Varianse is an online brokerage that utilises innovative technologies to provide you with professional Forex and CFD trading services. Retail and institutional clients can get access to trade a reasonable range of financial instruments with competitive spreads, low fees and industry leading liquidity solutions. They have a choice of powerful platforms so you can trade on your computer, laptop or mobile device. However, I found the trading instruments and educational materials are limited when compared to some other brokers.
Pros & Cons
- Powerful yet intuitive trading platforms
- Good variety of account types to choose from
- Flexible payment options
- Managed accounts for investors and money managers
- MetaStock XENITH research and analytics by Thomson Reuters
- Low latency VPS from BeeksFX, UltraFX and CNS
- Free demo accounts
- Islamic accounts
- Professional FIX API solutions
- Limited trading instruments, with no stocks or cryptocurrencies
- Clients from some countries are not accepted
- No educational resources
- Minimum $500 deposit
Varianse is an award-winning online Forex and CFD broker that was formed by a team of experienced professionals in the financial markets and trading technology fields. Founded in 2015 in London, the broker has deployed modern technologies to offer you a secure and affordable online trading environment, regardless of your experience level. You are provided with easy access to trade spot forex, indices, energies and metals on the popular MT4 platform.
Varianse operates the Straight through Processing (STP) brokerage model. The pricing and liquidity are sourced from over 20 top tier institutional liquidity providers. The trading servers are located at the Equinix LD4 data centre which is in London. The broker has deployed the LatentX infrastructure which has resulted into lightning speed trade executions with minimal requotes.
Varianse only acts as agents and does not interfere in the pricing or execution of client orders. This means that you can get your trades placed at the best possible prices. I always prefer the STP or ECN brokerage model as it makes sure that there is no conflict of interest between myself and the broker. This is in comparison to a market maker who would provide their own inhouse liquidity and take the opposite side of your position.
VARIANSE is the trading name of VDX Ltd; a financial investment firm registered in the UK. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The registration number is 802012. VDX Ltd is also registered in England and Wales. The registration number is 11050659.
As mandated by the FCA, all clients’ funds are segregated from the broker funds. These investors’ funds are held in Barclays Bank, London; a top-rated UK bank that has been in operations for many years with a global presence in over 50 countries. Varianse is well capitalised and does not use clients’ fund to run its daily internal expenses.
Varianse retail clients’ funds are insured by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This scheme can compensate eligible clients in case the broker becomes insolvent in the future. Just keep in mind that this compensation may not be available to all clients and you will need to meet certain criteria to be accepted.
Varianse does not provide its services to clients from the Unites States or other countries where its services will conflict with the local or national laws. If you are located in a country they do not accept, please feel free to browse our broker reviews for an alternative option.
Varianse let you choose between the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and Maxx Trader platforms. MT4 is probably going to be fine for those of you who just want to check charts and place trades. Maxx Trader on the other hand, I feel is more of a trading platform suited towards institutional clients. It would be great if they could add the MetaTrader 5 and cTrader platforms. Pepperstone for example have MT4/MT5 and cTrader available.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Trading Platform
This is a very well known trading platform among forex and CFD traders all over the world. It is popular because of its numerous tools and features as well as its user-friendly interface. The platform is equipped with all the tools you would need for market analysis, order management and placing trades. The Varianse MT4 platform is downloadable for windows PC and mobile devices (iOS & Android).
Here are some of the key features of the MT4 platform that I believe make it a great choice for any day trader:
- 30 inbuilt technical indicators which can be extended to thousands using plugin apps.
- Charts of all instruments can be displayed on over 9 timeframes.
- Incorporates the tools used to create Expert Advisors (EAs) which automate strategies.
- Available in over 35 languages.
- One-click trading and trading from the charts.
- Advanced order management and risk management tools.
MT4 Mobile Platform
With the MT4 mobile apps, you can easily monitor and analyze the markets on the go. I am a big fan of trading apps as I like to be able to trade anywhere and at any time. It is developed for Android and iOS devices and it is downloadable from the respective app stores. Just keep in mind that if you want to run automated trading systems, you will need to use the desktop version of MT4. This is because the overall functionality of the MT4 app is limited in comparison to the desktop platform.
Here are some of the features of the MT4 app:
- Live price quotes on all trading instruments.
- Customisable with alert notifications.
- Charting on 9 timeframes from one minute to one month.
- Order placement, adjustment and closing; all from the app.
- Technical analysis with 30 indicators and 24 analytical tools.
This platform is only available if you are a Prime account holder. The Maxx Trader platform is designed for those of you who wish to trade directly with liquidity providers. You will probably want to do this if you are looking to get your trades executed with institutional grade pricing and speeds. I think this would probably be overkill for the average retail trader but I can see how those of you who are using scalping strategies could benefit from it.
Here are some of the key features of the Maxx Trader platform you can keep a look out for:
- Advanced Risk management tools.
- Shows the full market depth and volume.
- STP execution and order routing.
- Advanced order types including stop loss, trailing stop, OCO, etc.
- Multiple execution types including market, IOC limit, etc.
- Incorporated real time reporting.
FIX API Solution
Varianse offers the FIX API trading solution which gives you very fast execution speeds and very low latency if these are important factors to your trading strategy. It has multiple order types and execution modes. The FIX API is powered by PrimeXM XCORE and Flexx Trade FIX API. I am impressed by this setup as these are industry leading solutions for those seeking an ultra-low latency order management, risk and reporting solution. I would compare this FIX API to the solutions provided by Darwinex.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
The Varianse Virtual Private Server (VPS) is hosted in the London Equinix data centre in close proximity to the trading servers. The VPS ensures reliable connection and negligible latency. A VPS is often used by EA users and other traders who require steady and uninterrupted connection to the servers. Varianse VPS is cross connected to the trading servers using optical fibre cables, thus, achieving 0.4 milliseconds latency.
You can claim free access to a VPS if you trade 99 round turn lots every month. I found this quite high compared to brokers who give you a free VPS for trading a lot less. IC Markets and Key to Markets being alternative options if you need a VPS. Personally, I pay around $30 per month for my VPS. I think that is a great price considering I need to run multiple trading platforms for my automated strategies. It allows me to do so without needing my home computer constantly switched on.
This comprises of powerful research, news and analytics which are provided by Thomson Reuters Corporation; a multinational media conglomerate. I really like this complete financial analysis suite and think it would be a fantastic tool for every trader. The MetaStock XENITH monthly subscription ranges from $99-$150 but there is a month free trial which you can use to try it out and see if it helps with your trading. I found it extremely good for professional market analysis that helps to make informed decisions.
MetaStock XENITH consists of the following sections:
- Reuters News: Breaking news, commentaries, insights and analysis on the market news.
- FX & Money markets: Covers news on over 70 central banks.
- FX Polls: Consensus data, forecasts from banks and insights into market activities.
- Economic Events: This is the economic calendar of global economic events and analysis.
- Swap Calculators: Comprehensive set of forex calculators.
- FX Options: This is forex options calculator and vanilla options analysis.
- FX Heatmap: Provides info on the most liquid currencies, news and market intelligence
- Country Views: for country specific market news, research and analytics.
- Charting: Sophisticated charts, indicators and analysis.
With Varianse, you have the choice to become a MAM investor or MAM Master. I found the system is very transparent because the investor monitors his MAM Master’s strategy and trades. To become a MAM Master, you are required to provide a strategy name, evidence of trading success, leverage, currency, expected returns and expected number of investors. Varianse provides all the tools and softwares required for trade execution, monitoring and assessment. This makes it easy to manage everything in one place. If managed accounts are important to you, I think Eightcap are also worth consideration.
Unfortunately, I could not find any educational materials on the brokers website. This is disappointing but understandable as it seems that they tend to direct their online brokerage services to professional traders. If you are a beginner and looking for guidance along the way, IronFX have an excellent range of trading guides and tutorial videos.
The following instruments are available for you to trade on the Varianse platforms:
- 58 Forex Currency Pairs
- 11 Indices
- 3 Energies
- 3 Metals
I find this is a very limited selection of financial instruments. To put things into perspective, IG are one of the largest brokers and provide a much greater choice of 17,000+ instruments. Other notable mentions include Swissquote with 8,500+ individual stocks and Saxo Bank with more than 42,000 Forex and CFD trading instruments. However, you could probably get by if you are primarily a forex trader, as they have a good range of major, minor and exotic currency pairs.
You will find there is a good variety of trading accounts you can choose from. The leverage for retail accounts is 1:30 and 1:400 on Professional accounts. The main difference between each of the accounts are the spreads and commissions. If you want low spreads and don’t mind paying a commission fee, you will probably need the ECNpro account. If you are not worried about paying the spread, the classic account should suffice. For those of you who are serious about your trading and want the best account possible, you might want to consider the prime account.
The following account types are available:
This can be used to trade over 100 instruments on the MT4 platform. Spreads start from 1 pip and no commissions are charged. The minimum deposit is $500.
Spread starts from 0 pips and a commission of $3.5 per lot is charged on trades. The minimum deposit is $5,000 and account holders can trade over 100 assets on the MT4 platform.
This account is available on the MT4 and Maxx trader platforms. The spread starts from 0 pips and over 60 forex and metal assets can be traded by account holders. Minimum account opening deposit is $50,000 and a commission of $2 per lot is charged on trades. Free X connected VPS is available to account holders.
Islamic Accounts are available when requested from the customer support team. I think it is great that they are catering for Muslim traders who cannot pay swap fees due to their religious beliefs. Nowadays, you will find that most brokers have an Islamic account option, CAPEX being a few other examples.
You can open a free demo accounts that is preloaded with virtual funds for practice purposes without any real risks. I would always suggest to start trading on a demo account, especially if you have no prior experience. Even though I have been trading for many years, I would always test a broker by using a demo account at first to see if I am happy with their service.
If you want increased leverage, you can apply for a professional account. To qualify as a professional client requires meeting 2 out of the 3 following guidelines:
1) Have a portfolio of greater than $500k (not including property or cash)
2) Have a verified history of placing significant sized positions (down to broker discretion)
3) Have worked in the capacity of a professional position related to derivatives / speculation / trading.
It is important to note that negative balance protection, Investor Compensation Fund and recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service is removed should you qualify for a professional account as you are then classified as professional trader under ESMA regulation.
It takes a few minutes to open a live trading account with Varianse. Click on the ‘open Live Account’ button on the website to fill the account registration form. The Registration success page displays and you are encouraged to verify your email to continue the process. Upon account verification, you are automatically logged into the clients’ area. You will be prompted to continue the registration by filling more information on personal details, trading experience, financial background, etc.
The customer support team is available from 9:00 to 18:00 GMT Monday to Friday. The support team can be contacted through email, phone and instant web chat. They have a help centre where common questions are given detailed answers. The answers are in the areas of trading, accounts, MT4, ESMA and general questions.
I found the support to be OK, but would have preferred them to be available 24 hours a day. Not all of you will be in the GMT time zone so it might take longer for you to get an answer. On the other hand, FP Markets can give you around the clock support.
There is a variety of payment methods supported to make deposits and withdrawals. You have the usual bank transfer and card payment which you would expect from most brokers. They also have a few online payment processors but do not currently accept crypto payments. If you are looking for a broker that supports more options, you could consider InstaForex. Accounts can be opened in USD, EUR, GBP, PLN, AUD & JPY. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
Bank Wire Transfer
This payment option is used to transfer funds between a client bank account and Varianse’s bank accounts. Bank transfers are unlimited and attract no charges. Withdrawals take 3-5 business days and the withdrawal fee is $40/$40/£30.
The electronic payments accepted are Skrill, Uphold and SOFORT. The deposit fee charged is 2.9% of the payment amount. The payments are processed within the same day. Skrill withdrawals take 1-3 working days and a withdrawal fee of 1% is charged. I found this to be one of the quickest ways to get access to your funds.
The cards accepted are Visa and Mastercard. The deposit fee is 2.9%. Withdrawals take 1-3 business days and additional $5 is charged.
Deposits are accepted only in USD. There are no deposit fees and the transactions are processed instantly.
Compare Broker Features
|This Broker||AvaTrade||IG||IC Markets|
|Regulated||ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA||ASIC, BaFin, CFTC, DFSA, FCA, FINMA, FMA, FSA, FSCA, JFSA, MAFF, MAS, METI, NFA||ASIC, CySEC, FSA, SCB|
|Commission||From $0||From $0||From $0|
|Instruments||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Options, Bonds, ETFs||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Options, Bonds, ETFs||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Bonds|
|Platforms||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaSocial, DupliTrade, ZuluTrade||MetaTrader 4, IG Platform, IG Progressive Web App, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer, FIX API||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader|
|Funding||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets|
Overall, I am impressed by Varianse in many ways although see some minor room for improvement. I like that they implement innovative and powerful trading technologies for you to get institutional access to the markets. I think this makes them a top choice for professional traders. The broker emphasizes on its technological infrastructure which has engendered raw spreads from 0 pips, 0.4 milliseconds trade latency and true STP executions with minimal requotes.
I can trade with confidence knowing that they are regulated and thus must abide by all the stringent regulatory laws. This includes segregation of client funds, verification of all new clients as well as digital protection of the transaction environment.
There are some excellent additional tools to improve your market analysis. I found the trader analytical tool provided through the MetaStock XENITH package to be very comprehensive, though not free. All trading styles are allowed including the use of automated trading systems. However, you will need to use the MT4 platform for expert advisors as MT5 is not available.
Other areas they could improve include reducing the minimum trading capital of $500 which I think is quite high when compared to other brokers. Fusion Markets let you get started with just $1. Also, there are no educational resources to help those of you who are new to trading. Finally, the asset listing is limited as there are no cryptocurrency assets and no stocks.
If you are looking to trade forex in a regulated environment with FIX API market access and powerful charting capabilities, then I think you can’t really go wrong with Varianse.