Bonuses

Broker bonuses were often common place. Regulatory changes however, have meant many firms no longer offer them. Promotions from deposit match offers, to fee free trading have been withdrawn by the majority of brands and consumers may need to get creative in order to find incentives.

Regulator Clampdown

The main issue for brokers and spread betting firms ditching sign up offers was regulatory pressure. The regulators are there to protect consumers. They felt many promotions and bonus schemes were harmful for clients. The theory was that the offers enticed traders to over trade, and trade far more than they originally intended.

Authorities were also worried about some of the attached terms and conditions that came with bonus deals. Often they tied money into an account, stipulating it had to be traded a number of times before it could be withdrawn.

UK focussed brokers therefore began to withdraw their bonus offers and promotions, and consumers are now unlikely to be offered deposit match boosts or similar.

Traders also need to be careful of those firms who still do offer an incentive to open an account – they may not be regulated, or regulated in countries other than the UK. The majority of the time, this might be OK, but sometimes it will highlight a dubious firm.

Will Bonuses Come Back?

Possibly. Regulators are now focussed as much on the product as on how they are marketed. Recent changes to CFD and Forex leverage was designed to protect consumers from opening positions that were far bigger than they want or need. Likewise, firms have been asked to offer “Negative balance protection” ensuring accounts do not go into the red. It means clients cannot lose more than they deposit. This was not previously the case.

With this additional level of protection, it is possible the authorities may back off from brand promotions. They may not reach the levels they have previously, but firms may be able to offer incentives for signing up.

Are There Any Safe Bonus Offers?

AvaTrade are one firm who do offer a deposit match bonus – but are also regulated in strong jurisdictions. Regulated in Ireland, South Africa and Australia, AvaTrade still offer a deposit match bonus and are worth checking out if you want to boost that initial deposit.

Lastly, a bonus offer should not be the sole reason for selecting a certain brand. High spread costs or withdrawal fees may soon wipe out any advantage from a bonus deal. It is also important not to treat an offer like a casino bonus, and open a trade simply because it is a ‘free spin’.

So compare brokers fully, and only treat a bonus offer as just that – a bonus!