EBS

GFT throws a bomb – pulls out of the US forex market (Updated)

22 Comments

(Update: Post updated with message of CEO detailing that GFT is also exiting Japan along with cooperation with TD Waterhouse)

NFA did reveal that there’s an American broker (after Advanced Markets) who is going to leave the US market soon but we didn’t see this one coming. We did see GFT cutting down jobs in America on several occasions but only thought this was restructuring and adapting to current tough market similarly to other brokers. GFT however just now announced on its website that it is pulling out of the US market altogether.

Once again US brokers can thank the NFA for killing their market.

Update: In an update of GFT’s announcement on their website, Gary Tilkin, CEO of GFT responded to an inquiry from Forex Magnates with additional information which shows that the broker is also leaving the Japan market as well. From Tilken:

“GFT launches strategic repositioning for US and Japan retail markets.

We’ve decided to reposition our retail United States and retail Japan businesses this weekend. We are moving to a far more focused approach on our institutional relationships in the U.S, Japan and our other important operations around the world. We are moving our US retail forex business to our longtime trusted partner, TD Ameritrade and the Japan retail forex business to a partner in Japan. GFT services several partners around the world so these moves for our customers should be fairly seamless as our ability to service institutional partners is certainly one of our strong suits.

We are working on the arrangements in both the US and Japan to deploy seamless transitions for the retail accounts affected by this decision. We have notified our accounts in each region and will update them as needed on progress regarding the transition. We are deeply grateful for the trust and faith shown by our retail accounts in opening with GFT and look forward to transferring them quickly to their new homes.

We are obviously disappointed to be leaving any markets where we compete and certainly are thankful for the time and resources invested by our teams globally to build them to this point. After careful evaluation of the global markets and the challenges our industry is facing today we made the strategic decision to change how we compete in these two retail markets. I want to assure everyone around the world that GFT is focused on growing an efficient sustainable business, and committed to serving our accounts at the highest level.

For regions outside of the US and Japan we maintain a ‘business as usual’ approach for retail and institutional operations. We have aggressive growth goals and look forward to growing market share and expanding our business.

GFT is extremely grateful to the many thousands of customers who have opened accounts with us over the past years and we reaffirm our commitment to operating with “Above all Integrity” to those who we will continue to serve. For many of the accounts we will stop serving directly we will still continue to serve them through some of the many institutional partners we provide forex services for and of course we look forward to even more growth of our business all around the world!”

As mentioned by Tilken, US accounts are being transferred to multi-asset discount broker TD Waterhouse.  Currently, TD Waterhouse offers forex trading through its thinkorswim platform.  Since thinkorswim is better known as a futures trading product, it remains to be seen if TD Waterhouse will also move to incorporate GFT’s technologies within their forex offering going forward.

Important Announcement

GFT has made the difficult business decision to cease supporting U.S. retail forex trading; rather, we are focusing on our institutional relationships which exist in the U.S and globally. As part of this decision, all U.S. retail forex customers have been placed on a position closing only basis as of 7 PM EST, Sunday December 2, 2012. We understand that this is an inconvenience for you, so we are working to make arrangements with one of our high quality institutional partners to accept the GFT U.S. retail forex accounts. We expect that your forex account will return to its normal status soon so that you can continue trading forex markets normally.

Please note that your forex trading experience will remain the same after this transition. Account holders will receive additional communications from GFT in the future to continue to provide more information to you about this transition. Please contact GFT Customer Service at: 800 465-4363 or 616 956-9273 with any questions.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you this evening, but we believe this is the best course of action for both you, our customer, and GFT.

Account holders who wish to access funds in their accounts can do so here.

Early in 2012 we speculated that at least 2 brokers will leave the American market but with December still to go – it’s already three: Forex Club, Advanced Markets and GFT.


Sucden






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22 Comments on this post

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  1. Andy said:

    Not giving prior notice to clients sounds like a bad move. I’d be pissed.

    December 3rd, 2012 at 2:20 pm
  2. rg1 said:

    I am not sure you can use ” strategic repositioning”, in lieu of “shutting down all US & Japan retail operations” , in the English language. Somebody is really trying to make this pig pretty it sounds like!

    December 3rd, 2012 at 3:35 pm
  3. Jan Hettich said:

    “Seamless transitions?” Seamless = advanced notice, and continuation of trading platform availability until account transferred, so that customer experiences no interruption in service. 7 PM notice on Sunday evening with immediate suspension of all new positions while they are working out the details — that is not seamless.

    December 3rd, 2012 at 3:46 pm
  4. Michael Greenberg said:

    why is it wrong to say that if they decide to solely focus on their UK company?

    December 3rd, 2012 at 3:49 pm
  5. Matthew Carstens said:

    With no growth in the US, and not pursing exchange traded products (or even multi asset GUIs in the US) this move makes sense in leveraging TDs US footprint (keeping them close and happy) to focus on markets where the business cost to rev growth ratio is much better.

    December 3rd, 2012 at 5:11 pm
  6. Jack Egan said:

    I have money with gft UK operation. How safe is it? should i be worried

    December 3rd, 2012 at 10:24 pm
  7. Peter said:

    Wow, I’m the customer of GFT and must say that something stinks here, I got short email that my money is frozen and nothing else!!! no wonder that there is less and less people investing, I’m left in a dark without any info about my money, supposedly good company like GFT acts like a bunch of crooks!

    December 4th, 2012 at 2:42 am
  8. Michael Greenberg said:

    very

    December 4th, 2012 at 7:57 am
  9. Michael Greenberg said:

    why crooks? they should get you your money back, so what’s the issue

    December 4th, 2012 at 7:58 am
  10. Peter said:

    Yeah, u right, they should…. they should also let people know in advance instead of freezing their money and God knows what else…I think the lawsuit is coming…

    December 4th, 2012 at 8:16 am
  11. Mahmood said:

    GFT closed dubai office on FEB this year as well .

    December 4th, 2012 at 1:42 pm
  12. Laurence said:

    Bad, Bad, Bad form. A little heads up would have been nice. Oh, thats right, if they did that then every one (in the U.S. Retail) would have pulled out.

    December 4th, 2012 at 3:59 pm
  13. Peter said:

    That’s what I mean. Something really stinks since if they chose this way of closing USA branch, which probably will make many people pull out from other branches, that indicates that something is really wrong.

    December 4th, 2012 at 4:27 pm
  14. Jan Hettich said:

    I was frankly quite relieved to get my $ back. The way this came down, I was fearing the worst.

    December 4th, 2012 at 11:54 pm
  15. fxgai said:

    I have no account with GFT (although I considered opening one with GFT Japan at one stage) but if they will not even allow clients to withdraw their own margin then it smells of something very bad.

    December 5th, 2012 at 12:10 am
  16. Michael Greenberg said:

    they allow full withdrawal, this issue is not associated with client funds

    December 5th, 2012 at 7:16 am
  17. Richard Y said:

    I’ve been trading with GFT since 2007 and they have always been a good broker. However, it was very shady of them to send out the notice on Sunday saying they were delaying their open. Then it was almost criminal when they sent the message saying accounts were being placed in close only mode. It sort of sounds like PFG all over again.

    December 5th, 2012 at 2:48 pm
  18. Michael Greenberg said:

    did you get your money back?

    December 5th, 2012 at 3:26 pm
  19. Richard said:

    I requested my funds. Hopefully, they all get returned.

    December 6th, 2012 at 12:54 am
  20. Mark said:

    Any UK customers had a problem with getting money back from GFT as a result of this?

    December 6th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
  21. Michael Greenberg said:

    to the best of my knowledge (including feedback from their clients) no clients were affected at all, they simply froze trading – not withdrawing

    December 6th, 2012 at 2:53 pm
  22. Glenn said:

    Stilling money (charging my account a $50.00 trading inactive fee) then, shuting down all access to the platform should be a crime against retail clients and should be penalized & enforced vigorously by the NFA & CFTC.

    December 6th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

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