To help determine the top forex brokers with high leverage, we segmented the list by each regulator which determines margin caps. This helps us determine the April 2021 highest leverage broker by each region from the UK to Australia for forex trading.
The highest leveage broker by regulator list is the following.
The best ASIC regulated forex broker offering the maximum 30:1 leverage for trading forex is Pepperstone. This was based on comparing the top 2021 ASIC regulated brokers and focusing on currency pairs, spreads, commissions and forex trading platform features. While a handful of forex brokers from IC Markets to CMC Markets also offered 30:1 leverage, it was these other criteria that led to Pepperstone to be determined the best.
In forex trading, high leverage means you have to put a small amount of capital to open a position. This capital is referred to as margin requirements. Among the high leverage brokers in Australia, Pepperstone offers the most competitive leverage trading conditions:
Below compares the top currency pairs (forex pairs) Australian forex traders trade. It shows how Pepperstone has superior spreads on the most popular forex pairs.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
With a minimum deposit of USD 200, Pepperstone clients can control USD 100,000 in buying power.
Pepperstone offers a proprietary margin calculator that helps forex traders work out the margin required to open and hold a position. The margin calculator can be accessed directly from the Secure Client Area, under the Trading Tools tab.
The calculation of the initial margin requirements relies on 4 factors:
Pepperstone offers negative balance protection to help prevent losses exceeding a traders account balance. Pepperstone uses an automated stop-out policy with different stop-out levels depending on the platform used:
In theory, this should prevent incurring a negative balance. However, in volatile markets, you can still see your account balance dropping in negative territory. In this case, Pepperstone might wave negative balances “on a case by case basis.”
Pepperstone offers 30:1 leverage for forex trading which is the higher level of any ASIC regulated forex broker. It also offers high leverage on other CFDs including indices, shares, commodities and cryptocurrencies.
Pepperstone offers 30:1 leverage, low spreads and advanced tools.
With the best forex trading platforms offered from MetaTrader 4 to cTrader and fast execution speeds, Pepperstone is the best forex broker for scalping, intermediate or expert Australian forex traders in Australia.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
The best FCA regulated UK high leverage forex broker is ThinkMarkets. It should be clarified that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) limits leverage for all retail traders including:
ThinkMarkets offers the maximum FCA leverage and these features:
The broker also offers a free Demo Account, which can be configured either as a Standard Account or as a ThinkZero Account.
ThinkMarkets’ CFD product offering includes more than 1,200 instruments, including:
The eligibility criteria for professional clients include:
Overall, ThinkMarkets gives the best trading conditions for UK trader. The cost to start trading with ThinkMarkets is attractively low and suitable for beginners with a GBP 250 minimum deposit. Retail clients can also fund their live accounts using a crypto wallet BitPay which supports Bitcoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash.
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is the South African regulator and allows brokers to offer the highest leverage worldwide. FXTM offers maximum leverage of 1:2,000 which is four times higher than other tier-1 brokers around the world. HotForex are another high margin FSCA broker with 1:1000 leverage.
With FXTM, South African clients can select from three Standard accounts and three ECN accounts. The Standard accounts feature only a bid-ask spread and no trading commissions and are suitable for novice traders. The ECN accounts feature much lower bid-ask spreads, charge a small trading commission, and are suitable for experienced traders.
South African retail traders have a choice of more than 63 major, minor and exotic pairs with flexible leverage from 1:1 to 1:2000 and trade size from USD 0.1 per pip (micro lots).
The leverage ratios available for exotic pairs are capped to lower limits as follows:
Additionally, FXTM offers a forex margin calculator, which is an essential risk management tool used to determine the appropriate position size.
Overall, trading forex with FXTM comes with the best margin-based leverage conditions. There is also a very low barrier to entry in the foreign exchange market with a minimum deposit of USD 10. From time to time South African traders can expect very “lucrative bonuses and promotions” that can boost your account balance.
View FXTM Review >>Visit FXTM>>
A review of the highest leverage forex brokers that are CySEC regulated found IC Markets the best based on:
View the complete IC Markets review below and why they are considered the best forex broker for those looking for a high leverage forex broker.
In Europe, Cyprus is a prominent financial hub for retail forex brokers. The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is the country’s main regulatory body. The CySEC leverage restrictions follow the guidelines imposed by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). In this regard, CySEC regulated brokers can offer a maximum leverage of 30:1 and lower leverage of 2:1 on cryptocurrencies.
The table below presents a summary of CySEC leverage limits and the initial margin requirements.
Note* IC Markets offer the same leverage limits from 30:1 to 2:1 for retail clients.
Since leverage has a high level of risk allowing traders to lose money when trading CFDs at an amplified rate IC Markets offers some tools. This includes stop-loss features including:
Unlike some other regulated forex CFD providers, IC Markets allow traders to adjust leverage after they open an account. This can be done in the ‘client area’ for live traders only.
In line with the MiFID II directive, IC Markets offers negative balance protection. Additionally, in normal market conditions though IC Markets has an automated stop out policy. This will exit a trader’s least profitable trade after equity is <50% of the IC Markets margin requirement.
Overall, having the choice of the two mainstream forex trading platforms is why IC Markets is one of the leading forex brokers. The high leverage of 30:1 is available across each forex platform. Each platform has the same fees, spreads and commissions. Open a trading account with IC Markets with a minimum deposit of EUR 200.
Among the best Forex brokers under DFSA regulation, our team of industry experts recommends Axi (formally AxiTrader) for leverage trading. AxiCorp Financial Services Pty Ltd (DIFC) is an entity registered in Dubai and regulated by the DFSA.
Under current legislation by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the regulatory body that operates within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the maximum leverage for retail traders is limited to 1:50 on major currency pairs and to 1:50 on minor and exotic forex pairs.
Axi’s MetaTrader 4 software is based on a superior network technology, which significantly reduces latency and increases the broker’s system refresh speed. MetaTrader 4 trading platform’s real-time pricing enables Forex traders to closely track the movement of a particular market. The broker’s MT4 software comes with the following advantages:
With Axi, UAE-based retail clients can access the Forex market and other segments through two main account types – Standard and Pro Accounts, while there is no minimum deposit requirement. A comparison of trading conditions offered on both accounts is presented below.
Before they start trading on a live account, UAE-based retail clients can practice on a free, 30-day trial Demo account with $50,000 of virtual funds.
Axi offers more than 100 financial instruments on its MetaTrader 4 platform, including:
UAE-based professional traders are granted access to considerably higher leverage ratios for CFD trading – up to 1:500.
Overall, UAE forex traders can find competitive leverage trading conditions with Axi. On the downside, the DFSA regulated brokers aren’t mandated to provide negative balance protection. However, Axi platform comes with advanced risk tools like guaranteed stop-loss orders to protect your bottom line.
View Axi Review >>Visit Axi >>
Among high leverage Forex brokers under FINMA regulation we reviewed, IG appears to offer the best trading conditions. In Switzerland, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is the main regulatory body in charge of supervising all forex brokers.
By comparison with other EU financial services regulators (ESMA, CySEC and FCA), FINMA imposes more or less the same restrictions on leverage ratios. FINMA-regulated Forex brokers are obligated to offer lower leverage ratios on CFD products for retail clients:
Below you can review FINMA restrictions on leverage ratio across different asset classes.
IG is authorised to conduct online CFD trading business and is regulated in multiple jurisdictions worldwide, including the FINMA. With IG, retail traders can choose from over 17,000 financial instruments and need to ensure a minimum deposit of USD 300 or currency equivalent to start trading CFDs.
Leveraged products offered by IG Bank include:
IG offers individual tiered margin rates for each instrument traded, which is based on the number of contracts. IG offers four margin rate tiers, including preferential margin rates on their premium services. Please see the example below how are FX margin calculated:
IG is the ultimate forex broker for trading leveraged products in Switzerland. Alongside finishing first in this category, IG is also the world’s biggest forex CFD provider with over 17,000 tradable instruments. IG minimum deposit is CHF 5,000, which can be deposited immediately via credit card.
View IG Markets Review >>Visit IG Markets >>
Under current legislation by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), the maximum leverage that Forex brokers are allowed to offer Canadian retail clients stands at 1:50 (or 2% margin required). The IIROC is Canada’s self-regulatory agency that oversees all Canadian forex brokers.
Unlike other regulatory bodies, IIROC imposes spot risk margin rates based on the underlying FX volatility. More the IIROC groups FX pairs into 4 groups based on some “quantitative and qualitative criteria” (see the table below).
Among IIROC-regulated brokers we reviewed, Forex.com appears to be the most appropriate choice to trade Forex pairs with reasonable leverage trading conditions.
Forex.com is a trading name of GAIN Capital Holdings Inc, a company established in 1999 in New Jersey, authorised and regulated in multiple jurisdictions, including IIROC, NFA and CFTC of the USA to name a few.
Forex.com offers two main account types – Standard Account with a minimum deposit of $1,000 and Direct Market Access Account with a minimum deposit of $25,000. The DMA Account allows Canadian clients to:
Forex.com allows access to leverage trading on several markets, including:
On selected markets, Forex.com offers lower margin requirements to maintain an open position. This is done through something called “orders-aware margining” which can be activated by attaching a stop-loss order on an open trade. On the downside, you should be aware that this feature is only available through the FOREX.com desktop platform.
Overall, Forex.com ranks as the best brokerage trading firm offering high leverage trading products. It’s safe to trade with Forex.com and they only have low entry barriers with a minimum deposit of USD 100. US traders have multiple deposit and withdrawal options including debit card, electronic bank transfer wire, check, and eCheck.
Among US-regulated brokerages we reviewed, Interactive Brokers appears to be the most appropriate choice for forex trading. In the US, the Commodities & Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the main entity tasked to oversee all brokerage trading firms dealing in futures contracts, SWAP’s, commodities, and Forex trading.
As per current NFA/CFTC rules, the maximum leverage allowed for retail Forex traders in the United States is:
Additionally, US residents can only trade with Forex brokers under NFA regulation and licensed by the CFTC. Founded in 1978, Interactive Brokers Group is the parent company of:
US clients are granted direct market access (DMA) with interbank quotes from 16 of the largest Forex dealing financial institutions worldwide. IB offers a total of 105 major, minor and exotic currency pairs comprised of 23 trading currencies spreads starting from 0.1 pips and charges a small commission of 0.08 to 0.20 basis points depending on trade size. The minimum commission charged is $2.00 (or currency equivalent) per trade, while the maximum leverage allowed is 1:50.
Overall, Interactive Brokers is a global market leader in online trading. On the downside, traders need to be aware that the IBKR TWS platform is heavy and designed for sophisticated investors. It’s safe to trade with IB as it’s one of the biggest trading firm worldwide listed on the NASDAQ.
Leverage allows forex traders to borrow funds from a broker increasing their exposure to the market. As currency pair movements are modest compared to shares, leverage is needed to make forex trading currencies worthwhile. While leverage increases the potential for profits, the same is true for losses. Based on this, currency traders should understand the risks of leverage, choose a reputable forex broker and select the right leverage that aligns to their risk profile.
Determining the best leverage ratio that is most appropriate to you depends on your needs, trading style, trading strategy and risk appetite. For example, retail traders that prefer scalping may tolerate higher leverage ratios. Scalping involves taking quick trades and to make a decent profit, you need higher leverage ratios.
The leverage ratios offered by each individual Forex broker depend firstly on the local jurisdiction and leverage restrictions they imposed and on the trading conditions offered by the FX broker.
The main reason why leverage trading is so popular among retail investors is due to the increased potential to generate bigger profits. Leverage is good because you can trade larger positions and take advantage of the small change in the FX prices.
When you trade leverage products such as forex and CFDs, you don’t have to have the whole amount you’re buying and selling. Retail traders only need to deposit a small portion of the whole amount. This deposit is referred to as the initial margin. This margin is used to cover the possible losses that may incur.
For example, if a forex broker offers 30 times leverage (30:1 leverage ratio) and you want to buy 10,000 units of EUR/USD, you only need to put aside as a margin requirement around USD 380. That’s only a fraction of the total position value. With the highest leverage available (500:1) you would only need to put aside USD 20. So, with an initial investment of USD 20, you can control USD 10,000.
Leverage is a double-edged sword. It can significantly amplify a trade’s earning potential, but it also amplifies risk. Trading complex derivative instruments such as Contracts for Difference (CFDs) with relatively small amounts of capital by using high leverage ratios carries a high risk of losing money rapidly, especially in times of heightened market volatility.
Because of higher leverage used, at times, retail investor losses can be of such proportions that they may lead to an occurrence, known as “margin call”. What this means is a trader’s margin account value has dropped below the minimum maintenance margin required by his/her Forex broker. In such a case, the trader needs to deposit additional funds in order to bring his/her margin account up to the minimum value required.
Therefore, retail traders should tackle leverage carefully, by keeping an eye on position sizing and by using adequate risk management tools to safeguard their active trades against unexpected changes in market sentiment.
Until recently, most there was great variation between the leverage brokers could offer. In the past, many brokers such as Pepperstone, IC Markets, FP Markets would offer the maximum permitted by the appropriate regulator. Regulators such as ASIC, FCA, CySEC would allow up to 500:1 leverage when trading for most forex pairs which is quite high so other brokers such as Plus500, IG Markets and easyMarkets would place a cap well below 500:1 on how much leverage is permitted.
Since then many major regulators have placed a limit on how much leverage can be offered. ASIC and European regulators such as FCA, CySEC, BaFin now restrict leverage. Major Forex Pairs can be up to 30:1, Minor pairs ups to 20:1. Indices for Major pairs can be up to 20:1 and minor pairs up to 10:1. Commodities can be up to 10:1 with the exception of gold which allows a maximum of 20:1. Cryptocurrencies can be up to 2:1 and while shares and all other CFD product are 5:1.
As the maximum leverage is now relatively low (at least compared to in the past), you will find all brokers offer Australian and European traders the maximum permitted leverage.
There are several lower-tier regulators worldwide that have relaxed requirements and safeguards for traders. These were not considered as it’s critical to choose a broker with a strong reputation he trading with higher margin. The main regulator not considered was FSA (St. Vincent & the Grenadines) which has Alpari who offer 1000:1. Broker based in Seychelles were also not considered including JustForex who offer 2000:1. Finally, brokers in Belize (IFSC) such as FBS who offer 1000:1 were not considered. Some noticeable niche brokers that were discussed but could be considered are eToro for social trading and Markets.com for a dealing desk broker. These niche brokers can suit certain trading strategies and have platform features such as webtrader.
As a disclaimer, even choosing a regulated broker puts your capital at risk. Understand the risk warnings and remember that CFD uses complex instruments. Its recommended to try a demo account prior to trading real money.
High Leverage, when used properly, can lead to extremely significant profits however if forex currency movements are not in your favour they can lead to significant losses. Currency movements whilst sometimes volatile don’t tend to change significantly from day to day the vast majority of the time. While sometimes a major event such as a political event might occur, which will see currency movements change significantly, this should be treated as an exception to the rule.
As changes in currency pairs tend to only be incremental, it can be difficult to generate significant profits in quick time. Use of high leverage or high margin-based leverage can help to achieve this. High margin trading can, therefore, be a useful tool in a skilled and experienced forex traders’ arsenal. High Leverage, however, is generally only recommended for experienced and intermediate traders, as the high risk can also mean substantial losses. Highly leveraged trading should, therefore, be used responsibly.
If a Forex broker does not have forex licence, then they are not a regulated broker, so we simply do not include them on our comparison tables. While some companies boast being regulated by more than one authority, only the tier-one regulatory bodies we take seriously and ALL traders should heed this advice.
Please be advised that all information found above is compiled manually and inaccuracies or errors may appear from time to time. Before deciding to select high leverage brokers, please double check all information on the broker’s website.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.