Client Classifications

As a client of Axi you will be classified, by default, as a Retail Client but may request to be reclassified as a Professional Client at any time.

We will consider that request, based upon the guidance and rules imposed upon us by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and may or may not agree to the reclassification.

Further details on the different classifications including Elective Professional, Per Se Professional and Eligible Counterparties are available upon request.

Retail Clients

As a Retail Client you will enjoy the greatest protection with rules and regulations designed to ensure you are given every opportunity and assistance when trading in financial markets.

A Retail Client has negative balance protection meaning you cannot lose more than you have deposited with us.

Retail Clients are also protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which will step in with up to £85,000 per client in the rare instance that a broker fails and where the correct amount of client money has not been segregated.

Retail Clients also have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the independent ombudsman, who in the event of a dispute will review the case and pass judgement that we must adhere to.

However, in an attempt to ensure that inexperienced traders do not lose too much money, the FCA have also imposed restrictions on the leverage that Retail Clients can be offered, which limits the size of trades you can make [see Axi Product Schedules].

The level at which a Retail Client’s losing position will be automatically closed by the platform is set at a higher level than for those of Professional Clients.

Finally, certain bonuses and other incentives previously available to some Retail Clients are no longer allowed as this was seen by the regulators as an inducement to attempt to get Retail Clients to actively trade.

Professional Clients

Professional Clients are not subject to the same restrictions placed upon Retail Clients but as a consequence they are not afforded the same level of protection and could lose more money.

So, to ensure a client who requests to be classified as a Professional Client fully understands the consequences of their decision, you must satisfy certain criteria and submit a written confirmation acknowledging your understanding.

As a Professional Client your money will still be kept in segregated Client Trust Accounts.

Most individuals who satisfy the requirements to be classified as a Professional Client are ‘electing’ to be classified as a professional and so are technically known an Elective Professional.

To be considered as an Elective Professional client an individual must satisfy at least two of the following. You must:

  • Have carried out transactions, in significant size, on the relevant financial markets at an average frequency of 10 per quarter over the previous 4 quarters.
  • Have an investment portfolio of financial instruments and cash deposits which exceeds EUR 500,000.
  • Have worked for at least one year as a financial sector professional in a role that requires knowledge of the transactions or services to be provided by the Axi.

As a Professional Client a number of FCA rules will cease to apply. In particular:

Disclosures: You may not be given any of the additional disclosures required to be provided to Retail Clients (for example on costs, commissions, fees and charges and foreign exchange conversion rates).

Appropriateness: Where we assess whether a product or service is appropriate for you, we can assume that you have the necessary level of experience and knowledge to understand the risks involved in relation to any investment, service, product or transaction.

Order Execution: Our order execution requirements may differ between Professional and Retail Clients.

Negative Balance Protection: You will not be covered by Negative Balance Protection.

Prompt Execution: We do not need to inform you of material difficulties we may have or encounter relevant to the prompt execution of your orders.

Financial Ombudsman Scheme (FOS): As a Professional Client, you may not have the right of access to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme, although if you are trading in a personal capacity you should be covered.