There are 100’s of forex brokers worldwide but which ones are the biggest and the best?
Below compares the largest forex brokers in Australia based on market cap and explores the strengths and weaknesses of these brokers in the forex market.
Largest Australian Forex Broker
Pepperstone is one of Australia’s newer forex brokers established in 2010 but since then it has gained rapid popularity due to their Razor trading account which combines low spreads (Raw/ECN spreads), fast execution speeds and ‘no negative balance protection’. This combination of factors allowed the company to win:
- 1st Prize In Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Rising Star
- 1st Prize in BRW Fast Starters List
- 1st Prize in Investments Trends for Customer Service
Regulated by the Australian ‘Securities and Investment Commission’ and the ‘Financial Conduct Authority’ of the UK, Pepperstone has an average trading volume of USD $8.3 billion every day.
2) IC Markets
IC Markets was founded in 2007 in Sydney and has become one of the largest forex brokers in Australia for the same reasons as Pepperstone; low spreads, fast execution speeds provided through no dealing desk. The broker offers both MetaTrader 4 and cTrader forex platforms and trades can be filled from 1 micro lot to 1,000 lots. IC Markets offer 64 currency pairs including the popular pairs such as AUD USD, EUR USD, AUD EUR.
ThinkMarkets (formerly ThinkForex) started offshore but in 2012 moved their headquarters to Sydney, Australia with full regulation. In 2012 they were awarded MENA’s fasted growing broker award in the Middle East & North Africa. Their growth can be attributed to them sharing partnership with Equinix (the same used by IC Markets and Pepperstone) and excellent customer service/training package.
The clickable comparison table shows some of the biggest Australian forex brokers which once clicked on shows all the factors from spreads to execution speeds that should be considered when choosing the best forex broker for your needs.
AxiTrader was founded in 2007 to offer 24-hour customer service, tight spreads with excellent execution speeds so that clients can be confident risks of slippage are minimal. AxiTrader aims to cater to both experienced and those with little experience, therefore, offer Metatrader 4 which is the most accessible and versatile platform for all types of traders. The broker is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). In 2018 expanded into Dubai markets and are regulated by the DFSA. In 2017 and 2018 AxiTrader won the following awards
- Highest Overall Client Satisfaction – Investment Trends
- Most Reliable Forex Broker – AtoZForex.com
- Best Mt4 provider – UK Forex Awards
- Most Trusted Forex Broker – UK Forex Awards
Largest International Forex Brokers
1) easyMarkets (formerly Easy Forex)
easyMarkets is the global leader in forex for those new to currency trading or risk-averse. The broker was founded in 2003 and now provides it’s currency services in over 160 countries across the world. It offers over 170 currencies, metals and commodities to trade and are ASIC & CySEC certified which means clients funds are protected. Offices are located in Sydney, Shanghai, Warsaw, London and Limassol. The broker is popular because they offer:
- Fixed spreads (so forex traders know their broker fees)
- No Slippage guarantee (when using easyMarkets platform)
- Guaranteed stop-loss and take profit when using easyMarkets platform (which means that their brokers don’t lose more than the stop loss amount set when trading)
- Guaranteed negative balance protection
- Exclusive risk management tools not found with other brokers such as dealCancellation, freeze rate, easyTrader (all only available on easyMarkets platform)
- Personal support with an account service manager to assist you with trading currencies
- Personal analyst to help you with trading strategies and market information
Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) is an NYSE listed forex broker popular in Europe and North America that allows you to trade forex. It is regulated in Australia but also has New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris licenses as well. In 2014 it won the investment trends award for best research tools and educational materials. In the March 2015 quarter, the company reports an adjusted revenue of $98.8 million and EBITDA of $14.5 million making it one of the largest Forex brokers in the world. The company has some of the lowest spreads worldwide but does charge commissions that range from AU$3.00 to AU$6.00 per 100k traded. This could be viewed at the higher range considering Pepperstone charge a flat AU$3.50 commission on their Razor currency pairings.
OANDA is a Canadian based forex broker with a global presence. In Australia, they have a subsidiary that is locally certified. Their core focus is customer satisfaction and client servicing with both areas won in the investment trends 2014 awards. The key combination of open and transparent culture, low spreads and fast execution has led to its worldwide growth. The broker focuses on the MetaTrader 4 platform and offers a fast API into this MT4 interface.
4) City Index
Gain Capital Holdings is an NYSE-listed company and as of June 30, 2015, the company has total assets of $1.442 billion. The company is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission -SEC in the US, the Australian Investment and Securities Commission ASIC in Australia, the Financial Conduct Authority FCA in the UK and Europe and Monetary Authority Singapore for Singapore. The company offers 3 account types, Personal, Premium and Professional and choice of two trading platforms FOREX trader Pro and MetaTrader 4 where you can trade 50 currency pairs. The fx provider company has competitive spreads and price improvement technology to provide forex traders with value for money. It is perhaps the largest forex broker in the world by market cap.
Plus500 Ltd is listed on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of AU$855M. Our headquarters are based in Israel. The offices in the UK, Australia and Cyprus are subsidiaries. Plus500AU Pty Ltd, ACN 153 301 681, AFSL # 417727, issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is authorized to issue these products to Australian residents. Derivatives issuer licence in New Zealand, FSP #. 486026 authorises us to issue these products to New Zealand residents. Plus500AU Pty Ltd, is also an authorized Financial Services Provider in South Africa, FSP 47546.
You do not own or have any rights to the underlying assets. Please consider the Disclosure documents available on Plus500’s official websites. As the below diagram highlights, the broker has grown rapidly over the past five years and offers no commission trading conditions and advanced trading tools when opening a new account. It’s worth choosing a broker that suits your needs based on spreads, risks and forex trading platforms
6) CMC Markets
CMC Markets is one of the oldest forex and CFD brokers being founded in 1989 as Currency Management Corporation. The broker has it’s own unique ‘next-generation platform which differentiates itself from all the brokers on this comparison. They also offer low spreads and fast execution speeds through their platform. CMC Markets is also well known because of their education programs which also include stockbroking and CFD areas.
7) GO Markets
GO Markets combines personal customer service with a MetaTrader 4 platform that uses five decimal place system meaning they offer fractional spreads. The personal account manager is the key draw-card for this broker and helped it win the AFR Smart Investor Blue Ribbon with strong forex reviews.
Below shows how IC Markets was considered one of the best forex brokers when we combined factors although Pepperstone is recommended for those who want the added protection of ‘no negative balance’ which means you can’t lose more than your deposit.