Best Swift Brokers 2024

Swift is a global payment system based in Belgium. It is primarily used for making payments overseas, though some individuals also use it to make retail payments to vendors, including online trading brokers. In this review, we start with an introduction to Swift – explaining how the payment mechanism works. We also cover any fees, charges and limits traders may encounter when making payments. In addition, we list the top UK brokers that accept Swift deposits and withdrawals in 2024.

Swift Brokers

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    AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for trading, from CFDs to AvaOptions and now AvaFutures, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

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    IC Markets is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker known for its excellent pricing, comprehensive range of trading instruments, and premium trading technology. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Australia, the brokerage is regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA, and has attracted more than 180,000 clients from over 200 countries.

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    eToro is a top-rated multi-asset platform which offers trading services in thousands of CFDs, stocks and cryptoassets. Launched in 2007, the brand has millions of active traders globally and is authorized by tier one regulators, including the FCA and CySEC. The brand is particularly popular for its comprehensive social trading platform. Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in the UK and some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply. 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

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    Founded in 2009, Vantage offers trading on 1000+ short-term CFD products to over 900,000 clients. You can trade Forex CFDs from 0.0 pips on the RAW account through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC-regulated and client funds are segregated. Copy traders will also appreciate the range of social trading tools.

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    4xCube is an online forex and CFD broker registered and licensed in the Cook Islands. Clients can trade on popular financial markets and choose between three accounts based on their capital and trading strategy.

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    MultiBank FX is an established broker offering forex and CFD products since 2005. With 20,000+ instruments, plenty of local payment methods and 24/7 multilingual customer support, the broker is a popular choice among traders globally. New clients can also access a variety of bonus offers and access the hugely popular MT4 and MT5 trading platforms.

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    Admirals is an FCA- and ASIC-regulated broker with an excellent range of leveraged instruments, including forex, stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, cryptos and more. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and TradingCentral platforms. With both spread betting and CFDs available and thousands of instruments, this broker provides more flexibility than most rivals.

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    FXCentrum is an offshore broker that offers highly leveraged, commission-free trading on diverse instruments with tight spreads. Traders can access forex, equity and commodities markets via MetaTrader 5 or the proprietary FXC platform and use the award-winning ZuluTrade platform for copy trading.

Swift Payments Overview

In the 1970s, banks and nations across the world were encountering a common problem – they didn’t know how to communicate cross-border payments and navigate language barriers. So in 1977, Swift (The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) was launched. It set a new protocol and process for international payment flows.

Importantly, Swift is a messaging service rather than a banking solution. The company does not hold funds or manage accounts. Nonetheless, Swift is one of the most reliable transfer systems with a global infrastructure that spans 200 countries and 13,000+ companies. The firm’s messages process trillions of pounds in payment volumes every day.

In the UK, almost every standard bank uses Swift payments, including NatWest, Nationwide and HSBC. Some new FinTech companies have also started using the network to complete digital payments, including Revolut. An increasing number of instant payments API gateways utilise Swift messaging.

In 2017, the organisation also launched Swift GPI (Global Payments Innovation) which added a new set of rules. Any bank that joins this initiative must provide transparency on costs, end-to-end payment tracking plus confirmation of credit within a set time frame.

Brokers that accept Swift deposits

Swift Payments Explained

Swift payments, that are used by banks and organisations across the globe, effectively leverage the messaging network used to communicate transactions. It removes the impact of language barriers and makes sending and receiving information fast and secure for financial institutions.

The service essentially arranges payments between two accounts. This could be two bank accounts in separate countries or a payment from a UK investor to a broker’s online trading account.

Importantly, the Swift payment system formats codes for each financial institution, country and location. It also assigns codes for all payment details (known as ‘fields’), including by currency, value and date. These are sent between different institutions to summarise each payment.

The file and message format are the same in all countries and for all transaction types, meaning payment 103 for example, is ‘customer payment or cheque wire transfer to an institution or company’.

Fees

Swift payments implement a fee on both the sending and receiving ends of the transaction. The main UK banks tend to implement a flat rate for all transactions. However, some online brokerages choose to cover the fee on their end. This can vary from broker to broker, and some may even choose to add a charge for deposits or withdrawals.

Check that your chosen broker has a clear breakdown of any deposit and withdrawal fees before making a payment. Also take into account that because Swift is typically used for large-value payments, low-value deposits are more likely to come with a charge.

Speed

Due to a range of factors, such as coordination and the role of intermediary banks, it can take time for payments to be processed. Deposits or withdrawals to and from a trading account can take between two and five working days in particularly slow cases. This puts competitors and alternatives ahead of Swift when it comes to funding trading accounts. Skrill, Neteller and PayPal, for example, typically offer faster, if not instant deposits. Traders should also bear in mind that Swift does not process payments on weekends or bank holidays.

With that said, Swift is working to improve its transaction times. The GPI initiative aims to complete payments on the same day. Further improvements were also made via updates in 2019, which the organisation states have “enabled payments to be executed in seconds”.

Security

Swift is a particularly secure payment method. As a result of cyber-attacks, the company introduced the new Payments Control Service which allows banks to screen for irregularities. The platform combines real-time monitoring with alerts and the blocking of any at-risk sent payments.

One of the company’s main aims is also transparency. Investors who deposit funds to a trading account via Swift can track their payment and should be notified of any settlement time frames.

Additionally, the system rejects and returns any payments that feature incorrect codes. This ensures money cannot get lost due to input errors.

How to Make Swift Deposits & Withdrawals

Many bank and wire transfer deposits at brokers are completed via Swift. Therefore, the process for completing a deposit or withdrawal is simple:

  1. Head to your broker’s website and look for the Swift logo
  2. On the payments page, select deposit or withdrawal. The transaction will then be completed via your bank
  3. The brokerage will provide you with the relevant BIC and IBAN numbers and codes to fill in
  4. Once inputted, enter the amount you wish to deposit or withdraw
  5. Hit confirm and wait for the payment to complete. Remember, this can take over two days

Swift Payments Definition

Benefits of Trading With Swift Brokers

  • Incorrect codes rejected: If you enter an incorrect code, the deposit will be rejected and returned, ensuring you don’t lose money. You will then be asked to correct the code to resume the service.
  • Customer support: Swift offers 24/7 customer support for all users completing payments. This means that whether it is the weekend or a bank holiday, you can still get in contact if you have any issues. The top brokers that accept Swift deposits and withdrawals also provide 24/7 or 24/5 support.
  • Proof and accountability: Swift payments clearly state charges and transaction routes and provide proof of payment. This helps traders to see where their deposit or withdrawal is and shows expected timescales for clearing and settlement.
  • Global: Swift is an international payment system. It is supported in over 200 countries and used by over 13,000 companies. The system streamlines global payments and will work no matter which country you are in.
  • Accessible: Swift payments are recognised and utilised worldwide by many financial institutions. In the UK, almost all major banks use the system, including Nationwide, HSBC and NatWest.

Drawbacks of Trading With Swift Brokers

  • Bank account required: To use Swift payments, you need to have a bank account. This controls and limits the number of people who can use the system, with an estimated quarter of the population still without a bank account.
  • Security checks: Users must complete KYC verification and other security checks before they can use the payment service. This contrasts with blockchain technology and emerging payment solutions that do not require passport checks. Note, your trading broker may still have its own identity verification requirements.
  • Slow processing times: Swift is a relatively slow payment method. Transactions can take anywhere up to seven days. There are much quicker alternatives available offering near-instant deposits at UK brokers, including Skrill, Neteller and PayPal.

Swift Verdict

Swift is one of the oldest payment methods with a 45-year history. When it first arrived, Swift payments revolutionised the international banking scene, allowing simple transfers between countries despite language barriers. It also offers a relatively straightforward and secure way to make deposits and withdrawals at brokers while seamlessly linking with your bank account.

Yet despite the positives, traders may have to contend with slow processing times and fees. With this in mind, we would recommend alternative deposit and withdrawal solutions when looking to the future.

FAQ

Can Swift Payments Be Reversed?

Swift payments cannot be reversed once the receiver obtains the message. This is unlike other payment methods, such as credit cards, which have a chargeback feature. There is a stop and recall scheme, but this can only be completed before the payment is received, so users should contact their bank quickly.

Are Swift Payments Same Day?

Swift payments are not usually processed on the same day. However, the company is aiming to bring updates that will enable same-day processing in the future. For now though, this could be a real drawback for active traders who may want to make rapid deposits to capitalise on emerging market opportunities.

How Long Do Swift Payments Take?

Swift payments typically take two to five days to process. Online trading brokers may also have their own processing times that could increase this period, so it is worth understanding your platform’s standard payment timelines.

Is Swift An International Payment System?

Yes – the transfer service can be used for making Swift payments overseas. Traders can send funds from the UK to an account in Canada, the US, Australia and many other countries. This also means the transfer service can be used to deposit funds with offshore trading brokers.

What Is Swift GPI?

Swift GPI is an initiative designed to increase transparency for customers. Any bank that joins the initiative must provide transparency of costs, end-to-end payment tracking plus confirmation of credit within a set time frame.