. Alternatively, for less urgent or more general queries, the site offers a detailed FAQ section, which deals with queries relating to accounts, the platform and trading in general.
Our ATC Brokers review found that the customer service team responded quickly and specifically. The average time for an email response was within 24 hours and queue times for telephone support were under 5 minutes. The chat function was even more readily available, with an agent available in just a couple of minutes.
ATC Brokers pretty much offers an industry-standard level of customer service and novice traders can rest assured that if they run into problems they will be able to receive quick and effective support. Our ATC Brokers review was, however, unable to ascertain whether support was offered in languages other than English.
Of course, regulation isn’t the only measure of a platform’s trustworthiness. ATC Brokers has been on the forex scene since 2005, so our review delved into the platform’s reputation to help build a better impression of the company.
We found that reviews of ATC Brokers were mostly positive – with the firm particularly well-regarded for the attitude and manner of customer service representatives. There are one or two reports of random service outages, but these seem to have been isolated incidents and at the time of writing ATC Brokers has not experienced any major incidents with regards to security or malpractice.
Regulation and deposit protection is another important area for our ATC Brokers review, as investors will want to know that the platform can be trusted to keep their funds secure.
Being an international provider, ATC Brokers is actually subject to several regulatory bodies. These include the UK’s FCA and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. The FCA is a national body that aims to protect consumers with stringent regulations to set high standards and protocols for firms operating in the financial industry.
In the US meanwhile, the ATC Brokers USA is registered as an independent introducing broker with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and is a member of the National Futures Association. The CFTC and NFA offer consumer protection with their own rules and regulations for firms to conduct their business within the US derivatives industry.
NFA is a self-regulatory organization set up by the CFTC specifically for the US derivatives industry, providing innovative and effective regulatory programs. One stipulation of the NFA is that customer deposits must be held in a customer segregated funds account – this means that the broker cannot use the funds for its own operations and if it were to go under, it will not take customer funds with it.
All things considered, ATC Brokers open account holders can be reasonably confident that their funds are as safe with the platform as they are with any other.
Is there an ATC Brokers promotion, or are there any other incentives for account holders? ATC Brokers does not have any pretenses about being a comprehensive investment platform. Instead, what it does offer is a streamlined way for its customers to trade forex, along with the option to invest in gold and silver. Whilst this does mean that ATC open account holders who are looking to trade other instruments may need to use an additional platform, they also benefit from a stripped-down platform that allows for fast trade execution and monitoring.
It should be noted that the USA website offers fewer trading instruments than its UK counterpart – most notable is the absence of CFD listings, which might be off-putting to traders looking for more options. However, we will now take a look at what ATC Brokers do have to offer.
After taking a thorough look at ATC Brokers, our review team found that the platform has its good points and bad. There is little question over its legitimacy, as it is backed by some of the world’s leading regulatory bodies for financial markets and it has a pretty solid reputation dating back to 2005. The website itself is easy to navigate and ATC users the industry-leading MT4 trading platform, which offers traders everything they need to hit the markets.
It is also obvious that an ATC Brokers open account is somewhat limited. This is especially true for US customers. Whilst in the UK and abroad, ATC offers trading in CFDs, this is not currently offered to American customers – probably down to Uncle Sam’s tighter trading regulations. There is a small number of contracts for trading gold and silver – with potentially more to be added – but ultimately, for US customers ATC is just a forex trading platform. This can have its advantages of course – especially for novice traders who don’t want to be swamped with information right off the bat. However, experienced traders with diverse investment interests will more than likely need another platform. If that platform happens to offer a good forex service, it’s difficult to see why they would need to use ATC.
If you’re looking to break into forex trading though, ATC Brokers is a good opportunity as it offers a no-nonsense, streamlined approach to the market and its commission and fees are fairly competitive. The company also offers a demo account, which is an invaluable opportunity to get to try out the platform and get to know the forex market before investing any real-world funds. Head over to our Gain Capital review for insight into another stellar online broker.