Skilling is the trade name of Skilling Ltd. It is authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under CIF license number 357/18. The About Us section reveals that this is a Scandinavian-owned fintech company established in 2016 and based in four locations – Cyprus, Malta, Spain, and Seychelles. The company is headquartered in Cyprus.
Customers can trade over 800 financial instruments that include 73 currency pairs, 715 global shares, 5 commodities, 17 indices, and 10 cryptocurrencies using contracts for difference (CFDs). The average spread for Bitcoin is about USD55.
There are two types of trading accounts. The Standard account requires EUR100 to open and offers commission free trades with spreads starting at 0.7 pips for the major currency pairs. You must invest at least EUR5,000 to open a Premium account and you will receive spreads from 0.1 pips for majors at the expense of a commission starting from USD35 per 1 million traded units. You can feed your account by bank transfer, credit/debit card, Skrill and Neteller.
Customers can trade through the company’s own platform (Skilling Trader), which is designed for traders of all levels, the firm said. The terminal is available as a desktop version and as well as a mobile app. There is a built-in Skilling Trade Assistant, which guides beginners on how and what to trade. In addition, customers can trade through the well-known web-based cTrader, which allows you to create your own automated trading script written in C #.
The Terms and Conditions document confirms that all retail clients are covered by negative balance protection that ensures the maximum losses from trading CFDs, including all related costs, are limited to the total funds that are in the account. This means that your losses cannot exceed your equity. The same documents informs that slippage may occur when trading in financial instruments and explains that this is the situation when at the time that an order is presented for execution, the specific price showed to the client may not be available; therefore, the order will be executed close to or a number of pips away from the client’s requested price. Slippage may appear in all types of accounts the company offers including stop loss orders. The company warns: ” We do not guarantee the execution of your Pending Orders at the price specified. Limit Orders can be filled at either requested or better price, while Stop Orders can be filled at worse, requested or better price. The resulting Slippage is always subject to market conditions at the time of the execution and the Company has no power of controlling the executed price.” In other words, stop loss orders are not guaranteed. The same document informs that the company acts as an agent to client’s transactions and transmits each of them to the liquidity providers (executes orders on behalf of clients). This means Skilling uses the Straight Through Processing (STP) model to fulfill client orders and this would skip the underlying conflict of interest between the company and customers. However, in the Order Execution Policy document it is written that the company also acts as a market maker and it is the sole principal as well as the sole execution venue for the execution of the client’s orders. So, the company may be a market maker whenever it chooses, and the conflict of interest exists. Market makers benefit when clients lose.
Overall, Skilling is regulated by the CySEC and must comply with the ESMA’s requirements including providing negative balance protection for all retail customers. However, it is not clear what type of broker the company is. It may act as a market maker whenever it wants. Despite the many financial instruments offered, the most popular trading platform – MetaTrader 4 is not available.