broker

FlowBank SA Review 2022

Updated:
4.4
Trust
4.9
Fees
3.5
Platforms and Tools
4.8
Customer Support
4.7
Tradable Instruments
4.8
Account Types and Terms
4.2
Deposit and Withdrawal
4.6
Research
5.0
Education
3.6
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Please Note: This review of FlowBank S.A. is based on a Classic account. We evaluated the features of the account type and performance of the mobile and desktop versions of FlowBank Pro, the broker’s main platform. Data was collected between the 3rd and 4th of May. You can access the website here.

The Big Picture

FlowBank is a Swiss online bank that provides multiple financial solutions, from conventional banking to trading and investing. Having been founded in 2020, the company quickly asserted itself as a reliable partner to retail traders and value investors from Europe and elsewhere. FlowBank’s clients can choose from an impressive assortment of over 50 000 instruments at an above-average cost.

The company is licensed to provide financial services by Switzerland’s main regulatory body, ensuring very high protection. Another major advantage of working with FlowBank is the more than 50,000 instruments made available to traders and investors. Additional benefits include its excellent custom-built platform and its comprehensive research materials.

In terms of drawbacks, FlowBank’s trading costs are higher than the industry average, and its educational materials are rather ill-suited to cater to the needs of beginners.

FlowBank Key Takeaways for 2022

  • We evaluated FlowBank across 9 categories (Trust and Stability, Fees, Tradable Instruments, Account Types, Deposit and Withdrawal, Research, Customer Support, Education, and Platform and Tools).
  • FlowBank scored very high in the Trust category because FINMA, a top-tier financial regulator, authorises it. The bank is also a member of Esissuisse, meaning FlowBank’s clients are eligible for a compensation scheme.
  • The bank also earned almost perfect scores in the Instruments and Customer Support categories because of its vast assortment of options and reachability.
  • FlowBank also scored highly in the Research category with its penetrating analyses and multi-faceted technical breakdowns, and above average in the Platforms category.
  • The online bank scored below average in the Fees category because of the less than optimal spreads on a Classic account coupled with the commissions that apply to more complex instruments, such as ETFs, bonds, and options.
  • FlowBank’s educational materials do not cater to the needs of first-time traders as they are mostly focused on investing topics. The lack of emphasis on more general trading concepts affected FlowBank’s final score in the Education category.
  • More experienced traders, in turn, will certainly find the more than 50 000 available instruments to be a great advantage. They can go beyond simple speculation with the price action by implementing more complex trading strategies, such as scalping, hedging, or volatility-based strategies with options.

Who is FlowBank For?

FlowBank’s over 50 000 instruments make it possible for experienced traders to implement complex strategies. For instance, more than 40 000 assets can be traded as options, meaning that volatility traders can use strategies such as straddles and strangles. Those are two volatility-based strategies that are used when the trader anticipates the price of an underlying asset to move significantly in the future but is uncertain of the likely direction.

In addition to options trading, FlowBank’s clients can also choose from various CFDs, bonds, ETFs, and stocks, allowing them a great degree of flexibility in the market to construct intricate orders. This is mainly to the advantage of seasoned traders with sophisticated systems that require more than simple market or limit orders. Naturally, beginners would benefit from this exposure to different markets too.

FlowBank’s services can also be used for value investing. The availability of low-risk bonds and higher-risk equities can be used to build well-balanced portfolios with risk/reward ratios to one’s liking.

FlowBank’s Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Strong licensing by FINMA
  • Over 50 000 instruments
  • Comprehensive technical analyses
  • Excellent in-house trading platform
  • 24/6 customer support
  • Above-average fees
  • Educational materials not particularly suitable for beginners
  • Only two deposit and withdrawal options
  • No negative balance protection

 

broker

Your capital is at risk.

 

About the Author

Plamen Stoyanov
Personal Name: Plamen Stoyanov Author with FX Empire since March 2022 Education and Work Information Education: BA in Economy and International Relations
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How Do We Rate?

When trading forex and CFDs, it is crucial to know a broker's strengths and weaknesses. That is why FX Empire developed its proprietary rating system. We put the knowledge and expertise of our reviewers to work to bring you the most suitable brokers. A total of 200 variables have been analyzed to help you choose your broker wisely. This chart describes all the categories we evaluated and rated.
How Do We Rate Chart
Visit our methodology page to learn more about our review and rating process.
FlowBank SA Main Features
☑️
Regulations
FINMA (Switzerland)
🗺
Supported Languages
English, German, French
💰
Products (CFD)
Currencies, Commodities, Indices, ETFs, Stocks, Bonds, Futures, Options
💵
Min Deposit
$0
💹
Max Leverage
1:200 (FINMA)
🖥
Trading Desk Type
Market Maker
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FlowBank SA Full Review

Trust

4.9
How Do We Test A Broker's Trust?
When choosing a broker, trustworthiness is one of the most important things to keep in mind. Always check the broker's regulations, know how financially secure the firm is, and find out whether the broker is transparent and reliable. These factors, calculated into our score, will help you understand if your money is safe.

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FlowBank scored very high in the Trust category because FINMA, a top-tier regulator, authorises it. What makes the online bank an even safer partner is its membership in Esisuisse, ensuring a compensation scheme is in place for its clients. FlowBank is also affiliated with the Swiss Chamber’s Arbitration Institution (SCAI).

FlowBank Regulations

In our reviews, we examine the licences and regulations of each entity operated by a broker. This allows us to compare each entity’s different levels of protection. We rank licences by various regulatory bodies on a three-tier system, where tier-1 licensing indicates the highest level of regulation.

FlowBank operates a single entity – FlowBank S.A. – and this is what we found out concerning its licensing and regulations:

  • FlowBank S.A. is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), and it is authorised as a bank. FINMA is a tier-1 regulator.
FlowBank’s licensing information on finma.ch/en

FlowBank is also a member of Esisuisse – Swiss Banks’ and Securities Dealers’ Depositor Protection Association – ensuring depositor protection for a maximum of CHF 100 000 per client. You can read more about it here.

FlowBank is affiliated with the Swiss Chamber’s Arbitration Institution (SCAI), which can mediate in cases of disputes. Additional information concerning how SCAI can help resolve such disputes can be accessed here.

FlowBank is a member of Esisuisse

We have summarised the essential aspects of FlowBank S.A. in terms of regulation and safety in the table below:

Features FlowBank S.A.
Country/Region Geneva, Switzerland
Regulation Licensed by FINMA as a bank
Segregated Funds Yes
Negative Balance Protection No
Compensation Scheme Yes

Why Is It Important to Know Where Your Broker is Regulated?

Financial regulation may mean different things in different parts of the world. That is so because national and regional legislation varies, meaning that licenses to provide financial services to clients by regulatory bodies from other parts of the world do not entail the same level of protection across the board.

Moreover, the protection you are afforded may also vary depending on the qualification of the entity you choose. There could be certain procedural differences between what a broker authorised as a ‘dealer in financial securities’ is obliged to comply with and a bank.

Here is a rundown of the most important features traders need to look out for when choosing an entity:

  • Segregation of client funds. Brokers need to keep their clients’ funds in separate accounts from the bank accounts they use for their own company capital. In FlowBank’s case, this segregation is guaranteed because FlowBank itself operates as a bank.
  • Negative balance protection. With negative balance protection in place, your losses cannot exceed the balance in your account. FlowBank does not have such a protection scheme, and trading with CFDs can actually incur bigger losses than what you have deposited. Losing positions will receive a margin call at 100% and be closed at 150%, but otherwise, traders need to manage their positions manually.
  • Compensation scheme. In the unlikely event of their broker becoming insolvent, traders may be liable for a compensation scheme. By being a member of Esisuisse, FlowBank’s clients are eligible for depositor protection for a maximum of CHF 100 000 per client.
  • Standard leverage. When trading on margin, your leverage is the primary determinant of your overall market exposure per trade. In short, the bigger the leverage, the bigger the positions you can open. Consequently, both your profit potential and risk are multiplied. That is why traders need to be aware of the leverage of their broker and whether they can manage it. With regards to FlowBank, the standard leverage varies depending on the asset class. It can be as low as 1:10 for cryptocurrencies to 1:200 for FX pairs. You can find additional information here.

Is FlowBank Safe to Trade With?

FlowBank S.A. is regulated by a top-tier regulator, is a member of the renowned Esisuisse association in the banking capital of the world, Switzerland, and is also affiliated with the reputable SCAI institution. Even though CFD traders are not protected by a negative balance protection scheme with FlowBank, we found the online bank safe and trustworthy.

Stability and Transparency

In our tests for the Trust category, we also cover factors relating to stability and transparency. Here, we focused on how long the broker has been in business, the size of the company, and how transparent they are in terms of information being readily available.

Even though FlowBank was established fairly recently in 2020, it has proven itself quite stable and reliable, employing more than 100 people. The bank serves individual and corporate clients alike, making it more resilient to market tribulations.

With regards to transparency, FlowBank scored very high. Information concerning its regulation and fees is easily discovered on the website, which also applies to legal documents and trading conditions. Information pertaining to the company’s profile, including the profiles of the management team is also easy to find.

In summary, our findings indicate that FlowBank can be regarded as having a high level of trust and stability due to the following factors:

  • Being licensed by a top-tier regulator (FINMA)
  • Being a member of Esisuisse and SCAI
  • Having a very flexible and adaptive business model
  • Information on the website is very transparent and easily discoverable.

Fees

3.5
How Do We Test A Broker's Fees?
Broker fees can be difficult to understand. We test the broker's platforms and examine commissions, spreads, and overnight fees to ensure that you can determine if trading with this broker is worth your time and money.

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FlowBank offers multiple financial services at varying costs, ranging from low to high compared to the broader industry. With mixed spreads, high rollover fees, and a few non-trading costs, on balance, FlowBank scored below average in the Fees category. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that not all of these costs apply to all traders and investors, meaning that working with FlowBank could be done at more competitive rates.

As an online bank and a major liquidity provider to other brokers, FlowBank provides a wide range of tradable instruments at different costs. Its spreads on most CFD instruments are varied, ranging from very competitive to exceeding the industry average. FlowBank’s commissions for trading and investing with equities, ETFs, bonds, and options are also quite diverse.

Across the board, we found FlowBank’s spreads on most FX pairs to be medium to high, the spreads on most commodities to be medium to low, and the spreads on the more popular stocks and indices to be mostly below the industry average. Regarding CFDs, trading on most assets is commission-free, though a 2 cents commission per share applies to CFD stocks.

FlowBank’s trading fees with a Classic account (from www.flowbank.com/pricing)

With regards to non-trading costs, FlowBank does not charge an inactivity fee, though there is a custody fee of 0.10 per cent plus VAT. FlowBank also does not charge anything for deposits and withdrawals and compensates clients for transfer fees of up to CHF 750.

FlowBank Trading Fees

FlowBank Spreads

We tested the spreads on a FlowBank Classic account during the London open at 8am UK time and just after the U.S. open at 2.45pm UK time. These are the most actively traded times. The test was conducted on the 4th of May 2022.

Instrument Live spread AM Live spread PM
EURUSD 1.6 pips 1.4 pips
GBPJPY 5.1 pips 4.9 pips
Gold (XAUUSD) 23 pips 25 pips
WTI Oil 0.03 pips 0.03 pips
DAX 30 0.9 basis points 0.9 basis points
Dow Jones 30 3 basis points 2 basis points
Apple 0.06 points 0.05 points
Tesla 0.04 points 0.8 points

FlowBank’s spread rates on the over 4700 CFDs available on a Classic account vary. Spreads on most major FX pairs are average, whereas the spreads on most crosses are above the industry average. The spread on spot gold, at around 20 pips, is quite low, but spreads on most other commodities are average. FlowBank’s lowest spreads are on stocks and indices, and both are low to average compared to the broader industry.

FlowBank’s spreads are considerably lower on a Platinum account, available with a minimum initial funding of CHF 100 000.

FlowBank’s spreads on a Platinum account (from www.flowbank.com/pricing)

FlowBank Overnight Rate

The overnight rate is the fee a trader pays to hold a CFD position without a set expiry date, open over multiple days. CFD trading is leveraged, meaning that the trader is being lent money by the broker used to open positions. And the overnight rate is the cost the trader pays for this money.

Instrument Overnight Rate
EUR/USD Charge of 2.26%
GBP/JPY Charge of 0.63%

At the time of our review, FlowBank was charging an overnight rate of 2.26 per cent on the EURUSD and 0.63 per cent on the GBPJPY. These numbers are applied to the position in relation to the size of the contract that is being executed.

Non-Trading Fees

FlowBank does not charge a dormant fee for inactivity. However, it charges a quarterly custody fee of 0.10 per cent plus VAT. The custody fee is calculated based on your portfolio size at a rate of 0.10 per cent with a minimum of 10 CHF and a maximum of 50 CHF per quarter. This fee does not apply to CFD traders.

FlowBank’s commission fee for currency conversion on major pairs is 0.5 per cent.

Are FlowBank’s Fees Competitive?

Overall, FlowBank offers competitive trading conditions, though this depends greatly on your account type and what you use it for. As an online bank, FlowBank offers CFDs, equities, ETFs, bonds, options, and others. Different fees may apply when you trade or invest using instruments from different asset classes.

With regards to CFDs, FlowBank offers quite competitive conditions. Even though its spreads can vary significantly from instrument to instrument, the lack of inactivity fees and the fact that FlowBank pays clients’ transfer fees of up to CHF 750 makes its trading conditions especially appealing to traders.

Platforms and Tools

4.8
How Do We Test A Broker's Platforms and Tools?
Platforms are where you trade, so they must be secure, fast, and accessible while offering you the tools you need to succeed. Each broker's desktop, web, and mobile platforms are evaluated according to the order types, speed of execution, ease of use, and other 'need to know' features.

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FlowBank scored above average in the Platforms category. Its custom-built platform – FlowBank Pro – is well-rounded and professional, with its wide range of order types, flexible charts, and informative secondary tools. However, its mobile app consists of fewer features, which affected FlowBank’s final score.

Depending on their experience levels, traders and investors can choose between the standard FlowBank platform, the more sophisticated FlowBank Pro, which has more complex trading features, and the globally renowned MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.

For our review, we chose FlowBank Pro because it serves as the bank’s flagship platform with the greatest amount of features and tools included. We found the platform quite easy to use and navigate. It runs on multiple browsers and supports 10 different languages. One-click execution is permitted on the platform, and execution takes less than one second.

The platform incorporates all the standard order types, such as market and limit orders, that are pretty much an industry standard. It also has much more sophisticated solutions, like TWAP orders, offering the possibility of algorithmic trading.

FlowBank does not permit copy trading (also known as social trading) on the platform. Additionally, we found that the mobile app has fewer trading indicators and drawing tools compared to FlowBank Pro’s desktop version. Both factors affected the broker’s final score in this category.

Trading on FlowBank Pro’s Desktop Version

FlowBank Pro desktop version

General Ease of Use

FlowBank Pro’s general ease of use is very high because everything is positioned neatly, and traders can get used to the platform’s layout within their first hour. First and foremost, price action is illustrated quite clearly, giving traders a good sense of the market’s current direction and the prevailing sentiment.

The watchlist on the left side of the platform is exhaustive, and traders can quickly flip through the different asset classes containing FlowBank’s over 50 000 instruments. CFDs are easily discernable from all of the other equities, bonds, ETFs, options, and so forth. This is especially important because it decreases the risk of traders accidentally placing orders on the wrong instrument.

The market depth tool is also quite helpful for determining the underlying trading volume that is being executed around the current price of a given asset. It allows traders to quickly observe where other market participants tend to sell and buy, signifying the key battlegrounds between bulls and bears. In other words, the market depth tool allows you to spot potential support and resistance levels where the price action is likely to fluctuate.

FlowBank’s ‘depth of market’ tool

Another advantage of FlowBank Pro is the basket trader tool. Some sophisticated trading strategies entail simultaneous order execution on several instruments in order to gain either maximum exposure or protection, depending on your preference.

For example, suppose you expect fuel prices to surge next. You can go long on Crude Oil, in addition to purchasing some shares of an airline, say, British Airways. In this case, the total size of your primary order (on crude) should exceed the size of your secondary position (BA).

The rationale is simple: fuel represents one of BA’s highest operational costs. So naturally, higher fuel prices would likely hurt BA’s share price. Essentially, what you are attempting to do is hedge the risk of your primary position.

Ultimately, if your forecasts pan out, you would generate a profit on your primary position, which would be marginally offset by a loss incurred on your secondary position. Conversely, if fuel prices go down, this could positively impact BA’s share price, helping you offset the losses incurred from your primary position.

The basket trader tool allows you to construct such sophisticated bulk orders with ease. You can add instruments to your basket and select the desired trading quantity.

FlowBank’s basket trader

Charts

The charts of FlowBank Pro are well-balanced, affording equal measures of flexibility and practicality. Price action is clear and scalable, allowing traders to conduct multilayered technical analyses. And the 14 different timeframes permit the execution of even more diverging trading strategies.

Scalpers, for instance, may opt for the ‘ticks’ option underpinning even the most minute changes in the price action.

Orders

FlowBank Pro features multiple order types that allow traders to construct complex positions to take advantage of different market opportunities. For instance, riding on an anticipated price swing, limiting the total market exposure, or mitigating the likely impact of heightened market volatility. We have listed the most prevalent order types available on FlowBank Pro:

  • Market orders. The most simplistic and popular of the bunch, market orders are used for immediate entry around the current spot price. A market order guarantees volume execution, though the order may be filled at a price that differs from the desired level.
  • Limit orders. Limit orders are used for entry at a specific price level that is different from the current spot, in which they are the opposites of market orders. Unlike market orders, however, limit orders do not guarantee volume execution. If there is low liquidity in the market, the order may not be filled at all.
  • Stop orders. Stop orders are typically used to support a primary position. Traders place a stop order at a specific price level, where, once reached, the stop order would be transformed into a market order and be filled at the closest possible level. Stop-losses, trailing stops, and take-profit orders are categorised as stop orders.
  • GTC orders. Good’ Till Cancelled orders are typically used to overcome time constraints. A GTC order to buy or sell a given instrument at a specific price level remains active until the order is filled or the trader cancels it.
  • TWAP orders. A sophisticated algorithmic order, Time Weighted Average Price (TWAP), allows traders to gauge adverse volatility by entering at the average price level for a given period. A TWAP order is filled around the average price between the start and finish of a selected period, thereby mitigating the impact of adverse fluctuations. This allows traders to gain entry into an existing trend while sidestepping erratic fluctuations.

FlowBank Mobile App

FlowBank Pro’s mobile version consists of fewer indicators and drawing tools than the desktop version. Its features are streamlined into different categories, making the app somewhat easier to use, which, however, does not make it more practical. The app’s primary advantage over the desktop platform is the flexibility it affords traders insofar as they can use it while on the go.

FlowBank Pro is available on Android and iOS from Google Play and the Apple Store, respectively. It runs on smartphones and tablets. We tested its features on an Android device.

General Ease of Use

FlowBank’s app is fairly easy to navigate. It consists of five main categories: “Summary”, “Quotes”, “Trade”, “Orders”, and “Settings”. The first contains essential information concerning your account, such as account balance and free balance.

The second category represents a watchlist of your favourite trading instruments, underpinning their current prices and daily percentage change. Traders can open charts and place orders from the watchlist, taking them to the “Trade” section. It contains two sub-sections, a chart, and a menu from which you can select what type of order you would like to execute. Finally, the “Settings” category is where traders can adjust the app’s preferences, such as the language, time zone, and others.

FlowBank Pro’s mobile app is limited in scope compared to its desktop counterpart, though it is somewhat more ordered with good overall flexibility. Trading apps, in general, are best suited for making snap interventions to your underlying positions; for instance, to cut your losses on a failing trade or add to an existing position that is already turning profitable.

The watchlist of available instruments on FlowBank’s mobile app (left), and its chart overview (right).

Charts

These are the essential features of the mobile app’s charts:

  • Chart types. The app consists of the same three chart types available on the desktop version. Price action can be represented as a line, OHLC bars, or candlesticks.
  • Trading indicators. The app has only five indicators, including SMAs, EMAs, Bollinger Bands, MACD, and the RSI. The lack of diversity is apparent, given that the platform’s desktop version has 35 indicators.
  • Drawing tools. The app has no drawing tools, meaning that traders cannot study the price behaviour through the prism of channels, wedges, pennants, and other such structures. This can be explained by the inherent difficulty of drawing complex patterns on devices with small resolutions like smartphones. Still, the absence of drawing tools affected FlowBank’s score in the Platforms category.

Orders

In terms of trading orders, the mobile app offers greater availability. We have summed up the essentials below:

  • Market orders. They guarantee volume filling around the current spot price, though some discrepancies between the desired price and the final price level on which the order is actually filled are possible.
  • Limit orders. They guarantee entry at a specific price level that is different from the current spot level. However, the order may not be filled if there is insufficient liquidity in the market when the execution price is reached.
  • Stop orders. Stop orders are essentially a cross between market and limit orders and are usually used as supporting tools. Stop-loss, trailing stop, and take-profit orders are all variations of stop orders. Whenever the price action reaches a predetermined level, the stop order changes into a market order, and then it gets filled at the best possible price.

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Tradable Instruments

4.8
How Do We Test A Broker's Tradable Instruments?
In this section, we check the broker’s market offering and how varied the instruments and asset classes are. It will allow you to check if they offer what you're looking for and what you can trade.

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The Tradable instruments category is where FlowBank scored very high. With over 50,000 available options, the online bank offers great diversity and flexibility to traders and investors to implement complex strategies: from highly speculative systems to more balanced value investing strategies.

FlowBank’s instruments can be roughly separated into two broad types – CFDs and non-CFDs. The assortment of FlowBank’s tradable instruments consists of futures, options, bonds, stocks and ETFs, and OTC funds. Of the remaining instruments, 4700 can be traded as CFDs, the vast majority of which are equities.

Traders and investors can use futures to either speculate with or hedge against anticipated upcoming changes in the price of a given asset. Options entail the opportunity to gauge future changes in the underlying volatility of a given instrument. Traders can use them to gain entry to the market even if they are uncertain of its next direction.

Depending on their level of risk-aversion, investors can purchase a combination of bonds and equities in order to build a balanced portfolio. The two types of assets differ in their respective risk/reward ratios. Finally, the availability of OTC funds means that FlowBank’s clients can purchase various funds directly from the bank without having to be members of an exchange.

What are CFDs?

Contracts for difference are financial derivatives that allow traders to speculate on the price of a given instrument without physical delivery of the underlying. For instance, you can trade gold as a CFD (XAUUSD) without owning any gold bars.

In addition to this simplification, another significant benefit of trading on margin with CFDs is that you can boost your market exposure with the leverage given to you by your broker. However, while the leverage multiples the profit potential of your trades, there is a parallel increase in the loss potential.

What Can You Trade with FlowBank?

With FlowBank, you can choose from over 50,000 instruments, including:

  • 54 Currency Pairs
    • Majors, minors and exotics
  • 4650 CFD Equities
    • U.S., European, British, Asian, and others
  • 29 Indices
    • EU, U.S., UK, World
  • 34 Commodities
    • Metals, energy, soft and grains
  • 49 Cryptocurrencies
    • Majors and crosses
  • 12771 Bonds
    • EU, U.S, World
  • 1026 Futures
    • U.S., Japanese, Chinese, Global
  • 41627 Options
    • CBOE, CME, COMEX, EUREX, ICE, IM, NYMEX
  • 12771 Stocks and ETFs
    • U.S., European, Asian, Global
  • 2110 OTF funds
    • International

FlowBank provides a considerable diversity of instruments from different asset classes. There is a wide range of choices, from high-risk/return assets such as cryptocurrencies to much safer securities like bonds. Regarding CFDs, the number of FlowBank’s commodities, equities, indices, and cryptocurrencies exceeds the industry average. The bank’s assortment of FX pairs is the only exception. At 54, it is average compared to the broader industry.

Forex CFD Shares
EURUSD, GBPUSD, GBPJPY, USDJPY GOOGL, MSFT, TSLA, AAPL
Commodities Indices
Crude Oil, Gold, Silver, Wheat, Cotton US Tech 100, Russell 2000, CAC 40
Cryptocurrencies Futures
Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Cardano HSE, Cocoa, GBPUSD, Bitcoin
Options Bonds
Gold, E-mini S&P 500,Netflix, Coffee US10,UK20, GER30
Stocks and ETFs OTC Funds
AT&T, Uber, Visa, Wells Fargo Credit Suisse, UBS, Fidelity

Customer Support

4.7
How Do We Test A Broker's Customer Support?
Traders tend to underestimate customer support, but it might be a crucial feature in moments of crisis. In our rating, we check the contact methods available, how accessible a live agent is and how helpful the responses are. This information will allow you to know if a broker can provide full support when you need it.

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FlowBank provides excellent 24/6 customer support, scoring highly in this category. Private and institutional clients can reach the customer support team via chat, email, or phone. The possibility of making inquiries even when the market is closed is a welcoming advantage.

FlowBank Customer Support Test

In assessing the usefulness of FlowBank’s customer support, we conducted a test on the 2nd of May at 9 am CET using FlowBank’s live chat option. It appears at the bottom-left corner of the website. The live chat is the most convenient option for traders seeking answers to general queries regarding FlowBank’s service. The email or phone options may be more convenient for resolving more serious issues or questions.

In our test, we asked a fairly straightforward question about whether FlowBank has a demo account option. An agent connected to our chat within seconds after we submitted our question, and a satisfactory answer was provided immediately afterwards. The agent was polite with a good command of English.

Screenshot of our chat with FlowBank’s customer support

You can read more about FlowBank’s customer support availability and communication options here.

Deposit and Withdrawal

4.6
How Do We Test A Broker's Deposit and Withdrawal?
The deposit or withdrawal process can be a tricky one. You may discover that there are hidden fees, or that withdrawal times are longer than you anticipated. We check these factors and others so you know what to expect when trading with this broker.

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FlowBank scored above average in this category. Deposits and withdrawals can be transacted either via credit or debit card or by bank wire. Despite the limited options, deposits and withdrawals with FlowBank are exempt from any fees, and the bank compensates for any transaction costs clients may incur of up to 750 CHF.

FlowBank Deposits And Withdrawals Methods

Deposit Method Base Currencies Fees Processing Time
Credit/Debit Cards 23 0 Instant
Wire Transfer 23 0 1-4 Business Days

Even though only two deposit and withdrawal methods are available, this is compensated by the great variety of base currencies that FlowBank works with. The bank accepts transactions with 23 different currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, CAD, AUD, and others. You can access the full list here.

Investors and portfolio managers can also transfer securities to and from their FlowBank accounts, such as stocks, bonds, funds, ETFs, and others. Additional information is available here.

Account Types and Terms

4.2
How Do We Test A Broker's Account Types and Terms?
In order to achieve your trading goals, you need to choose the right account. We evaluate each broker's account types, how easy it is to open an account with them, and the steps involved, so you can decide if it is worth your time to open an account.

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The online bank’s performance in this category ranks about average compared to the broader industry. FlowBank would have gotten a higher score if it had Islamic accounts and setting up a live account didn’t take longer than usual. However, the complicated account creation procedure can be attributed to the strict financial regulations that the bank complies with.

There are two base account types – Classic and Premium – that can be used simultaneously for trading and investing. The former does not have a minimum deposit requirement, whereas the latter is available after a minimal initial funding of 100,000 CHF. Account creation and verification take between 10-20 minutes because FlowBank has various security checks, such as identity verification via video calls.

FlowBank also offers multiple services to institutional clients, such as banks, brokers, asset managers, and others. As a market maker, FlowBank provides liquidity to other financial institutions. Additional information regarding its services and costs for institutional clients can be accessed here.

Why is Choosing the Right Account Type Important?

While profit-making is the ultimate goal of every trader, there is no single way to achieve the task at hand. Different strategies, financial means, and needs of traders necessitate different approaches to trading. That is why when choosing the right account type, you need to consider whether its conditions match your specific goals and needs.

Account types differ in their associated costs, the number of available trading and investing instruments, leverage, minimum deposit requirements, and so on. The combination of these factors may ultimately signify the difference between success and failure for traders, so they need to consider their options carefully.

What Account Types does FlowBank Offer?

Account Features Classic Premium
Commission Yes Yes
Spread From 1.1 pips for FX From 0.6 pips for FX
Minimum Deposit 0 100, 000 CHF
Max. Leverage 1:200 1:200
Islamic Account No No
Demo Account Yes Yes

We have listed FlowBank’s leverage on instruments from different asset classes on a Classic account:

  • Forex – Max. leverage of 1:200
  • Commodities – Max. leverage of 1:100
  • Metals – Max. leverage of 1:200
  • Equities – Max. leverage of 1:20
  • Indices – Max. leverage of 1:200
  • Cryptocurrencies – Max. leverage of 1:10

The Classic account is better suited for small retail traders because it has no minimum deposit requirements. And while the Premium account has lower spreads and commissions, the substantial 100,000 CHF minimal initial funding requirement represents a barrier that most first-time traders with more moderate means are unlikely to overcome.

What is CFD Leverage?

The leverage is the most significant determinant of market exposure when trading CFDs. It bolsters the account balance, allowing traders to execute bigger-sized positions. By leveraging your account balance, you gain additional market exposure that increases your profits from your winning positions and the losses you incur from your failed trades. In that sense, the old trading adage that leverage is a double-edged dagger holds.

For instance, with a deposit of, say, 5000 EUR on a Classic FlowBank account and maximum leverage of 1:100 on most commodities, a trader would be able to place trades of up to 500,000 EUR (5000 x 100) on most commodities.

FlowBank Account Opening Process

We have listed the essential steps of account creation and verification with FlowBank below:

  • Step 1 – When on the main page of FlowBank’s website, click on the ‘Open an Account’ button that is situated on the top-right corner of the page. You will be taken to the application form, where you need to fill in your basic data, such as names, email, and phone number.
  • Step 2 – Afterwards, an OTP password will be sent to the phone number you have provided, which is the first verification step. You need to copy this OTP to your application form.
  • Step 3 – From there, FlowBank asks you to fill in additional information, including your personal info, employment history and political exposure (whether you or a family member of yours occupies a government office. You also have to provide additional financial information and your national TIN number.
  • Step 4 – In addition to the legal documents, you are required to send, FlowBank would ask you to verify your identity via a video call. You would have to hold your passport/national id/driver’s license next to your face.
FlowBank’s notice prior to setting up a live account

FlowBank’s Demo Accounts

In order to create a demo account with FlowBank, you are required to have already set up a live account for yourself. This is rather inconvenient because practice accounts generally serve the role of a broker’s business card, allowing traders to test their service in a safe environment. Another benefit of the demo account is that traders can try and improve their own strategies in a simulated market environment.

FlowBank Supported Countries

FlowBank accepts clients from all over the world as long as the national laws of the countries they are citizens of recognise FlowBank’s licensing from FINMA. Belgium, the U.S. and Canada are exceptions, as FlowBank states that information on its website is not directed at residents of those countries.

Your capital is at risk.

Research

5.0
How Do We Test A Broker's Research?
Research options provided by brokers may not be seen as the most important feature for some traders, but they can give you an edge over the competition. Staying on top of important market news announcements and being aware of big themes can be very helpful. The rating system provides a clear picture of how well your broker fulfills this service.

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Because of its diverse research materials, probing technical analyses, and insightful market breakdowns, FlowBank scored highly in the Research category. The online bank provides a wide range of tools allowing traders to examine market behaviour from multiple angles. The only feature lacking is an economic calendar, which can be excused given FlowBank’s constant market news and insights flow.

Clients of FlowBank can enjoy a wide array of research tools to examine current trading opportunities and broader market developments from multiple perspectives. Traders and investors can choose from FlowBank’s regular market insights, detailed articles, daily video breakdowns, and continuous technical analyses, depending on their preferences. Overall, FlowBank’s research content amounts to a well-balanced and exhaustive take on the market’s current behaviour.

FlowBank’s LiveWire feature

Research Tools

FlowBank’s research content is separated into five distinct categories:

  • Market insights. The Market Insights section is where traders and investors can gain a balanced overview of current market trends affecting assets and securities from different instrument classes. FlowBank’s insights underscore the driving forces that are currently affecting a given asset or security, and they are usually supported by a chart.
  • Popular themes. The Popular themes category is dedicated to analysing the most prominent market developments that have the widest reach among traders and investors. The feature articles examine popular topics in greater detail than the regular market insights.
  • FlowTV. FlowBank’s daily video content is what sets the bank apart from most brokers. By underscoring the most prominent market movers each morning, FlowTV is a great alternative to a standard economic calendar.
  • LiveWire. Like the Market insights section, the LiveWire serves as an outlet where readers can access the latest market news and FlowBank’s quick take on them.
  • Technical analysis. Last but not least, the Technical analysis section is where readers can obtain information regarding the current trading opportunities on a set of instruments. In its analyses, FlowBank underpins the most critical support and resistance levels to watch out for, the underlying market sentiment, and the latest developments to impact the price action. FlowBank updates its analyses several times a day, affording a continuous picture of evolving market behavior instead of an isolated snapshot.
FlowBank’s daily forecasts

What Sets FlowBank’s Trading Ideas Apart from Other Brokers?

One of FlowBank’s most outstanding features has to be its deeply informative and dynamic technical analyses, which are powered by TSE. While most brokers offer technical breakdowns in one form or another, FlowBank’s trading ideas are updated throughout the day to reflect on current changes in the market environment.

Crude Oil’s initial analysis

The daily breakdown of a given asset typically entails a brief analysis of the latest price action, suggesting the most important support and resistance levels. FlowBank points out the potential entry and exit levels for a trade, giving traders a good idea of where the market is likely to head next.

Crude Oil’s follow-up breakdowns

Several hours after the initial analysis had been published, FlowBank posts brief follow-ups illustrating how the market has behaved since then. This allows traders to assess the next opportunity and whether they should adjust their underlying positions accordingly. For instance, they could move their stop-loss orders to breakeven if the price action has moved sufficiently in their favour.

Most brokers’ trading analyses are fixed in time, representing only an isolated snapshot of the immediate trading opportunities. On the other hand, FlowBank’s materials underscore changes in the underlying price action over a given period, thus capturing the latest trading opportunities as they unfold.

In a fast-paced environment such as the market, where nothing is ever fixed, FlowBank’s trading analyses are not static but dynamic. This fluidity is a particularly effective way of improving the performance of your forecasts.

Education

3.6
How Do We Test A Broker's Education?
Educating yourself on how to trade the financial markets can make the difference between success and failure. We check the educational content provided by the broker, its quality and suitability for beginners and advanced traders.

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We found FlowBank’s educational materials to be catering primarily to the needs of value investors and experienced traders, but they are not particularly suitable for beginner traders. FlowBank thus scored below average in this category. FlowBank’s assortment of educational materials is vast and diverse but lacks proper attention to trading basics.

Traders and investors can access FlowBank’s educational course via the Learning centre on the website, where materials are segregated into different categories. Here is a quick rundown of these categories:

  • Getting started – Focused on the basics of trading and investing, studying topics such as the difference between CFDs and futures.
  • What is…? – Materials in this category examine particular topics, such as the essence of a crypto key.
  • Crypto – This section is dedicated solely to topics relating to cryptocurrencies.
  • How to…? – This category examines prominent questions, such as how to spot a good investment opportunity.
  • Tell me more – Expounding upon topics that are first examined in the ‘Getting started’ section.
  • All about banking – Focusing on topic-specific questions, such as how to take full advantage of online banking.

FlowBank also has a selection of video materials pertaining to some of the essentials of trading and how to use FlowBank’s app and platform. For traders and investors interested in niche topics and discussions, FlowBank publishes regular webinars.

Despite this diversity of content, FlowBank does not have a glossary.

FlowBank’s educational materials

The Bottom Line

FlowBank is an online bank headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It has operated for two years, at which time it has managed to establish itself as a prominent financial institution in the world’s banking capital.

Being licensed by FINMA and an active member of Esissuisse, FlowBank is a well-regulated and reputable entity that traders and investors can feel safe in choosing to work with. The bank offers a substantial assortment of instruments at above-average costs.

One of FlowBank’s strongest features is its excellent platform affording traders a wide variety of tools that can be used to carry out complex technical analyses. The result is trading freedom, which is amplified by FlowBank’s comprehensive Research content. However, its educational materials do not pay enough attention to trading basics.

FlowBank’s service is especially suitable for experienced traders and investors who are provided with the tools necessary to trade on complex set-ups and build well-balanced portfolios. This is made possible by FlowBank’s inclusion of instruments such as options, bonds, ETFs, futures, and funds, giving traders and investors great flexibility.

Beginners can also benefit from this flexibility, though they might find FlowBank’s educational materials lacking in focus on the essentials of trading.

FAQ

Where is FlowBank based?
FlowBank SA is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Is FlowBank safe?
 

How does FlowBank make money?
FlowBank charges retail traders and investors spreads and commissions. Additionally, it charges its institutional clients for the liquidity it provides them with.

How do I deposit funds in an FlowBank account?
Deposits can be made either with a credit or debit card or via wire transfer.

What is the minimum deposit for FlowBank?
For a Classic account, there is no minimum deposit. However, there is a minimum initial investment requirement of 100,000 CHF for a Premium account.

How do I withdraw money from FlowBank?
Withdrawals are processed via the same method that had been used for a deposit

How long does it take to withdraw money from an account at FlowBank?
Transactions may take up to 4 business days to process.

How much is the maximum leverage at FlowBank?
The maximum leverage is 1:200 on FX pairs.

How can I open an account with FlowBank?
You will need to provide personal, financial, and employment information, as well as verify your account by a video call.

What platforms does FlowBank offer?
FlowBank has its own custom-built platform. Traders can also use MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.

Is FlowBank suitable for beginners?
FlowBank research content is also quite informative, though its educational materials do not pay enough attention to the basics of trading.

Does FlowBank offer a demo account?
Yes, but only to clients who have already set up a live account.

broker

Your capital is at risk.

See FlowBank SA Full Information
Broker General Information
Trading Features
Other Details
Headquarters Country
Switzerland
Foundation Year
2020
Regulations
FINMA (Switzerland)
Publicly Traded
No
Number Of Employees
101
Trading Desk Type
Market Maker
Trading platforms
MT4, MT5, FlowBank Pro, FlowBank App
Restricted Countries
United States, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy
Supported Languages
English, German, French
Max Leverage
1:200 (FINMA)
Deposit Options
Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card
Withdrawal Options
Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card
Time to Withdrawal
2
Time to Open an Account
3
Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin, Cardano, Dogecoin, NEO, Litecoin, Stellar, Uniswap, EOS, Ethereum, Chainlink
Products (CFD)
Currencies, Commodities, Indices, ETFs, Stocks, Bonds, Futures, Options
Demo Account
Yes
Islamic Account
No
Segregated Account
Yes
Managed Account
No
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