AMP, how could you?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by J.P., May 21, 2020.

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  1. J.P.


    I have been an AMP customer for four profitable years. I thought I was good with them. In fact, I thought I was very good with them. I have two accounts, one Roth IRA and one cash, totaling over $3,000,000. I trade hundreds of ES and NQ round-turn day trades a day and keep that amount of cash in my accounts so that I never come close to exceeding margin requirements. Out of nowhere I received an email from Compliance that both accounts were closed. There was no further explanation and it said, "We hope you understand that we do not comment on our decision." Regardless, I called AMP to try to reconcile this obvious misunderstanding. They said I should send an email, which I did. The reply only stated that my accounts were out of their "acceptable risk profile." With no clue as to what, exactly, I did. I wrote back:

    "If I am out of your firm’s acceptable risk profile, just tell me what you want and let me fix it. I don’t have to trade the way I trade if it is somehow conflicting with your firm’s systems.

    I thought I had a stellar risk profile but I am more than willing to modify my trading or otherwise do what it takes to achieve an acceptable risk profile. Just let me know."

    There was no reply.

    I'm shocked as AMP and I were having no issues at all. And, most importantly, they won't comment on their decision! AMP, how could you? Not even a hint? I was a no-problem client with no complaints and certainly no hand-holding was needed. Was I trading too much? Was I not trading enough? Were my accounts too large? Were my accounts too small? What else is there? I cannot imagine what the issue might be. But if there is one, why not just tell me as there is likely some mistake and we'll work it out?

    If anyone has any insight as to what might be going on here, please let me know. Given my accounts' size, trading activity and unproblematic longevity with AMP, it's just wrong for AMP to abruptly close these accounts without some sort of notice or explanation.

    Here's my best guess as to what happened:

    Limit orders were on the exchange and were being filled. Take-profit limit orders were also on the exchange and were not (yet) filled. I also had both buy and sell flattening orders that were not at the exchange but were lined up on the platform to be sent in case any of my take-profit orders were not filled within a short period of time (less than five minutes, 10 at the most). These platform orders were filled out and ready to go so that I could send them and be flat very quickly, regardless of the number and type of fills, in order for me to rapidly flatten my positions. If my take-profit exchange orders were filled these platform orders would not be sent. If any exchange take-profit orders were not filled select platform orders would quickly be sent to flatten my positions. That's it.

    Just prior to receiving the email that my accounts were closed I had sent a note to AMP that I would sometimes get a platform error message that a pending platform order, that was not sent, was exceeding trading limits, and I asked that any limits be raised as these orders were lined up to be offsetting and would never be at the exchange together and I would not even be close to exceeding any margin requirement at any time. (Regardless, if AMP's systems could not handle this all they had to do is let me know; I don't have to do it this way and I am definitely willing to modify this approach if I am somehow overwhelming AMP's systems. I have never had more than 400 open ES and NQ positions combined, very short-term day trades, in either account at any time and I have always had more than enough free cash in those accounts to cover this margin.)

    Apparently, this platform adds up any and all pending untransmitted orders whether they are sent or not, along with all open positions and also any orders that are resting at the exchange against any broker-set limits. These platform orders were just lined up as a safety precaution so that I could selectively and rapidly send them to flatten my positions under various fill scenarios.

    AMP did not reply and closed my accounts. But again, I'm just guessing that this was the reason these accounts were closed.

    Understand this: During the entire four years that I have been with AMP, at no time and in no way was I EVER close to exceeding any margin requirement on any filled positions. Not even for a moment. Not once; not ever. Nor would I ever. But even if I did, you would think they could, and should, just flatten all positions at the market and then close my accounts for cause. Simple as that.

    But I guess I need to find another broker. So, barring a last-minute reconsideration from AMP, if there is any broker out there that can accommodate a trader that always follows any and all rules and policies, let me know as I had not even thought about switching brokers.

    This is just wrong. What could I have done differently here? How could AMP expect me to follow some secret trading policy that they refuse to reveal? Do I deserve better than this from AMP? Should reconsideration be granted by AMP?

    Advice is appreciated.
  2. trdes


    Their cash on hand is a lot smaller than most people realize, you actually have a pretty big account for being with AMP retail, likely one of there bigger ones.

    Still the way you're describing your trading doesn't exactly seem like it would be out of their acceptable risk profile, I use to know someone who used AMP and they traded heavier than you stated and often used up the majority of the margin and they never had their accounts closed, although maybe AMP has recently changed some rules or policies.
  3. hilmy83



    1. what platform are you using?
    2. what are "flattening orders"?
    3. can we see screenshot of what those orders look like on the platform (with margin info)
    4. can i see an AMP statement, asking for a friend
    5. can we see some email or chat log? between you and AMP
    Overnight likes this.
  4. AMP_Global

    AMP_Global ET Sponsor

    We obviously are not going to publicly discuss reason why we closed a customers account.
    We appreciate your desire to continue to trade with AMP, but unfortunately, the decision by compliance is final.
  5. Of course, but what's up with not telling a client why his account was closed?
  6. guru


    Sounds a bit like the difference between TDA vs IB, where TDA wouldn't let you place more orders than your margin allows (as if all were already filled), while IB allows placing quite a lot more orders but will cancel some after others get filled and hit your margin limit.
    In AMP case, it seems they "want to" limit the open orders like TDA, but may not have the means/technology to do so and evaluate them properly. You might've just alerted them to the fact that you have many open orders in addition to your positions, so they took a closer look. (just a guess)
    Either way, sometimes you may find a better broker by necessity. Have you tried IB? They can use up quite a lot of margin for open positions, but if you can trade within those limits and as you described it, flatten your positions and balance your margin - possibly it could work. Unless you already tried them?
    J.P. likes this.
  7. guru


    He asked you to discuss those reasons privately.
  8. Exactly. My impression of amp is that they mainly cater to 1 lot micro traders. And if this guy was trading 400 contracts per account then he is swinging 800 full size contracts at a time and that may just be just too big for amp. They probably don't want to state that and that's why they won't tell him what's wrong. And that's likely what amp was referring to with their comment about his risk profile.
    TooEffingOld, faltd, comagnum and 2 others like this.
  9. temnik


    Unless it's an AML/KYC issue, you should have no problem finding another FCM - they are suffering and hungry for business. Make sure they are accustomed to dealing with market-making strategies - which involves being on both sides of the market, many orders deep.
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  10. J.P.


    There's none of that, for sure. Thanks for the advice.
    #10     May 21, 2020
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