Much like its Scandinavian neighbors, Denmark is among the richest and most advanced countries in the world. It has a small open economy that supports free trade and can be characterized by a high level of government services and an equitable distribution of income. The foreign exchange market, as well as all capital markets, can e accessed easily by Danes who enjoy great security due to the tight regulations in the financial sector.
While Forex trading is, indeed, highly regulated in Denmark, this does not mean the country is not attractive for business and investment. On the contrary, it is one of the most preferred destinations for doing business in Europe and the reasons for this are quite clear – the government supports trade liberalization while managing to keep the living standards exceptionally high. The taxes are high but the government follows an interesting tax policy – at 22%, corporate tax is below the OECD and EU average. Denmark is also the only Nordic country that does not tax Danish companies with branches abroad twice.
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Of course, Denmark is also perceived as one of the most modern and least corrupt countries in the world. The extensive government welfare measures draw a lot of criticism from abroad but overall, Denmark remains an attractive place for doing business and trading Forex.
Danish Forex Legislation
Since the foreign exchange market or Forex is a decentralized market operating on several levels, it is largely unregulated on a global scale. This is why most countries, which allow the free trade of foreign currencies, oversee the market and the market participants within their borders. As with all other Scandinavian states, Denmark imposes strict regulations on Forex brokers in the country and on the entire market as a whole.
As a member of the European Union, Denmark has based its legislative framework around the European laws regarding financial markets. Of course, it has retained some autonomy and all Forex brokers who want to offer their services to Danish traders are required to have a license from the local regulatory authority Finanstilsynet (Danish Financial Supervisory Authority or FSA). In fact, all financial institutions, intermediaries, dealers, or brokers need to obtain a local authorization from the FSA in order to be allowed to operate legally within the country.
In reality, however, there are not many Forex brokers registered and licensed in Denmark – finding one could be a challenge and traders should look up each brokerage firm at the FSA Company Register. Traders can legally access the Forex market and trade various FX pairs legally even if the broker does not have a specific Danish license. This is possible due to one small, yet a crucial exception to the current regulations – under EU law, Forex brokers regulated in another jurisdiction in the European Economic Area can offer their services to traders based in Denmark.
To prevent money laundering, however, the country does not allow investors to send or receive money to third party individuals or institutions without prior authorization from authorities, including the FSA. Since Denmark is a member of the EU, although it is not within the Eurozone and does not use the Euro, much of its Forex-related legislation follows the rules introduced by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).
Therefore, Denmark implements the rules set in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2004/39/EC, the main European law that provides regulation of investment services in all 31 EEA member states. The updated version of the law, MiFID II, which came into force in January 2018, imposes limits on the leverage Forex and CFD brokers can offer. The limits vary depending on the particular instrument that is being traded.
So, for cryptocurrencies, the maximum leverage is 2:1, for individual equities and other reference values it is 5:1, and for commodities (except for gold and non-major equity indices), it is 10:1. The maximum leverage allowed is 20:1 for non-major currency pairs, gold and major indices, while for major currency pairs, it is 30:1.
In addition, all brokers in Denmark and the EU need to implement specific margin close-out rules and negative balance protection for all retail client accounts. The new legislation also restricts the offering of various incentives to trade CFDs such as bonuses and requires the mandatory display of standardized risk warnings.
Danish Financial Regulators
The main authority responsible for the regulation of financial markets in Denmark is the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) or Finanstilsynet in Danish. It is an agency under the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs and it also acts as a secretariat for the Financial Business Council, the Danish Securities Council and the Money and Pension Panel.
The FSA was established in 1988 as a merger of the Insurance Supervisory Authority and the Supervisory Authority for Banks and Savings Banks. Since then, it is responsible for the supervision and regulation of the financial markets in the country and all participants in them. This includes banks, stock exchanges, clearinghouses, broker-dealers, pension funds, investment companies and associations, insurance companies, etc.
The FSA also collects data and financial statistics from all these market participants and takes various measures to make the markets more transparent. The agency is a member of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.
Danish Forex Payment Methods
Denmark is one of the most digitalized countries in the world and it ranks first for card use in the European Union. In fact, Danes love new technologies, including technologies in payment services – every citizen of the country has a unique identification number, which is linked with a digital signature. Digital signatures are used for identity verification in online banking among other things.
Since the country uses its national currency, the Danish krone (DKK), rather than the Euro, Forex brokers welcoming Danish traders should be able to offer accounts in DKK. However, only a handful of brokerage firms have implemented the krone within their payment systems, so traders may need to use a bank account or card in EUR for funding their trading balances. This, however, is always linked with paying extra for currency exchange fees.
Credit and debit cards are by far the most popular payment method in Denmark and Mastercard, Visa, Visa Electron, and Maestro cards are widely used across the country. Sometimes, Diners Club International and American Express are also accepted. However, the most popular type is card is the Danish Dankort, which is usually co-branded and it can be found as Visa/Dankort.
Up to 90% of all purchases in the country are made via debit/credit cards and around 80% of all people in Denmark have a Visa/Dankort card. The best thing about this particular type of card is that traders can use it even on the websites of offshore Forex brokers that do not accept Dankort payments. In this case, the card will be treated as a Visa-branded card.
Of course, major e-wallets such as PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill are also available to Danish traders and offered by most Forex brokers. Additionally, certain brokers accept instant payments through Denmark’s online banking. Instant payments were made possible in the country in 2014 with the implementation of a new payment system called Straksclearing. This banking system enables instant credit transfers of up to DKK500,000.
Last, but not least, most Danes nowadays would prefer paying by the MobilePay app. It was developed by Danske Bank and released in 2013 for Android and iOS devices. It works as a mobile wallet – users install the app and register an account, then they link their MobilePay account with their credit card and transfer funds freely between the two.
Popular Trading Software in Denmark
Danish traders have access to a large number of legal, fully authorized Forex and CFD brokers that offer a wide range of trading platforms. The choice of trading software is important since certain platforms have been designed specifically for trading Forex – others were made to give investors access to the global stock exchanges.
Of course, traders should also look for software that seems suitable to their individual level of experience and knowledge of the foreign exchange market. Most trading systems feature detailed tutorials on how to open a trade, how to customize the platform to your individual needs and many more. Platforms with plenty of educational tools and market research are incredibly popular. Moreover, nearly all leading brokers allow investors to create a demo account and test different software platforms.
The most popular trading software for Forex pairs in Denmark is the same as in the rest of the world – it is MetaTrader 4, which was released 15 years ago specifically for Forex trading. Many more platforms have been created since then but MT4, as it is widely known among traders, remains the most preferred type of software. It comes with a relatively simple, intuitive and easy-to-use multi-lingual interface and support (although the support languages depend on the broker).
It is available as a web platform that can be opened instantly in every web browser but most investors prefer to download the MT4 software package on their computers. It runs on Windows PCs, Mac, and Linux systems, as well as on various mobile devices. To access it on their phones or tablets, traders need to download the MT4 app for Android or iOS from either Google Play or the App Store. The greatest strength of the platform, however, is its functionality – it comes with convenient design, a wide range of technical indicators, customization tools, great market analysis, trading robots, the copy trading feature, etc.
Another great option for those who wish to trade on the foreign exchange market is NinjaTrader, a US-based software development company and brokerage firm. Its award-winning platform focuses on day trading of futures and Forex. The system is free to use, user-friendly, and allows traders to use auto-trade algorithmic strategies and customize the platform to meet their needs and interests. It has more than 100 technical indicators, real-time and historical forex market data, and more.
Many brokers accepting Danish clients also offer access to cTrader, another widely popular trading platform released in 2011 by the Cyprus-based company Spotware Systems. This is a cutting-edge system for trading Forex that comes with over 70 indicators, various types of alerts, multiple asset classes, as well as a true non-dealing desk environment.
Mobile Trading in Denmark
As we have mentioned above, Danes are incredibly tech-savvy and new technologies have deeply penetrated everyday life in Denmark. According to recent data by JPMorgan, Denmark has the highest smartphone penetration in Europe, at 78.2%. Just like in all of Scandinavia, the country is trying to create a cashless society, while mobile payments are slowly but steadily taking over the traditional methods.
People are starting to use their mobile phones for more than just making and receiving calls, texting or shopping – in Denmark, you can do almost anything from your phone. This includes paying bills, booking vacations, and trading foreign currency pairs, of course. Many Danish traders are looking for online Forex brokers who provide fast and seamless mobile trading experience.
Most brokers available in Denmark have introduced native apps that allow their clients to easily manage their accounts and open trades directly from their mobile devices. Traders can easily notice that the majority of brokerage websites offer apps for both iOS and Android devices. The applications can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store or Google Play and installation typically takes just a few minutes.
Once the trading app is installed on their phone, traders can sign up or log in their account, make a deposit, and start trading. Mobile trading platforms are often as functional as those designed for desktops but the great benefit of using a trading app is that these applications are very intuitive and easy to use. Moreover, they are often available in multiple languages, including Danish.