FX Options trading conditions

FX Vanilla Options

Choice of Exercise method

Forex Vanilla Options that are 'in the money' are automatically exercised at 10:00 am EST (New York cut) on the day of expiry. By default they are converted to a spot position.

Up until one hour before exercise you may choose between receiving the spot position ('spot') or having Saxo Bank automatically exit the spot position at mid-price of the spread at the time of exercise ('cash'). There is not limit to the number of times you may change the exercise method.

The 'cash' exercise method is available on both long and short positions and will always happen at mid-spread - even in volatile market conditions.

If 'spot' exercise method is chosen, the spot position is subject to the usual profit/loss if the spot price moves from the exercise price. If you already have an offsetting position at the time of exercise, the exercised position will be netted out on the following day.

Auto execution

The majority of orders on FX Vanilla Options are handled automatically. That is, all orders below an auto execution limit, which varies by instrument, delta and maturity, are accepted without manual intervention by the dealing desk.

The auto execution limits are displayed in the trading platforms under Forex Options Trading Conditions.

Note that auto execution limits may be changed without prior notice under volatile or illiquid markets.

Expiration Style

Saxo Bank offers European style FX Vanilla Options, that is, option will be exercised or expire only at the expiry date and cut at 10:00 Eastern Standard Time (New York cut). Positions cannot be exercised prior to maturity.

Since Saxo Bank always quotes both bid/offer prices, you are always able to close your position before maturity at the current market price. The long and short positions will then be netted out prior to expiry.

Risk Warning for Forex Options

You should be aware that in purchasing Foreign Exchange Options, your potential loss will be the amount of the premium paid for the option, plus any fees or transaction charges that are applicable, should the option not achieve its strike price on the expiry date.

Certain options markets operate on a margined basis, under which buyers do not pay the full premium on their option at the time they purchase it. In this situation you may subsequently be called upon to pay margin on the option up to the level of your premium. If you fail to do so as required, your position may be closed or liquidated.

If you write an option, the risk involved is considerably higher than buying an option. You may be liable for margin to maintain your position and a loss may be sustained well in excess of the premium received.

By writing an option, you accept a legal obligation to purchase or sell the underlying asset if the option is exercised against you; however far the market price has moved away from the strike. If you already own the underlying asset that you have contracted to sell, your risk will be limited.

If you do not own the underlying asset the risk can be unlimited. Only experienced persons should contemplate writing uncovered options, then only after securing full detail of the applicable conditions and potential risk exposure.

Updated 28 April 2014

FX Touch Options


There are safeguards in place to prevent erroneous trading. Thus, for each currency pair a 'tradability value' has been set. The rationale for this parameter is to restrict your trading when the probability of the trigger being touched (or not touched) is too close to 100%. This is done to protect the client from making a mistake, e.g. paying 100% for a One Touch or selling a No Touch when the bid is 0%. 

The current parameters are: 

Currency cross Tradability value
Currency cross Tradability value
EURGBP 0.25% GBPUSD 0.15%
EURJPY 0.20% USDJPY 0.25%
EURUSD 0.15% AUDUSD 0.20%

Please note that the tradability values are subject to change without prior notice. 

You are of course never restricted from closing an existing open position, no matter what the proximity of the trigger level to current spot. Closing prices may, if close to expiry, be offered on an RFQ basis only.


You want to buy a One Touch Option with 3 months to expiry and the trigger (or barrier) price is 10 pips away from the market. In this case, the Premium would be 100% (or close to) and Saxo Bank will automatically reject the trade.


The offered maturities are standardised in the Options Board covering maturities from 1 day to 6 months. The Option Trade Ticket on your trading platforms offers shorter and longer maturities, i.e. from 1 day to 1 year.

Exercise & Expiry

Unlike the FX Vanilla Options, Touch Options are exercised when the trigger level is reached any time prior to expiry. If the trigger level has not been reached during the live time of the option, a No Touch generates the payout, whereas the One Touch option expires automatically.

A Trigger (or barrier) level is considered reached if the spot mid-price of the currency pair reaches the Trigger level

If the option exercises, the payout is 100% of the amount of the base currency. If it expires without exercising, the payout is zero (0).

Touch Options may also be closed prior to expiration (before hitting the trigger price), so that you have an opportunity to re-evaluate the exposure should your opinion about the market changes over time.

One Touch Options will generate the payout automatically if and when triggered before the expiry time, or else (if the barrier has not been reached) automatically expire at 10 am EST (NY time) on the expiry date. No Touch Options will generate an automatic payout if the barrier has not been reached prior to 10 am EST on the expiry date, or else automatically close out if trigger is reached.

Settlement and payout

At Saxo Bank Touch Option positions are cash settled automatically when they generate a Payout. The Payout is 100% of the base currency. If the Option expires without exercising, then the Payout is 0%.

For a One Touch, that is once the trigger level is reached; for a No Touch it is at maturity, assuming the trigger level has not been reached. A trigger level is considered to have been reached if the mid-price of the spot reaches the trigger level.

Although P/L from a closed Touch Option (e.g. buying and selling an Option before it exercises/expires) will be available for use in other products margin trading, final settlement is done at the end of day (EOD), as in the way Vanilla Options are settled.

Any positions with a pricing and payout in a currency different from the Account base currency will have the Premium and Payout converted to the account currency at the EOD rate. This conversion applies to initial positioning, squaring of existing positions and positions being triggered. This includes the conversion of realized profit and loss to the account base currency.

Netting of positions

Touch Options of same type, expiry, and payout can net out.  No other netting of Touch Options is allowed.

Updated 30 Oct, 2014


The offered maturities are standardised in the Options Board covering maturities from 1 day to 6 months. The Option Trade Ticket on your trading platforms offers shorter and longer maturities, i.e. from 1 day to 1 year.

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