AuthorBy Chris Cammack
Updated: February 24, 2021

When you fund your trading account, most Forex brokers will convert your Kenyan Shilling to US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds. But KES Forex brokers offer trading accounts that keep the trading balance in Kenyan Shilling, which is useful if you want to avoid currency conversion fees.

Having a KES account also means your trading funds will be kept in local bank accounts, which makes deposits and withdrawals by bank transfer faster and more convenient. 

In this guide, you will learn the advantages and disadvantages of trading with a KES Forex account. This includes a summary of why KES accounts are rare, who should use a KES-based account, and a shortlist of the brokers with the best KES account options.

Best Forex Brokers with KES Accounts 2021

Last updated on 24 Feb 2021
Updated 24 Feb 2021
by Editorial Director Chris Cammackby Chris Cammack
Chris Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Trusted
1
Pepperstone
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.614.61
Regulated by
Min. Spread
0 pips
Base Currencies
AUD, USD, JPY, GBP, EUR, CAD, CHF, NZD, SGD, HKD
Overall Rating
11110.54.61/ 5
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.69 pips with 0.0 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. Pepperstone Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the DFSA.
2
HotForex
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.494.49
Regulated by
Min. Spread
0 pips
Base Currencies
EUR, USD, ZAR
Overall Rating
11110.54.49/ 5
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.
3
XM
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.254.25
Regulated by
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Base Currencies
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, ‎AUD, HUF, PLN, RUB, SGD, ZAR
Overall Rating
11110.54.25/ 5
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.
4
Plus500
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.094.09
Regulated by
Min. Spread
0 pips
Base Currencies
EUR, USD, ZAR
Overall Rating
11110.54.09/ 5
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Plus500 does not publish their spreads, and thus a cost of trading can not be established. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. Only Plus500 proprietary trading platform supported. Plus500 is regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC, and MAS.All information presented is verified as of the date of the review.Most retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.
5
Exness
Min. Deposit
USD 1
4.124.12
Regulated by
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Base Currencies
USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, ZAR, CHF, JPY, NZD, SGD
Overall Rating
11110.54.12/ 5
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Exness is regulated by CySEC, FCA, and the FSC.
6
FxPro
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.244.24
Regulated by
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Base Currencies
USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CHF, JPY, PLN, ZAR
Overall Rating
11110.54.24/ 5
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.40 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5, cTrader and FxPro proprietary trading platform supported. FxPro Group is regulated by FCA, CySEC, FSCA, and the DFSA
7
markets.com
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.494.49
Regulated by
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Base Currencies
USD, AUD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, NOK, PLN, SEK, ZAR
Overall Rating
11110.54.49/ 5
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. MarketsX is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSCA.

?HotForex – Best Regulated Broker

Regulated by the FSCA since 2016, HotForex is a firm favourite among Kenyan traders looking STP execution and strong international regulation. The minimum deposit for is 5000 Shilling.

  • Regulated by the FSCA, FCA and CySEC
  • STP execution
  • Tight spreads and high leverage
  • Great value Micro Account
  • Detailed market analysis and dedicated customer service

✔️Strong Regulation | STP Execution | 1000:1 Leverage

HotForex is regulated by CySEC in Europe, the FCA in the UK and the South African FSCA – providing local protection for South African traders. No-Dealing Desk (NDD) STP execution means tights spreads for all trades. Leverage is flexible – all the way up to 1000:1 on the Micro Account where the minimum deposit is 5 USD. Spreads start at 1 pip even, on the Micro Account.

HotForex Micro Account

✔️Detailed Market Analysis | Dedicated Customer Support

HotForex’s has a dedicated market analysis website hosted by a team of in-house experts. Analysis includes market news, technical analysis across all asset classes, special reports, and monthly outlooks. The site is updated frequently throughout the trading day and is always useful. In addition, customer support is available 24/5 in over 27 languages. Toll-free local phone numbers and local email addresses give clients direct free access to quality customer service in their language.

?Summary: Why Should Traders Use HotForex?

Regulated by the FSCA since 2016, HotForex offers tight Spreads, with flexible leverage up to 1000:1 on the Micro Account. Detailed market analysis will be helpful for both new and experienced traders and customer support is excellent.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.

?FxPro – Best No Dealing Desk (NDD) Broker

FxPro’s NDD execution model is available on MT4, MT5, cTrader and its browser-based platform. FxPro recommends an opening deposit of 7000 Rand, though accounts can be opened with as little as 10.000 Shilling. Features traders will like at FxPro are:

  • Ultrafast NDD Execution and Platform Choice
  • Tight Spreads
  • Free Funding via the FxPro Wallet

✔️Fast Execution | No Dealing Desk

FxPro offers NDD on all trades and most are executed in less than 10 milliseconds. Only 9% of orders received negative slippage. A perfect environment for scalpers and automated trading in volatile markets.

FXPro No Dealing Desk

✔️Tight Spreads | All Three Major Platforms

FxPro has three accounts, one for each of the major platforms: MT4, MT5 and cTrader. Both the MT4 and MT5 accounts offer commission-free trading while the cTrader account has a 4.50 USD commission per trade but raw spreads – down to 0.3 pips on the EUR/USD. In addition, FxPro has its own FxPro (EDGE) web platform for those that want to keep things simple.

FxPro cTrader

✔️FxPro Wallet | Free Deposits and Withdrawals

The FXPro Wallet is kept separate from the trading account, so will not be considered when calculating margin or leverage – making it a risk management tool. All deposits and withdrawals from the FxPro Wallet are free of charge via all methods.

FxPro Wallet

?Why Should Traders Use FxPro?

FxPro offers its clients a choice of platform and then provides the execution and simplicity that many traders crave. Fast NDD execution, tight spreads, simple funding, and complete transparency.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Great platform choice
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Limited education
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.40 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5, cTrader and FxPro proprietary trading platform supported. FxPro Group is regulated by FCA, CySEC, FSCA, and the DFSA

?Marketsx – Best Trading Platform

Marketsx is the new trading platform operated by Markets.com. Markets.com has been regulated by the FSCA since 2012. The minimum deposit is 20.000 Shilling. The Marketsx platform offers traders fast, commission-free trading on over 2,200 financial instruments with spreads as tight as many ECN brokers.

  • Trade over 2200 tradeable instruments 
  • Tight spreads with no commission
  • In-depth charting, asset comparison and sentiment tools
  • Live-streamed, expert analysis

✔️7 Tradeable Markets | 2200 Instruments | Tight Spreads 

Traders have a choice of over 2,200 instruments on the Marketsx platform. Over 50 FX pairs are available to trade with spreads starting at 0.6 pips, no commission and leverage of 1:300. Other tradeable assets include stocks, cryptocurrencies, over 25 major market indices, commodities, dozens of regional and sectoral ETFs and US, UK and German government bonds.

Marketsx Chart

✔️Trading Tools and Usability

The Marketsx trading tools menu features a range of tools that crunch big data from leading analysts, hedge funds, and commentators to give traders better insight into the market. Each tool has integrated buy and sell buttons so traders can act instantly upon the information presented. In the chart view, traders can see their orders, related instruments, and open positions with a single click. Marketsx offers a clean, well-designed UI that puts the trader usability first.

Marketsx Tools

?Summary – Why Should Traders Use Marketsx?

Marketsx is perfect for traders looking for a modern, intuitive trading platform. The platform is packed full of features and analytical tools, Forex spreads are tight, and almost any other asset is available to trade.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
AlertAccepts Kenyan Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. MarketsX is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSCA.

What are the Advantages of Having a KES Account?

The greatest advantage of having a KES Account is that you will avoid currency conversion fees when funding your trading account.

If you have a USD trading account, conversion fees or the volatile KES/USD exchange rate can take a bite out of your profits before you even start trading. Most international brokers will also give you a poor exchange rate from KES to USD.

KES Accounts will not have conversion fees on withdrawals and deposits

KES accounts are also good for traders who use bank transfers or credit cards to fund their accounts. If you ask your bank or credit card company to fund a USD account, you can lose 7-10% of the value of your deposit in conversion charges and added fees. Fund transfers are also much quicker between local banks, so deposits and withdrawals can generally be made within 24 hours, and often happen instantly.

Funding KES Accounts is much faster than USD accounts

Another benefit of having a KES account is that your funds will be kept in a Kenyan bank and will be accessible if your broker declares bankruptcy. With a USD account at an international broker, this will not be the case: Even if your funds are kept in a segregated account, they will be kept in a segregated account in another country.

KES Accounts are usually held in Kenyan banks

How to choose the best KES Account

Choosing a broker with the best KES account is much the same as choosing any Forex broker. It is essential to look at the detail of each broker to find out what differentiates them from each other.  When looking for a KES account broker, it is important to judge them on the following areas:

Regulation 

Regulation is the most important aspect of selecting a broker with a KES account, as it is with any Forex broker. You want to make sure your funds are secure and kept in a segregated account and that your broker maintains a fair trading environment. 

All brokers with KES accounts will be regulated by the CMA, as KES accounts will be held in Kenyan banks and will be governed by Kenyan laws. The best international brokers tend to be regulated by the FCACySEC or ASIC as well as the FSCA.

The best regulators in the world are the FCA, CySEC and ASIC

Alongside CMA regulation, brokers who offer KES accounts will need a licence from the Central Bank of Kenya to provide financial products denominated in Shilling – this extra licencing requirement adds another layer of protection for local traders.

Trading Conditions 

This includes what kind of spreads are available, how much leverage is offered, and how many currency pairs are available. These factors will directly impact your profit or loss.

Trading conditions are particularly important for traders with KES accounts as your trading balance will be denominated in Rand. This means that when you are open a trade with the base currency in anything other than KES (USD/JPY, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, etc.) you KES balance will be converted in the base currency, it will be converted back again to KES once you close the trade. This can be expensive if you plan to hold multiple large trades open simultaneously.

When trading, your account currency is converted to the base currency of an FX pair

If you are planning to trade the USD/KES be aware that this is considered an exotic pair and spreads are much wider than for major pairs (such as the USD/GBP), often as wide as 80 or 100 pips.

Trading Platforms

Another factor to consider is the choice of trading platforms on offer. Most brokers will offer MT4, but some brokers will offer multiple platforms – each with their own advantages. Many brokers also have their own platforms, these are often easier to use for beginners, though may not have the automation options that exist on downloadable applications like MT4, MT5 and cTrader.

MT5

Broker’s own trading platforms are often easier to use for beginner traders

Minimum Deposit 

For KES Accounts, your minimum deposit will always be in Shilling. How much you are required to deposit changes for each broker and often changes between account types offered by the same broker, with higher minimum deposits often linked to better trading conditions.

Accounts with higher minimum deposits have better trading conditions

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

 All brokers accept traditional payment types such as debit/credit cards and bank transfers, many accept online payments through Skrill and Neteller.

Always check for deposit and withdrawal fees before you sign up with a broker

Always check for deposit and withdrawal fees, a few brokers charge a percentage fee for some withdrawal methods, making large drawdowns expensive. 

Education and Market Analysis

Most brokers with KES accounts will offer Forex education and market analysis. If you are a beginner trader, the quality of this educational and research material should be an important factor in your decision.

Customer Service

Another important factor to consider when opening a KES account is the quality of customer service offered by a broker. Brokers with KES accounts tend to have local offices and can offer local support – which can make all the difference for beginner traders.

Brokers with local customer support will have a better understanding of your needs

Brokers with local customer support have a better understanding of the issues new traders in Kemnya have when setting up their accounts. They also can offer support in multiple languages, including Swahili.

Why are KES Accounts so Rare?

Forex brokers who offer KES accounts are rare, and most brokers still only offer USD or EUR accounts. This is mainly due to a lack of KES liquidity providers. Forex brokers with KES accounts need access to large amounts of Shilling, or Shilling liquidity pools, to cover their clients’ trades. Currently, there are just not that many banks in Kenya willing to provide the necessary funding.

Broker with KES accounts need the support of large Kenyan banks

Another reason for the lack of KES accounts is that most international brokers have their costs priced in USD. By converting large sums of USD to finance KES accounts they would open themselves up to huge exchange rate risk. They would lose money every time the KES devalued against the USD, which has been a common problem recently.

International brokers with KES accounts lose money when the Rand devalues

Should I Use a KES Account?

Kenyan traders can use a KES account if they wish to avoid conversion fees and withdrawals and deposits will be faster.

Some traders want a USD account, especially traders who keep many positions open simultaneously. With this approach to trading with a KES account, the fluctuations in the exchange rate would impact your profit margins.

One thing to keep in mind with a KES account is whether your broker charges commission on trades – most ECN brokers do – and what currency the commission is charged in. If you have a KES account and are being charged a USD commission for every trade, you will be losing a small amount of every trade in currency conversion. This can add up over time and become quite expensive. Most brokers with KES accounts will charge the commission at a fixed rate in KES but do check first.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients. 

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information. With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal.

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

References

Featured Brokers

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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