OCBC Securities was established in 1986 and now the company is one of the leading brokerage firms in Singapore that provides brokerage services for securities, derivatives and leveraged foreign exchange assets. OCBC Securities is a member of Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST) and is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). OCBC Securities announces it executes a large number of orders via Electronic Desk Access and Direct Market Access (DMA). Customers can deal through the company’s own platform that provides direct connection to various markets in one single account.
The company offers several account types, but the retail customers will be interested in one specific – for Leveraged Forex and Precious Metals. There are more than 35 currency pairs and precious metals available.
Customers can deposit in US dollars, British pounds, Swiss francs, Singapore dollars, Japanese yens, Australian dollars and Euros. You can feed your account by cash and cheque. It is explained that the company may agree to pay you an interest rate of less than 2% on your funds above margin requirements if they are more than USD10,000.
The company offers its own developed terminal called iOCBC Online Trading Platform. The terminal’s direct market access (DMA) allows you to place your trades directly to key securities exchanges. You can monitor your funds and margin requirements, view counterparties directly and receive confirmations and alerts through email. You can also create your customized watchlists and view the market depth (level II pricing).
The Terms and Conditions document shows that the company may, in its sole and absolute discretion, act either as agent of or principal. If OCBC assumes the role of the counterparty to any contract, it shall be entitled to all gains, profits and benefits derived from such contract. Without prejudice to the generality of the preceding, unless otherwise agreed in writing by OCBC, in respect of Contracts on an exchange, the company shall act as your agent, and in respect of other contracts, it shall act as your principal. This means that OCBC is a market maker and a subsequent conflict of interest arises.
The same document reveals that you may sustain a total loss or in excess of your funds deposited, and you will be liable for any resulting deficit in your account. This means there is no negative balance protection and at the end you may owe money to this company.
In general, OCBC is a well-regulated brokerage company. Retail clients would benefit from better trading conditions such as lower deposit requirements and tighter spreads. On the other hand, traders will feel the lack of the MetaTrader terminal – currently one of the most popular platforms in the world. They will not be covered by the negative balance protection available to most European intermediaries.