The foreign exchange market (FX market, forex) is the largest and the most liquid market of the world. Up to the late 1990s, the FX market was dominated by financial institutions and large corporations, which conducted FX transactions for hedging, speculation and arbitrage purposes. While these participants still constitute the most important part of the market, the role of retail investors has ... [Show full abstract] been increasing since the beginning of the 2000s. FX trading conducted by retail investors has become significant enough to be included in the FX market statistics, provided by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The data collected by BIS is the basis for the analysis conducted in this paper. The main objective of the study is to examine the factors which contributed to the emergence and development of the FX retail market as well as to analyse its size and structure in comparison with the total FX market.