Want to get away from tyranny and demise? FX brokerages in Sweden are the answer

I have just spent the last 3 days in Sweden. This top quality, highly sophisticated Scandinavian winter wonderland has always beena magnificent place, however these days, its wonders stand proud more noticeably than ever before. Never should any human being take their good fortune, hard earned or otherwise, for granted, and being a visitor in […]

I have just spent the last 3 days in Sweden.

This top quality, highly sophisticated Scandinavian winter wonderland has always beena magnificent place, however these days, its wonders stand proud more noticeably than ever before.

Never should any human being take their good fortune, hard earned or otherwise, for granted, and being a visitor in Sweden is enough to reinforce exactly that.

There is no coercion, no endless government propaganda repeating the word Covid a million times per day, there are no destroyed livelihoods, no terrified people wondering whether they are next on the list of ordinary citizens that the government will pick off just for simply carrying out normal tasks such as earning a living or sitting on a park bench.

There is no food shortage in the supermarkets, there are no angry and scared looking faces terrified of their fellow citizen as they shuffle past, avoiding each other and hiding behind a giant bandage which wipes off all expression of human communication.

There are no power mad politicians revelling in their first experience of totalitarian dictatorship, and there is not a future of traumatized, uneducated children who have no school classes, and a constant barrage of absolute nonsense permeating their innocent minds to ensure that they only toe the government line, and if they don’t they will join all the other hundreds of millions of people who are supposedly dying of the greatest tool for the overthrowing of liberty, free enterprise and democratic decency in human history.

Swedish people are removed from all of this nonsense. Their newspapers display front covers with interesting and relevant subjects on varying matters, just as all Western media did over a year ago.

Their faces are adorned with kind smiles, and their towns are active and bustling, with well-dressed Stockholm residents going about their everyday life as absolutely normal, and as it should be.

The Swedish economy is, as it always has been, doing very well, its institutions a bastion of transparency and fairness, and trust among everyone including, importantly, all fellow citizens is as it always has been in the most socially developed nation on earth.

What does this matter as far as electronic trading is concerned?

It matters a huge amount.

Yes, it is certainly the case that many retail FX companies have made significant returns during the past few months, however this upturn in fortunes which has been very noticeable across the entire retail FX sector globally is not something to be complacent about.

The increased revenues for b-book FX brokers is largely due to the volatility that has returned to the FX market after over two decades of stability, as major currencies – notably those sovereign currencies of the most developed and strong nations on earth – have now become volatile due to the endless lockdowns and the tide turning from free market democracy to totalitarian decimation of all that is free in much of the Western world.

Hardly any brokers have onboarded new clients, the activity has been from existing customers, and therefore thought has to be put into who will replace these customers when they move on.

Arif Alexander Ahmad

It is looking increasingly hard for all business sectors in the nations which lead the financial markets economy, notably the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and parts of South East Asia such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

Currently there is no lockdown in the United States, however civil unrest is at an all time high, and last week’s attempted coup at Capitol Hill is very much testimony to that. FinanceFeeds made its position clear on this matter and how it could affect the FX industry in the United States. When Biden gets into the White House, we can all be sure he will lock the country down the next day.

In Britain, the madman in power has decimated the economy, is blowing billions of pounds on ensuring the disablement of an entire nation, and has sent the police out to brutalize the population for meeting their families, going to work, sitting down in a public park or, perish the thought, inviting people into their own homes that they have paid for with their own money.

There is only one way that type of policy and its complicit population can go, and if Joseph Stalin was around he would recognize it and likely claim originality for it.

Propaganda is everywhere. Billboard advertisements have been replaced with brainwashing material, the newspapers talk about nothing else, and people are trapped and unable to earn a basic living. When they cannot pay back what the government is doling out, they will become utterly subservient.

What does this mean for Britain’s client base?

Not in Sweden.

The combination of totalitarianism and regulatory harassment of private enterprise does not exist there.

The government has not ruined the lives of its population, hasn’t attempted a power grab, and the regulators are not on the neck of every retail financial services institution.

Sweden has some of the world’s most well respected and stable banks – Handelsbanken, Swedbank and the Swedish arm of Nordea are strident institutions with excellent policies. Indeed Handelsbanken meets its customers personally and designs the type of service each needs.

The regulators leave them alone. In Sweden, a trust based society is everything.

FX companies do not need even to have a regulatory license. They operate without any form of oversight, yet there is recourse for each customer should something go awry.

Australia’s attack on the CFD industry was followed by the British attack on its own home-grown CFD industry. Europe’s continual wrangling against its failing capital markets industry is evident, and even South Africa, a nation which had great potential, has turned its tide, implementing lockdown after lockdown, and eventually last week South Africa’s FSCA having clarified that IG Group, the company with the largest market share in South Africa for retail FX is not authorized to act as an OTC derivative provider and therefore is not permitted, even under regular features of its business, to issue, sell or make a market in OTC derivatives, a decision IG Group is now appealing.

Sweden’s government doesn’t attack its own institutions, tie its population’s hands up or disable perfectly legitimate industries with communist-style draconian regulations which make no sense and end up driving the business offshore.

Speaking to Arif Alexander Ahmad, Managing Director of Swedish FX and CFD company Scandinavian Capital Markets SCM AB whilst in Stockholm this week, the case for working with Swedish providers became greater.

“The tides shifted initially with the implementation of the “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (MiFID II) in the EU in January of 2018. MiFID II requires forex brokers to store all transactions for a minimum of five years, and traders using algorithmic trading must register as an asset management firm and submit their algorithms for review” said Mr Ahmad.

“In March 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) introduced another set of regulations that impose limits on leverage for various assets (30:1 is the top tier), banned binary options and bonuses, required transparency and negative balance protection measures from brokers, and much more. The result is that traders benefit from greater protection but lose agility and flexibility. For brokers and money managers, the new regulations make it difficult to operate within the EU without a professional status classification, which can be difficult to obtain” he said.

Mr Ahmad continued “Many began departing to Australia and New Zealand, where leverage ranges are wider, but the forex industry is still well-regulated. Others chose classic offshore havens.”

“Unfortunately, while these offshore locations provide a haven from EU regulations, they are not without their deficiencies. For example, some traders encounter difficulties transferring funds between EU banks and offshore companies” he said.

“In addition, many offshore brokerages in places like Belize, the Cayman Island, Vanuatu and Seychelles are scam companies set up to bilk investors with little to no repercussions. After all, the same lax regulation that proved alluring will also apply when an offshore broker disappears with a trader’s funds” said Mr Ahmad.

The question is: Can forex emerge from the shadows into something brighter, more positive, and scaled to provide opportunities for every trader and money manager? I think that forex can emerge from the darkness and we believe Sweden is the spot where this can take place.

“According to Finnish journalist Anu Partanen, “When the World Bank ranks countries on ease of doing business, based on criteria such as starting a company, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, or paying taxes, the Nordic countries consistently rank among the most business-friendly nations in the world” – Arif Alexander Ahmad, Managing Director, Scandinavian Capital Markets SCM AB.

The Scandinavian reputation provides a framework for understanding why Sweden is the perfect environment for a new age of foreign currency exchange. Known for being bastions of honesty and reliability, the secure and stable banking infrastructure in Sweden provides a foundation of political and economic stability ideal for the modern forex trader. The banks are strong; with liquidity and solid investments backing up the banking industry. The core Tier 1 capital ratio of Swedish banks is currently 24 percent, almost double the EU average of 13 percent.

In addition, in Stockholm, the economy continues to grow at a rate faster than the rest of Europe. For example, investments in tech companies in Stockholm nearly tripled between 2015 and 2016 and continued at a feverish pace well into last year. In addition, revered, trusted, and well-liked companies like Volvo, Ikea, H&M and Ericsson also call Sweden home.

All of these companies have the reputation for high quality largely because of the Scandinavian culture of thinking ahead, pragmatic R&D and investment in quality as well as doing things a little differently.

Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede describes Nordic society as horizontal, with a “low power distance” between the wealthiest and most humble Scandinavian citizens.

In Swedish culture, this horizontal mentality manifests itself in the country’s business culture, which is less hierarchical and more relaxed than many western countries. In addition, the Swedish people prefer making decisions through consensus and place a high value on egalitarianism and fairness in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. The Swedes also place a premium on balance rather than excess, as expressed in the old Swedish proverb, “Lagom är bäst,” which means, “The right amount is best.”

There’s no reason for traders to move their actions offshore to far-off countries when they can operate out of a closer locale that also happens to be more reliable and honest. Located in the geographical center of Northern Europe, Sweden is not just the gateway to the Nordic nations, it’s a hub of operations from all parts of the EU and UK.

Swedish companies export their goods and services across the globe, giving them an understanding of different cultures. In addition, the Stockholm business world is fluent in English – making it simple for companies from all over the world to thrive within its borders.

Scandinavian Capital Markets business ethos is testimony to that. Mr Ahmad, who hails from Stockholm, has implemented Swedish ethics into the framework of the company in which he personally meets all clients, and partners to establish the best method of working together and to tailor every aspect from a retail trading account to a hedge fund to suit each B2B partner or client.

For this purpose, brokerages could seek partnerships in Sweden and indeed could do well to look toward Scandinavian Capital Markets as a partner in business when operating a brokerage.

Tyranny has no place in regions in which the astute and hard working population have created a diversified free market.

Those who haven’t already lost their livelihood or lost their business are firing people working from home who are idling, toeing the government line against the interests of their employer and creating a massive drop in productivity.

You cannot have a culture of no work, no industry and no functioning commercial base.

Go outside in Cyprus, a place already dogged with a reputation for corruption and dodgy FX brokerages, and the police will greet you with a water cannon. Go outside in London and you’ll get a fine and potential brutalization from masked men in uniforms, even if your purpose is to earn a living.

Go outside in Sweden and you’ll be greeted by decency, endless opportunities and no chance of a takedown by the government of what is an astute, highly educated, skilled and pragmatic population. Now there’s an endless list of future employees from which to approach the world.

Say Sweden in any nation worldwide and it will be associated with quality, modernity and sophistication. Nowadays, you can add free enterprise to that too.

I will even put my money where my mouth is. If this political nonsense carries on, I will move to Sweden myself within a few months.

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