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The foreign exchange (currency or forex or FX) market exists wherever one currency is traded for another. It is by far the largest financial market in the world, and includes trading between large banks, central banks, currency speculators, multinational corporations, governments, and other financial markets and institutions. The average daily trade in the global forex and related markets currently is over US$ 3 trillion.

 There are two types of retail broker: brokers offering speculative trading and brokers offering physical delivery i.e. the bought currency is delivered to a bank account.

Retail forex brokers or market makers handle a minute fraction of the total volume of the foreign exchange market. According to CNN, one retail broker estimates retail volume at $25–50 billion daily, which is about 2% of the whole market. Retail traders (individuals) are a small fraction of this market and may only participate indirectly through brokers or banks, and might be subject to forex scams.

 

Forex scam

 

A forex scam is any trading scheme used to defraud individual traders by convincing them that they can expect to gain a high profit by trading in the foreign exchange market. Currency trading "has become the fraud du jour," according to Michael Dunn of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. But "the market has long been plagued by swindlers preying on the gullible," according to the New York Times "The average individual foreign-exchange-trading victim loses about $15,000, according to CFTC records" according to The Wall Street Journal.The North American Securities Administrators Association says that "off-exchange forex trading by retail investors is at best extremely risky, and at worst, outright fraud."

“In a typical case, investors may be promised tens of thousands of dollars in profits in just a few weeks or months, with an initial investment of only $5,000. Often, the investor’s money is never actually placed in the market through a legitimate dealer, but simply diverted – stolen – for the personal benefit of the con artists.”The forex market is a zero-sum game , meaning that whatever one trader gains, another loses, except that brokerage commissions and other transaction costs are subtracted from the results of all traders, technically making forex a "negative-sum" game.

These scams might include churning of customer accounts for the purpose of generating commissions, selling software that is supposed to guide the customer to large profits,improperly managed "managed accounts",  false advertising,  Ponzi schemes and outright fraud.It also refers to any retail forex broker who indicates that trading foreign exchange is a low risk, high profit investment. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which loosely regulates the foreign exchange market in the United States, has noted an increase in the amount of unscrupulous activity in the non-bank foreign exchange industry.

An official of the National Futures Association was quoted as saying, "Retail forex trading has increased dramatically over the past few years. Unfortunately, the amount of forex fraud has also increased dramatically..." Between 2001 and 2006 the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has prosecuted more than 80 cases involving the defrauding of more than 23,000 customers who lost $350 million. From 2001 to 2007, about 26,000 people lost $460 million in forex frauds. [CNN quoted Godfried De Vidts, President of the Financial Markets Association, a European body, as saying, "Banks have a duty to protect their customers and they should make sure customers understand what they are doing. Now if people go online, on non-bank portals, how is this control being done?"

 

Transaction Costs and Market Makers

Market makers are well compensated for allowing retail clients to enter the forex market. They take part or all of the spread in all currency pairs traded. In a common example, EURUSD, the spread is typically 3 pips (3/100 of a percent). Thus prices are quoted with both bid and offer prices (e.g., Buy EURUSD 1.2000, Sell EURUSD 1.2003). That difference of 3 pips is the spread and can amount to a significant amount of money. Because the typical standard lot is 100,000 units of the base currency, those 3 pips on EURUSD translate to $30 paid by the client to the market maker. However, a pip is not always $10. A pip is 1/100th of a percent, and the currency pairs are always purchased by buying 100,000 of the quote currency, which is also known as the counter currency. For the pair EURUSD, the base currency is USD; thus, 1/100th of a percent on a pair with USD as the base currency will always have a pip of $10. If, on the other hand, your currency has Swiss Frank (CHF) as a base instead of USD, then 1/100th of a percent is now worth around $8, because you are buying 100,000 worth of Swiss Franks.

Foreign Exchange Trading

 Foreign Exchange Trading or FX Trading, clients are able to hedge against, or speculate upon, changes in the exchange rate of two currencies. For example, a speculator can long EUR/USD in foreign exchange market in order to profit from capturing the appreciation of Euro against the U.S. Dollar. Foreign exchange services provide an opportunity for clients to trade FX. Foreign Exchange Trading is done on the foreign exchange market.

 

 Foreign exchangeservice (finance)

 
For the use of this term in telecommunications, see Foreign exchange service (telecommunications).

In finance, a foreign exchange service provides clients with an on-line platform to trade currency, such as the U.S Dollar and the Euro. Clients may hedge against, or more likely speculate upon, changes in the exchange rate for different currencies.

The small "retail traders" who are likely to use these services are often the target of forex scams. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which loosely regulates many foreign exchange traders in the U.S., has warned of an increase in the number of these scams.

Retail Forex trading has enjoyed a recent boom in popularity as a means of investment, largely due to the colourful Foreign Exchange commentary of noted Australian currency dealer Alexander Nicholas. 

 

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