May 7, 2021

How Do Forex Brokers Make Money?

Forex brokers come in this industry for one purpose; to earn money. Many forex traders might possibly not bear in mind nevertheless revenue version of a forex broker directly affects the achievements of customers ‘ trades and investment. Therefore understanding how forex brokers make money will help traders to see the difference medially genuine honest forex brokers and forex scams.

A big majority of forex brokers use these two business model in order to make money; Straight Through Processing and Market Making. I am going to use those business models to give you a clearer idea on how forex brokers earn money.

Market Makers

First, I like to talk about how Market Maker brokers earn money from the services that they provide. It is not complicated to understand because Market Maker forex brokers benefit when their clients lose money. Contrarily, this type of forex brokers loses money when the clients benefit from their trades.

Therefore, in a way, Market Makers trade against their clients and it is considered an unethical way to make money. At an equal time, that is the most profitable way as well. I would recommend you to avoid brokers that benefit when traders lose. If the forex broker is offering very low spreads, and charging no commission, then, the broker is most likely a Market Maker and trading against the clients to earn money.

STP Forex Brokers


The biggest source of benefit for the forex brokers comes from the spread, which is simply the difference medially Bid and Ask costs. STP brokers match client orders directly with LPs (Liquidity Providers) and their benefit is originated from the extra mark-up that they add on to the raw spreads received from the LPs. For example, let’s say a forex broker charges 0.8 pips spread on EURUSD. In order to be able to earn money, the broker must obtain a lower spread from the liquidity provider, such as 0.5 pips. In this scenario, the forex broker earns 0.3 pips on every EURUSD trade that clients execute. Since the pip value of 1 lot EURUSD is $10, the broker is going to earn $3 from every 1 lot EURUSD traded.

Swap Fees

Forex brokers charge or pay overnight swap fees to the clients depending on the difference medially the interest rates of the currencies traded. For example, let’s say that you are long EURUSD and EUR overnight interest rate is higher than USD overnight interest rate. In this case, you are going to be paid the rate differential medially EUR and USD. On the other hand, if you are short EURUSD, then the broker would charge you by the difference medially EUR and USD interest rates. But swap fees are not symmetrical, which means that the swap fee that you are going to obtain charged if you are short may not be equal to the swap fee if you are long. Besides, in some cases, you may see that the brokers charge swap fees regardless of the direction of the trade that you take.

High Leverage

Just like traders can make a bigger benefit with higher leverage, forex brokers make more money when the leverage is higher. This is because what brokers can earn from the spreads on small positions would naturally be too low. Thus many forex brokers offer high leverage to maximize their earnings. When there is leverage low, traders’ standing size has smaller and also the brokers’ benefit resulted from spread goes down as well. Once the leverage is higher, traders are able to execute larger size orders and spread cost gets bigger so, does the brokers’ earnings.

Proprietary Trading

Just enjoy the customers trade forex marketplace so as to generate benefit, a few forex brokers trade for themselves to develop their earnings, and that is usually referred to as trading (Prop Trading). They can do that by investing in a much greater lot at precisely the equal way using their profitable customers and at the contrary direction with the ineffective traders.

ECN Forex Brokers

There is an additional group of forex brokers I would love to say; ECN forex brokers. Such brokers deliver direct entry to interbank exchange prices and also fits with their customers ‘ orders with interbank rates. Therefore, the clients can trade with raw spreads coming from the biggest banks in the world such as Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Barclays, etc.. ECN brokers charge a commission on each trade executed by the clients and it is their only source of income. The commission rate usually ranges from $4 to $8 per standard lot on EURUSD.

Some brokers like Pepperstone and IC Markets are pure ECN forex brokers while some others, such as FxPro, offer ECN account option alongside STP and other account types.